Researching Social Life II

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
14 September 2023


Requisites for this module


SC830, SC831

Key module for


Module description

This module exposes students to the methods and principles required to design and critically evaluate empirical sociological research.

Module aims

This module introduces you to some of the methods commonly used in sociological research for the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. In classes you will also be encouraged to think about and discuss the issues introduced in the lectures. In the lab sessions you will learn some practical skills in statistical data analysis.

Module learning outcomes

In the process of taking this module, you will develop skills that are transferable to your undergraduate project, the labour market, or postgraduate work, when you complete your undergraduate studies. You will also appreciate more how sociologists go about applying their skills and knowledge to the empirical and theoretical investigation of issues they study. Chiefly, upon successful completion of the module, you will have developed skills in:

• Understanding the principles underlying quantitative and qualitative approaches to sociology

• Locating and analysing secondary data and collecting qualitative data.

• Deriving and operationalising research hypotheses and questions using statistics and qualitative data

• Appreciating ethical issues affecting research in general, and potentially affecting your own research

• Analysing qualitative data in a systematic and transparent way

• Analysing quantitative data and use of computer software packages

Module information

Please click on the link below to view the Introduction video to SC203 Researching Social Life II

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching approach As there are still restrictions related to COVID-19 in place, some of the teaching on most modules will take place online. Most modules in Sociology are divided into lectures of around 50 minutes and a class of around 50 minutes. Some are taught as a 2hr seminar, and others via a 50-minute lecture and 2-hr lab. For the majority of modules the lecture-type content will be delivered online – either timetabled as a live online session or available on Moodle in the form of pre-recorded videos. You will be expected to watch this material and engage with any suggested activities before your class each week. Most classes labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face (assuming social distancing allows this). Please note that you should be spending up to eight hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 32 hours in total for four 30-credit modules). This module [SC203-5-FY] will be taught via a combination of pre-recorded lectures and 2-hour face-to-face labs (Autumn), and live lectures and face-to-face classes (Spring). Please do spend some time familiarising yourself with the Moodle page as there are lots of activities and resources available here to support your learning on this module. You will find the online quizzes on Moodle. This module will include a range of activities to help you and your teachers to check your understanding and progress. These are: quizzes, individual and group exercises, computer exercises, data analysis reports and a research proposal. The lecture videos provide an overview of the topic of the week, while the classes and labs will give you the opportunity to reflect on your learning and actively engage with your peers to develop your understanding further. Computer lab sessions where you will use Nvivo and SPSS to analyse data will enable you to do your own research, preparing for your final year project. The weekly classes or labs will take place face-to-face (should this be deemed safe). You are required to attend the classes as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The classes and labs will be recorded and available for you via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from the labs and classes it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of classes is at the discretion of the teacher.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Nick Allum, email:
Prof Roisin Ryan-Flood, email:
Dr Katy Wheeler, email:
Professor Nick Allum, Dr Roisin Ryan-Flood, Dr Katy Wheeler



External examiner

Dr Aneira Edmunds
School of Law, Politics & Sociology
Senior Lecturer
Dr Paul Gilbert
University of Sussex
Senior Lecturer in International Development
Available via Moodle
Of 724 hours, 72 (9.9%) hours available to students:
652 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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