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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Undergraduate Course: Research Skills for Social Policy (SCPL08015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will equip students with core research training skills in the field of Social Policy. It will also provide a forum for subject specific learning and community building. Working in small groups, students will develop:
- An understanding of the Research Process
- An understanding of Research Design
- An understanding of the basic principles of social research
- An ability to learn to work with others in a group around a common problem, allocate tasks and responsibilities, mediate and manage group work processes
- Confidence in the process
Course description In this course we introduce the key building blocks of social research. It lays the theoretical and practical foundations for designing and conducting research in Social Policy. Key concepts are set within the context of specific Social Policy issues and the syllabus complements other year 2 courses (such as European Social Policy and Evidence, Politics and Policy).

The course is designed to support students of Social Policy in developing their skills and training for honours work and beyond. Introducing research skills in year 2 will provide a pathway to future courses in research methods in year 3 (which focus on quantitative and qualitative methods) and culminate in the honours Dissertation.

The course will be delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. By the end of the course, you will have taken part in a student-led tutorial and used the feedback from this group task to develop a research proposal for a piece of Social Policy research. This module will be assessed through tutorial participation (10%), a reflective blog (20%) and a final research report (70%).

By the end of the course, students will be able to identify key concepts and debates that relate to the research process, have had hand-on experience of research design and will be able to embed these skills in substantive discussion of current issues within Social Policy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Social Policy and Society (SCPL08004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 10% Tutorial Participation - Engagement with tutorial sessions, assessed through the quality of the contribution to weekly discussions and group tasks.
20% Reflective Blogs - Students are required to write a short entry (300-400 words) at the end of each section of the course, reflecting on their own learning and the topics discussed.
70% Research Report (2,500 words) - Students draw on the themes throughout the course, including feedback from their reflective blogs to create a detailed research design for a project of their choice.
Feedback Feedback will be provided for tutorial exercises throughout the semester, helping to build to the final assignment
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the basic principles of social research.
  2. Identify and discuss key elements of the research process.
  3. Think critically about research design and methodological approaches.
  4. Apply learning through group work, developing skills in working in teams and producing collaborative outputs.
  5. Consider different research methods within the broader framework of a research design.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Helen Packwood
Tel: (0131 6)50 3912
Course secretaryMs Ieva Rascikaite
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