Thinking Like a Social Scientist

PLEASE NOTE: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
23 January 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module provides an introduction into the basics of the philosophy and theory of (empirical social) science, its structure, and procedures/techniques. It tackles questions such as "what is a research design?" and "how is scientific progress made?"

This module thus seeks to introduce students to the basics of scientific work and procedures in the social sciences, which in turn shall allow them to conduct work that fulfills satisfactory standards of research quality. This not only pertains in particular to students' classes during the third academic year, but also in light of potential postgraduate studies.

Module aims

This module seeks to enable students to assess scientific logics and assumptions, evaluate scientific theories and empirical evidence, and build intuition for good research designs.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will have:

1. Gained an understanding of the basic issues in research design and philosophy of science.

2. Learnt how to construct a scientific explanation (research question, theory-building, hypotheses).

3. Understood how to empirically evaluate scientific theories.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

1 x 1 hour lecture per week. 1 x 1 hour class per week.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

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 Federica Genovese, email: fgenov@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Federica Genovese plus Teaching Assistants
Module Supervisor: fgenov@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator: Nicola Rowley, govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Max Gallop
University of Strathclyde
Senior Lecturer
Available via Moodle
Of 73 hours, 71 (97.3%) hours available to students:
2 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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