Undergraduate Course: Designing and Doing Social Research (SCIL10062)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course is for anyone who wants practical experience and skills in social research. The course is designed to mimic a real world research scenario, in which a multi-disciplinary research team takes varying approaches to a topic but works together towards the same goal. The emphasis is on learning while doing, and giving you a structured environment where you can learn how to reflect on your research while you are doing it. Many of the skills you learn on the course will be relevant to your honours project or dissertation, and to your future career.
he course is taught through lectures and group work. The lectures give you grounding in various research skills, debates and controversies in social research. The main focus of the course is the group work. The class is divided into two project streams, each of which is given a contemporary topic to investigate. You sign up for a group and conduct a research project under the guidance of a research supervisor. Each group takes one approach to the topic. Every week the group contributes to a wiki, which is open to the whole class. You will be able to see what other groups are doing and how your work fits in with them. You will learn from your peers in your group and in the whole class and contribute to their learning.'
The course is taught through blended learning, a combination of lectures, videos and group work. The lectures and videos give you grounding in various research skills, debates and controversies in social research. Some weeks there will be no lecture. Instead, you will watch a video for that week and focus on your group work.The main focus of the course is the group work. You choose what research group you join. The groups are organised into four topics using one of four methodological approaches.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should have at least 2 social science courses (such as Sociology, Politics, Social Policy, Social Anthropology, etc) at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 10,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Formative Assessment Hours 3,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||20% group presentation, 10% individual performance, 70% final essay
||Assessment will be by a group presentation of your research (20%), individual performance mark (10%) and a final essay (70%). The assessment balances the work your group has done with your own individual commentary on it.
Formative assessment: You can submit an essay plan which your tutor will comment on.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Students will understand the principles and approaches to social research, and have the ability to compare different perspectives on research methods
- Students will be able to design their own research project and methodology, write it up and present it to their peers
- Students will learn to work with others in a group around a common problem, allocate tasks and responsibilities, mediate and manage group work processes
- Students will be able to evaluate different methodological approaches to various research topics of current relevance
- Students will be able to compare and critically assess research findings, and make judgments on research quality and validity
|The main textbook for the course is Rossman, Gretchen, and Sharon F. Rallis. 2003. Learning in the Field: An Introduction to Qualitative Research. Sage Publications. You might also like: Clough, Peter, and Cathy Nutbrown. 2007. A student¿s guide to methodology: justifying enquiry. Sage, and David Silverman, 2007, A very short, fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about qualitative research, Sage.|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||You will have demonstrable skills in:
· Team and personal management
· Report writing, summarising, and presentation
· Analytical and critical thinking
· Evaluation of your own and others¿ work'
|Course organiser||Dr James Kennedy
Tel: (0131 6)50 4250
|Course secretary||Miss Laura Thiessen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3932