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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Counselling Studies

Postgraduate Course: Humanities and Arts-informed Research Methods in the Social Sciences (CNST11087)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is an interdisciplinary postgraduate research training course, which will be offered as a core 20 credit course for students on the MSc by Research Health Humanities and Arts and as an optional course to Masters and PhD students across the University.

This core research training course will provide a systematic and critical introduction to a range of humanities and arts-informed methods that are being used across the social sciences in health-related research. It will introduce students to various theoretical foundations for this type of work and to specific issues that may arise through the use of humanities and arts-informed methods, including ethical issues and questions around analysing and presenting the resulting data. Students will have the opportunity to explore humanities and arts-informed methods in relation to their own research interests and plans.
Course description Health humanities is an emergent discipline, but one that builds on a rich recent history of humanities and arts-informed research into health. This course introduces students to a range of humanities and arts-informed methods for researching health. Methods under consideration will be subject to critical assessment, and students supported to reflect on the epistemological and ontological bases of different approaches, as well as the ethical challenges associated. The course is one of the core courses for the MSc Health Humanities and Arts, but will be of interest to postgraduate students across the University who are interested in employing humanities and arts-informed methods in the study of health.

The course is structured around weekly 2 hour seminars. In most weeks, the course focuses on a particular humanities or arts-informed method (likely to vary from year to year, but examples might include poetry, narrative/fiction, participatory arts and film). Expert input, drawn from the School of Health in Social Science and other Schools, and occasionally from external speakers, will be complemented each week with supported discussion by the Course Organiser. This approach enables students to benefit from hearing a range of experience and expertise, practical engagement with different methods, whilst maintaining a critical stance in relation to methodological decisions and practice.

Students will be encouraged to keep a reflective diary across the course. This will be drawn on in class discussions and used to support learning. Formative and Summative assessments provide opportunities for students to evidence and demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes. In each case, emphasis is placed on applying concepts learned in the course in a critical assessment of or response to humanities and arts-informed methods in 'real life' settings. This will encourage students to think critically about the benefits and limitations of 'doing' humanities and arts-informed research in the arena of health.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. 1200 word review OR oral assessment (40%)
2. 2500 word research proposal OR oral assessment (60%)
Feedback Mid-way through the course students will give a short informal presentation on an existing project that has used humanities and arts-informed methods to research health. This will contribute directly to the first summative assessment. Feedback will be given in class by peers and instructor.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the growing range of ways in which social scientists have made use of humanities and arts-informed practices in their research
  2. Make an informed choice about, and employ, humanities and arts-informed methods appropriate to an ontological orientation and research question
  3. Demonstrate critical understanding of the epistemological advantages and disadvantages offered by humanities and arts-informed methods
  4. Anticipate and address ethical and logistical issues that can arise in undertaking this kind of research
  5. Analyse debates surrounding the use of humanities and arts-informed methods in social science and health research and make informed contributions to them
Reading List
de Andrade, M (2022). Public Health, Humanities and Magical Realism: A Creative-Relational Approach to Researching Human Experience. Abingdon: Routledge.
Denzin, Norman K and Yvonna S Lincoln (Eds) (2011) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research, 4th Edition. Sage Publications. Selected chapters.
Hurwitz et al. (eds) (2004) Narrative research in health and illness. Malden: BMJ Books
Janesick, V. J. (2016) 'Stretching' Exercises for Qualitative Researchers. London: Sage
Knowles, J. G. and Cole, A. L. (2008) Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. London: Sage
Leavy, P. (2015) Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice. New York: Guildford Press (2nd edition)
Mannay, D. (2016). Visual, narrative and creative research methods: application, reflection and ethics. London: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical awareness of current issues in area of humanities and arts-informed methods in health research
Demonstrate originality and/or creativity in responding to a previous funding call
Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues
Apply critical analysis to field of humanities and arts-informed methods in health research
Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge in area of humanities and arts-informed methods in health research
Communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists
Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative
Manage complex ethical and professional issues and make informed judgements on issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices
KeywordsArts-based methods,qualitative,research,methods,narrative,poetry,humanities,health
Course organiserDr Marisa De Andrade
Tel: (0131 6)51 5554
Course secretaryMs Krystal Hanley
Tel: (0131 6)51 3969
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