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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Science, Technology and Innovation Studies

Undergraduate Course: Research Design for Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) (STIS10014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryResearch Design for STIS introduces students to the particular conceptual frameworks and methodologies developed by Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) - an interdisciplinary field with a distinctive approach to understanding science and technology in their social context. You will be taught by a team of experienced lecturers and researchers who, drawing from key methodological and epistemological standpoints, will work with you to explore research design strategies leading to a dissertation proposal.
Course description This research design course offers students the opportunity to develop the analytic and methodological point of view of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies. It invites students to interrogate and reflect on how to analyse the social dimensions and implications of science and technology, culminating in a dissertation proposal at the end of the semester.

The course will cover topics such as: methodological perspectives in the study of science and society; defining and interrogating the research question; the 'right' method for the 'right' question; the ethics of researching people in science and technology and their 'things'; studying science and difference (for instance, around gender and race); historiography and the study of science and technology; case study approaches; ethnographies of people and things; data science as a process; the researcher and reflexivity.

This course brings together a group of experienced researchers with complementary expertise. The course will be taught in a weekly three-hour seminar which combines theoretical (lecture) and practical elements (active learning activities) conceived with the objective of engaging the students in thinking about research design, methods and methodologies in a critical and practical way. Students will produce weekly portfolio pieces, for which they will receive formative feedback. In-class practical work and exercises will allow experimentation, debate and critical analysis. A group peer-review activity half-way through the semester will give students the opportunity to test their ideas for the dissertation proposal in a supportive environment. Finally, the dissertation proposal will demonstrate the extent to which students are able to transfer and apply the topics covered in the course to an individually produced piece of work.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements The course will be open to UG students but priority will be given to Sustainable Development students on the STIS pathway,
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the epistemological and methodological principles that underpin the social studies of science, technology and innovation.
  2. Appraise different research design approaches and decide on a justified course of action.
  3. Offer informed assessments of their own and colleagues' selection of research design options.
  4. Apply a range of research skills in the formulation of the dissertation proposal.
  5. Organise, systematise and present - in different formats - coherent arguments on multiple themes.
Reading List
Daston, L., 2017, "The History of Science and the History of Knowledge," KNOW: A Journal on the Formation of Knowledge 1(1), 131-154.
Felt, U., Fouché, R., Miller, C. A., Smith-Doerr, L. 2017, The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, 4th edition, MIT Press: Cambridge Massachusetts.
Hyysalo, S., Pollock, N., Williams, R. 2019, Method Matters in the Social Study of Technology: Investigating the Biographies of Artifacts and Practices, Science and Technology Studies, 32 (3).
Jasanoff, S. 2003, Technologies of Humility: Citizen Participation in Governing Science. Minerva 41, 223-244 2003
Schutt, Rachel, and O'Neil, Cathy 2014, Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline, Chapter 2. "Statistical Inference, Exploratory Data Analysis, and the Data Science Process". O'Reilly Media, Inc. CA.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course aims at furthering students' critical knowledge, reflexive skills as well as their practical ability to conceive, design and to some extent present different types of work, including a dissertation proposal. They will be honing their skills in:

Critical and analytical thinking - assessing and evaluating arguments; attribution of meaning to topics of enquiry.
Digital skills - at the level of understanding the digital beyond the user perspective
Independent learning - increasing capacity for autonomous learning and development
Organisation and decision - at the level of organisation of information and decision-making in relation to research design, for example
Communication and presentation of information - in diverse formats, with different objectives and to different audiences
KeywordsNot entered
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