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 ActivitiesLecture162:0032:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1104:00104:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical41:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery32:006:00N/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 practical workshops so that students gain an experience and knowledge of a range research methods and the research process.

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 short report will be structured in two parts (i) reflecting on the use and appropriateness of a research method of choice to different research situations will be supported and (ii) providing a critical research summary of a chosen journal article. Both components enhance critical understanding of research methods and the research process, and the second reprises literature search and noting skills for research.

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