Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

HSS8007 : An Introduction to the Nature of Explanation and Enquiry

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To introduce students to some of the key epistemological traditions that inspire research in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well some contemporary debates about research and knowledge.

To familiarise students with key terms such as positivism, realism, hermeneutics, constructivism, relativism, and post-structuralism.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introductory session: Overview and Introduction to HSS8007
Topic 1: Introduction: Scientific Approaches to the Production of Knowledge
Topic 2: Laws, Predictions and Explanations
Topic 3: Positivism
Topic 4: Social-scientific Approaches to the Production of Knowledge
Topic 5: Marxism
Topic 6: Critical Realism
Topic 7: Postmodernism
Topic 8: Concluding Thoughts: Philosophy and the Foundations of Knowledge

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading91:3013:30Extensive material available via Learning Management System
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study175:3075:30Students will be asked to contribute to online discussion boards and respond to tasks after webinars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Live/synchronous webinars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time21:002:00Live online roundtables with the participation of module contributors
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module uses a flipped online approach, providing directed online reading and activities (via the Learning Management System) which are subsequently explored through structured interactions via webinars and the online discussion board.

The module begins with an introductory synchronous online session, with the aim of allowing students to familiarise themselves with the module content and teaching and learning approach taken.

The reading and activities will provide opportunities for students to become familiar with the subject matter and to identify issues/ prepare responses for later discussion. Making a variety of content accessible online for students ahead of webinars is important, given the diversity of the student body in terms of disciplinary background and familiarity with terms & concepts. Using this delivery mode, with selected content to appeal to those both new to or familiar with topics, provides students with a personalised learning experience to suit their needs and interests.

At appropriate points in the module students will engage in moderated online discussion based on their responses to the online reading and activities. These discussions would occur over the course of a topic and asynchronously, allowing students/ staff to have flexible and meaningful engagement ahead of/ after webinars.

During webinars, students undertake further discussion and tasks to clarify and/ or develop their knowledge, and ability to apply module content to their research contexts. A summary will be provided by the topic leads for those who are unable to attend the live discussions.

There will also be two synchronous online roundtable discussions, hosted by topic leads, during the course to enable a broader discussion within and across topics.

Students are also provided with further reading suggestions to support their own independent study and assignment preparation.

This approach combines the advantage of an accessible mode of knowledge delivery, which allows students to learn at their own pace, with opportunities for interdisciplinary and interpersonal communication and group discussions.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1002,000 word assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay enables students to demonstrate their knowledge of the taught content and ability to apply to their research project.

Reading Lists

Timetable