Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module SXU-1002:
Doing Social Research

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Teresa Crew

Overall aims and purpose

Social science research allows us to make sense of the social world, to discover why people think and behave as they do, and how important institutions act. This module will acquaint students with the practicalities of social research e.g. research design, ethics, data collection, and provide a critical understanding of key research methods and studies used in contemporary social science research.

The module is divided into two semesters, the first focuses on quantitative methods and analysis. The second semester concentrates on qualitative methods and analysis, alongside a discussion of mixed methods research. The module provides students with the basis to begin initial preparations for embarking on their dissertation. These foundations are further developed in year two (SXU-2001, Methods of Social Research and SXU-2010, Dissertation Preparation).

The module also includes weekly presentation skills sessions. These are peer-led learning in which presentation skills are learnt and developed through practise and feedback. Students participate via a combination of giving short speeches and audience participation.

Course content

The course will cover the following topics:

  1. Social Research in action
  2. The ethics of social science research.
  3. Qualitative data collection, analysis and presentation (qualitative interviews, observational research, focus groups and the uses of documents in social research.
  4. Quantitative data collection, analysis and presentation (sampling, surveys, interviews, questionnaire research, content analysis and the use of secondary data in social research).
  5. An introduction to multi-method research.

Assessment Criteria


Have a basic knowledge of key research methods and data analysis Be able to provide a basic account of the strengths and weaknesses of key research methods and data analysis Have a basic understanding of the presentation and interpretation of social science data


Have strong knowledge of research methods and data analysis Be able to provide an account of the strengths and weaknesses of key research methods and data analysis that shows engagement with the extant literature Have the ability to present and interpret social science data clearly and concisely


Have a comprehensive knowledge of the main forms of data collection in social science and be able to critically engage with these Be able to provide an account of the strengths and weaknesses of key research methods and data analysis that shows engagement with the extant literature Demonstrate the ability to present and interpret research findings clearly and concisely and to show that they have reflected on alternative modes of presentation and interpretation

Learning outcomes

  1. Show a critical understanding of the range of research methods.

  2. Show a critical appreciation of the practical issues involved in the design, planning, conduct, and end product(s) of research methods.

  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the issues around the management, analysis and presentation of data

  4. Develop confidence and style in presenting material via the oral medium

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Sem 1 - 1,500 word essay 40
Sem 2 - 1,500 word essay 40
Peer Led Presenation Skills 20

Teaching and Learning Strategy


1 hour seminar x 6.


One hour x 6

Practical classes and workshops

1 hour presentation skills workshop x 12

Private study 170

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • 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
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.

Subject specific skills

  • the ability to identify a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: