SOC40220 Sociological Research: theoretical and applied issues

Academic Year 2023/2024

The course looks at the underlying issues that sociological researchers face in their everyday practice. It examines the differing philosophies that are associated with the choice of using qualitative or quantitative research. It discusses specific issues such as: is there 'value-free' research; feminism and research methodology; the use of official statistics; research on elite or marginalised groups. It looks at the strengths and weakness of both conventional, positivist research and research inspired by critical theory. It examines how to go about doing a dissertation. The course requires a strong level of engagement from students who are required to read a number of research articles each week and make assessments of their design,methodology and content.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

* Students should develop an ability to critically decipher research reports.* Become aware of the different philosophical traditions of knowledge that underlie quantitative and qualitative research.* Be able to engage in debate on a variety of issues that confront the researcher and be able to form their own opinion on them e.g. how to approach offficial statistics. * Know how to approach doing a dissertation,

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module consists of a weekly lecture followed by a seminar in which students critically examine research articles. The aim is to build up skills in deciphering the quality of research. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

B.A or B.Soc Science

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: review of research report Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Essay: 3000 words essay Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded Yes



Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided on assessed coursework as individual comments published in the VLE, in group sessions at lectures/seminars, and/or in person during office hours as appropriate