BA Sociology and Arabic

Year of entry: 2024

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
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


After completing this 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


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

On completion of the unit, you will:

  • Be able to identify the main approaches in sociological research
  • Be familiar with the epistemological assumptions underpinning qualitative methods
  • Be able to demonstrate your knowledge of a variety of methodological frameworks and research methods
  • Be able to choose an appropriate research method with respect to your research objectives
  • Be able to use a variety of data analysis techniques at an introductory level

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture-style material will be delivered weekly through a mix of 10 x two-hour lectures and 10 x weekly one hour tutorials.

Assessment methods

Semester One: Individual Assessments

Non-assessed component: Research Proposal (750 words)

Assessed component: Written qualitative research report (50%)


Semester Two: Individual and Group Assessments

Research Project: (Total worth is 50%)


1. Non-assessed component: Research Group Project Worksheet

2. Assessed Component: Research Group Mid-way Progress Meeting with course convenor (20%, collective grade)


- a 15-minute progress meeting with course convenor, where they will provide verbal feedback.

3. Assessed Component: Research Group Poster Presentation (15%, 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'.


4. Assessed Component: Self and peer evaluation worksheet (15%, individual grade)

- a survey to evaluate their contribution to the group after presentation.

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.

Study hours

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

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jessica Mancuso Unit coordinator

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