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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Research (EDU)

Postgraduate Course: Activist Social Research (REDU11074)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryActivist social research combines political commitments to addressing social problems with rigorous research about those problems. This course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to plan, design and execute a programme of activist research for real world application and for the dissertation or applied research project elements of the MSc in Social Justice and Community Action. Drawing on radical social theories such as critical theory, feminism, anti-racism and post-structuralism, this course will also introduce students to some of the ethical and practical challenges of doing high quality research for social change. The course will enable students to formulate a research question; outline a project plan; understand methods for qualitative data collection and analysis; and develop strategies for communicating and disseminating research findings to appropriate audiences.
Course description What is activist social research?
Understanding epistemological traditions
Introduction to methodology and methods
Approaches to data analysis
Ethics in activist social research
Communicating and disseminating research findings
Introduction to the dissertation and the applied research project
Writing a research proposal
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs none
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2, Online Activities 25, Formative Assessment Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Indicative tasks:

Task 1: Research Proposal (100%, 4,000 words): This assignment will also be students┬┐ dissertation or applied research project proposal. It will describe and justify the research question or policy/practice issue the students plan to address, the background to this topic including an indication of what the literature review will contain, the chosen research methodology (where relevant), timescales, and ethical considerations.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an awareness of the key epistemological issues in activist social research; Identify appropriate research questions and how they might be addressed by particular methodological approaches
  2. Locate and critically evaluate relevant literature; Engage with a range of data collection methods
  3. Have a critical awareness of issues relating to research ethics including authenticity, confirmability and trustworthiness; Understand issues of positionality and reflexivity
  4. Demonstrate specialist skills in the analysis of qualitative data; Effectively plan a programme of research
  5. Demonstrate an awareness of the presentation and dissemination of research findings to a range of audiences
Reading List
Indicative reading list:

Ackerly, B. and True, J. (2010) Doing Feminist Research in Political and
Social Science. London: Palgrave.

Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Denzin, N. and Giardina, M. (eds) (2009) Qualitative Inquiry and Social Justice: Towards a Politics of Hope. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Elliot, J. (2005) Using Narrative in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. London: Sage.

Hammersley, M. (2000) Taking Sides in Social Research: Essays on Partisanship and Bias. London: Routledge.

Harding, S. (ed) (2004) The Feminist Standpoint Theory Reader: Intellectual and Political Controversies. New York: Routledge.

Howarth, D.R. (2000) Discourse. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Laclau, E. and Mouffe, C. (2001) Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics. London: Verso.

Lincoln, Y. S. and Denzin, N. K. (eds) (2003) The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues. London: Sage.

Naples, N.A. (2003) Feminism and Method: Ethnography, Discourse Analysis and Activist Research: New York: Routledge.

Stringer, E. T. (2013) Action Research. London: Sage.

Twine, F.W. and Warren, J. (2000) Racing Research, Researching Race: Methodological Dilemmas in Critical Race Studies. New York: NYU Press.

Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (eds) (2009) Methods for Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critical analysis, Oral and written communication skills, Access research materials
Keywordsparticipatory action research,activist research,qualitative,methodology,methods,ethics,public
Course organiserDr Sarah Ward
Tel: (0131 6)51 6120
Course secretaryMs Annemarijn Huizinga
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