TCP2027 : Research Skills

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module introduces students to quantitative and qualitative (social science) research methods, as well as key stages of the research process such as research design and question development for example. A range of methods for data gathering and analysis are introduced and opportunities for practicing the skills are given through coursework assignments. The research skills and techniques learned in this module will act as a foundation for the individual dissertation studies undertaken in Stage 3, with some time given for the outline development of each student’s individual project.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Designing an academic research project generating a research topic, question and aims.
2. Framing the research within the context of the academic literature - literature review.
3. Understanding the research context (ethics and sites)
4. Exploring research methods:
(i) Analysing documents and texts (policy documents, media and visual data using discourse analysis and content analysis).
(ii) Ethnographic approaches and observation (structured and
(iii) Collecting and analysing talk - semi-structured interviews and focus groups (introduction to grounded theory approach).
(iv) Collecting and analysing more structured data - questionnaire surveys design and analysis.
5. Preparing your own research proposal.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion154:0054:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture132:0026:00Including workshops
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading154:0054:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical32:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery32:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study154:0054:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module is designed to introduce social science research knowledge and skills. Therefore the module’s teaching is through a combination of lectures, group work, surgery sessions, and taught practicals so that students gain an experience and knowledge of a range of the research process and research methodologies.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M702,500 word research proposal for independent dissertation study (including ethics and risk approvals)
Report2M301,500 word assignment reflecting on methods
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay reflecting on the use and appropriateness of different methods to different research situations will be supported by the submission of work tasks (such as observation notes, a transcript, questionnaire design, etc dependent on methods covered) to show experiences gained, however this supporting documentation will not be assessed.

The research proposal will outline students proposed independent dissertation study. Students are expected to draw on skills learnt about the research process and apply it to a topic of their own interest which they wish to take forward for their dissertation study in stage 3 (the proposal will explore why the topic is important, possible research questions to answer, brief literature review and sources of literature, and potential methods of data collection and analysis they may use in addressing their research question).

Reading Lists