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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Undergraduate Course: Researching Global Challenges 2 (EFIE08005)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryDevelop and expand your research skills to make sense of a complex and changing world. Work in teams to apply a range of advanced methods in response to 'global challenges'. This course builds on research methods introduced in Researching Global Challenges 1, developing specialist skills and knowledge in interdisciplinary research.
Course description This course continues to build the methodological 'toolbox' that you will require for interdisciplinary practice. It introduces a range of advanced and specialist skills that will help you to respond to key global challenges. A key feature of the course is the iterative approach to learning within diverse frameworks, which are introduced at Level 7 and continue to inform teaching through to honours years. For example, these might include: Data Collection; Data Analysis; Creative Practice; and Cultural Analysis. Global challenges can only be addressed by working together, finding shared approaches, and adapting to new situations. This course ensures a well-resourced and clearly structured progression of essential training in methods and approaches that will allow you to help create better futures.

As with the pre-requisite Researching Global Challenges 1, this course is delivered through an innovative model using several concurrent 'workstations', located within the teaching space for weekly scheduled workshop activity. While the content and assessment will offer a clear progression, the structure will be consistent across the Level 7 and 8 courses and the two courses should be considered as complementary parts of the same learning experience. The course is divided into 'blocks', each of which presents a specific themed research question/enquiry. These will be pitched at an appropriate level and might involve a complex problem which impacts on society, the economy or the environment (for example, transitions to net-zero carbon, building a circular economy, or decolonising the city). In preparation for the workshops, you will engage with an online resource including video introductions, essential reading, and set questions. This is a 'flipped' approach that ensures a level of understanding and engagement before the active, task-based learning of the workshops. You will then complete all the blocks by visiting each of the workstations in turn. This will involve group activities applying key methods to the specific enquiry, promoted by task-sheets and facilitated by a tutor. In practice, this means that there will always be several workshops taking place at the same time, each of which will be facilitated by a tutor. Importantly, the content and approach emphasise the need to work together to explore challenges and teamwork will be required throughout the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a discerning understanding of a defined range of methods for interdisciplinary practice, some of which are advanced or specialised.
  2. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in carrying out routine lines of enquiry, development or investigation into a selection of defined global challenges.
  3. Use advanced information retrieval skills to gather, sift, synthesise and organise material independently and to critically evaluate its significance.
  4. Use a wide range of skills to present findings, including some advanced and specialised communication, ICT and numeracy skills.
  5. Practice in ways that show awareness of your own and others' roles, responsibilities and contributions when carrying out and evaluating group activities.
Reading List
Interdisciplinary Research and Mixed Methods:

Szostak, Rick, and Repko, Allen F. 2020. Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory 4th edn. London: Sage Publications.

DeCuir-Gunby, Jessica, and Schutz, Paul A. 2016. Developing a Mixed Methods Proposal: A Practical Guide for Beginning Researchers. London: SAGE Publications.

Key readings from RGC1 will continue to be used on this course:

Data Collection:

Olsen, Wendy. 2011. Data Collection: Key Debates and Methods in Social Research. London: SAGE Publications.

Data Analysis:

Hardy, Melissa and Bryman, Alan. 2009. Handbook of Data Analysis. London: SAGE Publications.

Perez, Caroline Criado. 2019. Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. London: Vintage.

Creative Practice:

Mannay, Dawn. 2015. Visual, Narrative and Creative Research Methods: Application, Reflection and Ethics. London: Routledge.

Nelson, Robin. 2013. Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Smith, Hazel and Dean, Roger, T. (eds.). 2009. Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts. Edinburgh University Press.

Owens, Allan and Adams, Jeff (eds.). 2021. Beyond Text: Learning Through Arts-Based Research. London: Intellect Books Limited.

Cultural Analysis:

Pickering, Michael. 2008. Research Methods for Cultural Studies. Edinburgh University Press

Bignell, Jonathan. 2002. Media Semiotics: An Introduction, Second Edition. Manchester University Press.

Davidov, Eldad; Schmidt, Peter; Billiet, Jaak; and Meuleman, Bart (eds.). 2018. Cross-Cultural Analysis: Methods and Applications 2nd Edition. London: Routledge.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 2016. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On completion of this course, you should:

- have critical and analytical skills - some of which are advanced - and the capacity to evaluate and present them in a range of ways
- have a developed capacity to formulate and critically examine and evaluate forms of text and data
- be able to work with creatively and imaginatively in a group to develop original approaches to defined challenges
- be able to exercise initiative in working autonomously, and to understand your own and others' roles and responsibilities in group work
- have acquired and developed appropriate information technology skills, and have developed some specialist knowledge of their application and potential within interdisciplinary study
KeywordsInterdisciplinary,Futures,MA,EFI,UG,Global Challenges,Research,Global
Course organiserDr David Overend
Course secretary
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