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Principles of Social Research 1 (CO7004)

Module Coordinator:               Dr Catherine McCabe
ECTS Value:                             5

This module gives participants a solid grounding in how to generate the necessary evidence to inform ethical policy and action by using a variety of qualitative research techniques. It presents a range of qualitative and combined methodological approaches in researching health issues. While the module traces the philosophical traditions in health related social research, including both theoretical and methodological elements, it is structured to facilitate the development of a research proposal for student dissertations. Emphasis is laid on appropriate research methodologies and research tools for each methodological approach. The rigour of the research process, and how to ensure the validity of results, are key objectives.

Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
•          Design and implement a range of health related research by applying knowledge of various qualitative research methodologies to investigate health and social issues
•          Critically evaluate previous research by applying criteria for assessing methodological rigour in health related research

Module Content

  • Principals of Social Research
  • Theoretical perspectives of Qualitative research
  • Qualitative research Methodologies (1)
  • Qualitative Research Methodologies (2)
  • Descriptive Qualitative Research
  • Qualitative data collection
  • Qualitative data analysis
  • Rigor in Qualitative research

Indicative Resources
Our core qualitative text is Pope and Mays (2006) Qualitative Research in Health Care, Blackwell: Oxford. There is a variety of additional texts that students may find suitable for each component of the module. Additional reading will be recommended before and after sessions. The library holds most of the recommended texts and a good collection of social science research texts if you want to extend your reading. Lecture notes and additional materials will be posted on Blackboard.

Methods of Teaching and Student Learning
This module combines lectures, seminar sessions, group work and individual exercises, one lecture and one seminar per week. Each student will be assigned to a group and each group will be required to co-operate throughout the term to apply the principles taught in the module.  Formal  interactive  lectures  will  run  for 1½  hours  followed  by  tutorials/student  lead  seminars  for  1¼  hours.


Methods of Assessment
Assessment for this module will be based on practical work conducted throughout the semester, with a final group presentation (30%), and an individual research proposal (60%), each of which will be assessed by at least two instructors.  Finally, 10% of the overall total will be allocated to peer-assessment.

Last updated 31 October 2017 School Web Administrator (Email).