This course is designed for students looking to embark on a successful career as a researcher or academic, and provides you with the necessary training as part of your study for your MPhil/PhD.
The course is distinctive in providing students with an exciting opportunity to develop expertise in a range of both quantitative and qualitative research methods of data collection and analysis with a focus on their application to real-world issues.
The course has 1+3 recognition from the Economic and Social Research Council. Only three Education Departments in post-92 universities have this prestigious kitemark.
In order to enhance your engagement with the issues to be examined, and to allow flexibility over how you manage your time, the Social Research Methods programme will be delivered through weekly sessions in the Autumn and Spring semesters supplemented by tutorial support available (both face-to-face and electronically). Evening sessions are provided for part-time students.
The programme introduces the processes and issues involved in designing a quantitative or qualitative research project. You will also undertake modules that will introduce you to the methods of quantitative (including use of SPSS) and qualitative (including use of CAQDAS) research, giving you the skills and confidence to use these approaches to data collection and analysis in your own research.
You will explore the philosophy of social science research where you will examine the relationship between epistemology, ontology and methodology. Furthermore, you will explore concepts that underpin educational and social research including empiricism, rationalism, hermeneutics, feminism, post-modernism and critical realism and critique their relation to objectivity, causation, and validity.
You will also focus on key elements of the Research Councils’ Joint Statement of Skills Training for Research Students. You can then choose to study interpretations of the concept of education – and their implications for research – and the role of values in educational theory and research methodologies, or the basic theoretical concepts in social theory, with a particular emphasis on sociology and social policy.
Students will complete a dissertation in an area of their choosing in the fields of education or the social sciences.
- Introduction to Research Design
- General Research Skills
- Qualitative Research Approaches
- Quantitative Research Approaches
- Philosophy of Social Science Research
- Social Theory and Research
Please note that modules may be subject to change, the above list is indicative.
This is the course for those wishing to be employed in the research field of education and/or social sciences and for anyone intending to continue their studies to doctoral level.