BSocSc Sociology

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Researching Culture and Society

Course unit fact file
Unit code SOCY10440
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

After completing the course students should:

be familiar with the epistemological assumptions underpinning quantitative and qualitative methods

be able to demonstrate their knowledge of a variety of methodological frameworks and research methods

be able to choose an appropriate method of research with respect to research objectives

be able to use a variety of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques to an introductory level

Aims

This course will introduce students to how sociological research methods work in practice by focusing on how key dimensions of social life are researched from a variety of methodological approaches. The module is built on a unique approach to teaching research methods based on a commitment to ‘inquiry based learning’. All aspects of the research process will be covered, from formulating a research question to analysing the data, from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. The module is organised into sessions which relate to the key debates within sociology such as gender, class, ethnicity and crime. Using real studies to explore these issues will make the research come alive. By maintaining a common focus throughout each session, students can clearly see the differences between methods and the implications that the choice of method(s) can have for the production of sociological knowledge. This focus on real world research is essential to student learning so that methodologies and methods are not discussed in an abstract way.

 

Learning outcomes

After completing the course students should:

be familiar with the epistemological assumptions underpinning quantitative and qualitative methods

be able to demonstrate their knowledge of a variety of methodological frameworks and research methods

be able to choose appropriate method of research with respect to research objectives

have furthered their ability to reflect upon their experience in writing assignments

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture-style material will be delivered weekly through a mix of up to one hour pre-recorded (i.e. asynchronous) content and one hour live (i.e. synchronous) lecturer-led classes. Additionally, weekly one hour small-group tutorials will be delivered on-campus as long as government guidelines allow, otherwise they will be delivered online.

Assessment methods

Semester One

Non-assessed component: Research Proposal (750 words) 

Written qualitative research report (50%)

 

Semester Two

Assessed: Mixed Methods Group Research Project (2-part mark, worth 50% of course grade)

Part 1: Mid way feedback evaluation (30% of mark, individual grade)

 Students complete 1) a peer evaluation of teammates and 2) a survey to evaluate their contribution to the group thus far. Groups must also attend a 15-minute progress meeting with course convenor, where they will provide verbal feedback.

*Students will have the option to also submit a 1-page non-assessed outline of research project to TAs

Part 2: Group Mixed Methods Research Poster Presentation (20% of mark, collective grade)

Student groups will create a poster to present and give a 10-minute presentation reporting a qualitative analysis project at end of year ‘poster conference’.

 

 

Feedback methods

All sociology courses include both formative feedback – which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve – and summative feedback – which gives you a mark for your assessed work.

 

Recommended reading

Bryman, A. (2016). Social Research Methods. 5th edn. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [main recommended text]*

Alasuutari, P, Bickman, L & Brannen, J. (2008). The SAGE Handbook of Social Research Methods. London: Sage. [Available online via library website]

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 4th edn. London: Sage.

Gilbert, N. (2008). Researching Social Life. 3rd edn. London: Sage.

May, T. (2003). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process. 3rd edn. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Seale, C. (2011). Researching Society and Culture. 3rd edn. London: Sage.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 40
Tutorials 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 140

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sophie Woodward Unit coordinator
Debora Price Unit coordinator

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