Module SXU-4020:
Social Science in Action

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Prof Stefan Machura

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to provide training in conducting social science research, with a focus on the specialist degree studied. It draws upon generic social science research skills and knowledge and applies them to an empirical group project. The module begins with a consideration of some general issues underlying social science research in action. In association with lecturing staff, students will be invited to specify the topic for a joint research project in which they will develop their skills as empirical researchers. This is a ‘hands on’ module and students will engage in hypothesis development, research design, data gathering, data analysis and interpretation of the results. This module has secured College level ethical approval for the conduct of: 1. Non-participant observation in public places 2. Internet and social media research.

The aims of this module are:

  1. To provide a subject-specific empirical complement to the generic research training provided by SCU4002 Y Broses Ymchwil/ SXU4002 The Research Process.

  2. To provide insight into the social science research process.

  3. To provide an understanding of, and competence in, specific research techniques: unobtrusive observation and/or internet and social media research.

  4. To involve students in a joint group research exercise, gaining collaborative study and organisational skills.

Course content

This module provides training in social science research with a focus on the specialist degree studied. It draws upon generic social science research skills and knowledge and applies them to an empirical group project. The module begins with a consideration of some general issues underlying social science research in action (including the relation between theories and hypothesis, research ethics, field access). Students specify the topic for a joint research project in which they will develop their skills as empirical researchers. Students engage in hypothesis development, research design, data gathering, data analysis and interpretation of the results.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

Excellent 70-95% Denotes excellent work of the highest standard; the audio-visual presentation or report is excellent in both content and style of presentation. The student interacted exceptionally well with those asking questions (relates to audio-visual presentation only). He/she will be able to follow an accurate method of indicating sources, presenting a thorough and organised list of references (including audio-visual sources for the presentation). The student discusses and analyses results in the context of alternative strategies, methods and theories.

good

Good 60-69% Denotes good work; the audio-visual presentation or report is good in both content and style of presentation. The student interacted in a competent manner with those asking questions (relates to audio-visual presentation only). The written work is submitted with appropriate and accurate sources indicated and a list of references is provided (including audio-visual sources for the presentation). The student shows awareness of alternative strategies, methods and theories.

threshold

Threshold 50-59% Denotes satisfactory work; the audio-visual presentation or report is satisfactory in both content and style of presentation. The student interacted in a satisfactory manner with those asking questions (relates to audio-visual presentation only). He/she will submit written work with basic sources indicated and a list of references (including audio-visual sources for the presentation) is provided.

Learning outcomes

  1. Become competent in writing a report presenting research results according to professional academic standards.

  2. Demonstrate familiarity with qualitative and/or quantitative research techniques, including their application within a research setting.

  3. Have a well-rounded understanding of social science research.

  4. Be conversant with research design, data collection and data analysis used in social science research.

  5. Display critical awareness of the political, social and ethical contexts of doing social science research.

  6. Become competent in preparing and presenting a poster which reflects on the research methods adopted.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Audio-visual presentation 30
Report 70

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study

Private study - to include literature review, accessing online resources and planning and implementing individual aspect of group project.

176
Workshop

Workshops 24 hours (2 hours per week for 12 weeks)

24

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • how to make ethically sound judgements in relation to research carried out by others or oneself
  • how to use empirical evidence - both quantitative and qualitative in criminology and sociology
  • relationships between these and social divisions and social change.
  • the ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions
  • the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
  • the ability to identify a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods
  • the ability to undertake and present scholarly work
  • Become cognizant with key conceptual debates within the field of contemporary social policy
  • Appreciate the value of and apply theoretical and methodological rigour to analyses of welfare issues;
  • Be aware of the ethical, social and political contexts within which social policy practice and research is conducted and delivered
  • Appreciate philosophical, ethical and methodological issues in criminological and criminal justice research.
  • Understand the value of and apply comparative analysis within criminology and criminal justice.

Resources

Resource implications for students

None - the reading is available online and via the library. Any fieldwork costs will be borne by the School. The poster presentation is produced digitally, not on paper.

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/sxu-4020.html

Reading list

bangor.rl.talis.com/lists/17A403A9-FFB7-E3FE-67A6-BAA3B7B16FB8.html

The reading list exists in Talis under the module predecessor code: SXU4019 Applied Social Research. This will be adapted according to students' needs when this module runs for the first time in 201718

Courses including this module