Sociological Research Design
Autumn & Spring
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 22 March 2024
26 May 2023
Requisites for this module
MA NP5312 Advertising, Marketing and the Media,
MA NP5324 Advertising, Marketing and the Media,
MA NP53MO Advertising, Marketing and the Media,
MA M90012 Criminology,
MA M90024 Criminology,
MSC L30812 Criminology and Socio-Legal Research,
MSC L30824 Criminology and Socio-Legal Research,
MA MF9112 Organised Crime, Terrorism and Security,
MA MF9124 Organised Crime, Terrorism and Security,
MSC MF9012 Organised Crime, Terrorism and Security,
MSC MF9024 Organised Crime, Terrorism and Security,
MA L30112 Sociological Research Methods,
MA L30124 Sociological Research Methods,
MA L30012 Sociology,
MA L30024 Sociology,
MA L31112 Migration Studies,
MA L31124 Migration Studies,
MA L31812 Sociology and Criminology,
MA L31824 Sociology and Criminology,
PHD ML9048 Criminology,
MSOCMX98 Criminology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCMX99 Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
MSOCLA40 Sociology (Including Placement Year),
MSOCLA41 Sociology (Including Year Abroad)
This is a foundation module on sociological research for postgraduate students. It introduces the relationship between contemporary theory and empirical inquiry, and emphasises the research design process from identifying research questions to choosing appropriate methodology and methods. It examines some key assumptions and ideological underpinnings of social research, including qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches and their uses in a variety of design contexts. It is intended to provide students with a critical understanding of the process and complexity of doing research, and facilitate the design of their own social research also in preparation for their Master's dissertation.
The module aims to:
- Explore different theoretical and methodological approaches in social research;
- Provide students with an understanding of the complexities of designing a coherent social research project;
- Equip students with the skill to critically review the methodological strategies used by other social researchers;
- Equip students with the ability to formulate researchable questions and design a feasible and appropriate research strategy.
- Gain a solid understanding of the key language and components of social research;
- Develop reflexive skills and being able to historically situate oneself vis-à-vis the chosen research topic;
- Be able to write a coherent, feasible, sociologically relevant and sound research proposal.
Module topic list
Session 1 - week 2 Situating Sociological Enquiry
Session 2 - week 3 Ways of Knowing: Ontology, Epistemology and Positionality
Session 3 - week 4 Concepts, Theory and Hypothesis
Session 4 - week 5 Types, Forms and Sources of Data I
Session 5 - week 6 Types, Forms and Sources of Data II
Session 6 - week 7 Methodology and Methods
Session 7 - week 8 Sampling and Access
Session 8 - week 9 Research Ethics I
Session 9 - week 10 Research Ethics II: Focus on Digital Research
Session 10 - week 18 Identifying your research problem and formulating your research question.
Most modules at postgraduate level in Sociology are taught as a 2hr seminar. Most classes, labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face (assuming social distancing allows this). There may also be some online activities – 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 seminar/class each week.
Please note that you should be spending up to ten hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 30 hours in total for three 20--credit modules).
This module, SC905, will include a range of activities to help you and your teachers to check your understanding and progress. These include: group discussions, reading-based questions, web quests, and group presentations.
You are strongly encouraged to attend the seminars as they provide an opportunity to talk with your teacher and other students. The seminars will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these seminars it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of seminars 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
|Reflexive positionality exercise
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.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Isabel Crowhurst, email: email@example.com.
Dr Isabel Crowhurst
Prof Benjamin Bradford
University College London
Available via Moodle
Of 59 hours, 57 (96.6%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
2 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.
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