Sociological Research Design

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
17 May 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA NP5312 Advertising, Marketing and the Media,
MA NP53MO Advertising, Marketing and the Media,
MA M90012 Criminology,
MSC L30812 Criminology and Socio-Legal Research,
MSC L30824 Criminology and Socio-Legal Research,
MSC MF9012 Organised Crime, Terrorism and Security,
MA L30112 Sociological Research Methods,
MA L30012 Sociology,
MA L3N212 Sociology and Management,
MA L3N2MO Sociology and Management,
MA L31112 Migration Studies,
MPHDML9048 Criminology,
PHD ML9048 Criminology

Module description

This is a foundation module on sociological research for postgraduate students. It introduces the relationship between contemporary theory and empirical inquiry, and explores the entire research process from identifying research questions to writing up research findings. It examines key assumptions and ideological underpinnings of social research, and interrogates 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.

The specific topics covered include the formulation of a research question, processes of data collection, approaches to data analysis, and strategies of interpretation. The course explores various research skills for each of these issues and presents them as integral parts of a coherent research design. Students will be encouraged to develop their own research ideas through the approaches discussed in the course. At the end of this course you will have acquired not only a critical and coherent perspective on empirical research but also a clearer strategy to pursue your own research agenda.

Module aims

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.

Module learning outcomes

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.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

2-hour seminar


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Review Essay 19/11/2019 50%
Coursework Research Project 14/01/2020 50%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Isabel Crowhurst
Michele Hall, Graduate Administrator, Telephone 01026 873051, Email:



External examiner

Prof Paul Stretesky
The University of Northumbria at Newcastle
Professor of Criminology
Available via Moodle
Of 71 hours, 67 (94.4%) hours available to students:
4 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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