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Principles of Social Research

Module Coordinator: Dr Fiona Larkan
ECTS Value: 5

This module aims to give participants a grounding in how to generate the necessary evidence to inform policy and action by using a variety of research techniques. It aims to present the range and value 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 research methodologies to investigate health and social issues
  • Critically evaluate previous research by applying criteria for assessing methodological rigour in health related research
  • Effectively research literature utilising online tools and correctly use citations and reference lists following the Harvard Referencing System
  • Develop a comprehensive research project proposal with an ethically and scientifically sound protocol

Module Content
Developing a research question
Quantitative approaches
Questionnaire design and evaluation
Qualitative approaches
Ethnographic approaches
Data analysis
Disseminating research findings

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.

Last updated 23 November 2016 School Web Administrator (Email).