Research Strategy and Design
Research Strategy and Design 2023-24
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 1
History of research methods in the social sciences. The significance of alternative epistemological positions. Research questions and hypotheses. Experimental research design: logic, validity and reliability. Alternatives to experimental design. Sources of data: official surveys, panel data, administrative data. Populations, measurement and survey sampling. Structured interviews and standardization. Questionnaire testing. Basic quantitative data analysis: frequencies, means, distributions. Simple statistical models: association, testing research questions, significance
Threshold -50-59%. A satisfactory grasp of how to formulate research problems and questions, free of major errors in understanding the relationship between epistemology, theory generation and empirical research methods. Competence in using key features of SPSS and applying them to the analysis of existing quantitative data.
Good -60-69% A good understanding of the connection between research problems and questions based on an accurate appreciation of the significance of alternative epistemological positions for research design and strategy. A sound knowledge of methods of simple quantitative analysis combined with skilful use of SPSS to explore data on a social issue.
Excellent -70%+ A developed and critical understanding of the philosophy of social research which supports a detailed appreciation of the relationship between epistemology, theory generation and empirical research methods. Strong evidence of practical skill in using SPSS to analyse and interpret complex numerical data
- Demonstrate the capacity to manage the research process, including managing numerical data, and conducting and presenting research in a way that is consistent with professional practice and research ethics.
- Display critical understanding of the significance of epistemological positions that provide the context for theory construction, research design, and the selection of appropriate analytical techniques in quantitative research.
- Manifest the ability to apply the essential principles of research design and strategy, based on a clear grasp of how to formulate researchable problems and critical discernment of alternative approaches to social research.
- Show competence in recognising, evaluating and applying a wide range of quantitative data sources and tools of analysis.
Assignment 2: Critique and design a questionnaire
Assignment 3: Practical exercise in statistical analysis
Assignment 1: Evaluation of a research article