D&S

D&S Qualitative Research 1&2
D&S Discourse And Linguistic Theory And Analysis
D&S Survey Methods 1,2&3
D&S Advanced Design And Statistics 1&2
D&S Designs In Educational Research
D&S Educational Theory, Policy And Research
D&S Research Designs For The Social Sciences
D&S Philosophies Of Research 1&2
D&S Psychological Theory And Psychological Research
D&S Postgraduate Research Methods (Language)
D&S Postgraduate Research Methods (Literature)
D&S Research Methodologies For Education

 

D&S Qualitative Research 1&2

Qualitative research involves the development of methodological skills within theorised reflective and reflexive approaches to the social world. The QR1 module commences development of such engagement with theory and method, developing students’ methodological accomplishment and also an initial ability to reflect upon the analysis of qualitative data and relate all stages of research to the philosophies underlying different types of qualitative research. Indicative content includes theoretical and epistemological bases for qualitative research and use of ethnographic interviews; realist and constructionist approaches to qualitative research; different types of interview and interview records; conducting and recording in-depth interviews; data organisation; theorised analytic procedures; ethical considerations and reflexive practice. All students are expected to take this module.

QR2 develops students’ methodological skills through a broader context, including developments in participant-observation, case study techniques, life histories and work histories, drawing where required on other forms of qualitative research (such as documentary and media research and textual analysis or performance analysis). The theoretical framework includes naturalistic methodology, analytic induction, theories of representation and social construction. Students apply methodological skills and to engage with different modes of data collection and analysis to demonstrate the broad coverage of qualitative research methodology expected of a researcher. Students are required to develop their understanding of qualitative research in specific areas of interest, e.g. criminology, education, health, cultural studies, town planning, sociology or policy studies. By the end of the module students are expected to show a sound understanding of substantive issues within their selected field, relevant methodologies and epistemologies, and to be able to apply a range of research methods to their particular inquiry, through design and completion of a project from initial design phase to production of a report, and to demonstrate critical and reflexive engagement with debates on the ethics and practice of qualitative research.

Dates: QR1 – Semester 1, QR2 – Semester 2

Contact: c.bennett@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Discourse And Linguistic Theory And Analysis

This module assists students to critically appraise and employ methods of discourse or linguistic analysis using texts, interview material and other resources. It explores derivations and theoretical dimensions of linguistic theory and analysis within the disciplines of sociology and psychology, focusing on language in cultural context -structure and functions of language, language use, theories of language and culture – and strategies of discourse analysis and associated linguistic analysis (e.g. critical discourse analysis, semiotics, conversation analysis, narrative analysis, rhetorical analysis). In particular, it encourages students to critically examine construction of social inequalities through intertextuality. Students develop and conduct a short project examining discourse/text of their choice and producing a report on the contested meanings revealed by their analysis.

Dates: TBC

Contact: c.bennett@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Survey Methods 1,2&3 

The aim of the Survey Research 1 module is to enable students to recognise and explain good practice in the design of surveys and the preparation of survey data for statistical analysis, developing a critical awareness of epistemological and methodological underpinnings of ‘the survey method’ and the relationships between theory and data in deductive research. Students initiate a research project through either the use of a large existing dataset or developing their own primary data collection. Their report on this project includes a methodological critique, and initial exploration of the dataset including planning and piloting of analysis. All students are expected to take this module

SM2 builds on the initial work done in SM1. It enables students to apply appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical techniques to survey data using statistical software in order to explore a research problem. Specifically, this module gives a strong grounding in widely-used techniques including bivariate statistical hypotheses tests, multivariate hypothesis elaboration, statistical control. The learning will consist of a balance between acquiring the academic understanding of statistical techniques and applying such knowledge in practice, through the use of a statistical software package, enabling students to carefully interpret the results of statistical analyses, and to relate their findings to relevant theory/literature in their academic disciplines. Students produce a report on their research, in which statistical analyses are summarised and synthesised within the relevant theoretical, methodological and empirical literatures.

SM3 enables students to apply multivariate statistical modelling techniques to survey data using statistical software in order to explore a research problem. Students may select a suitable large dataset (either previously used in SM1 or 2, or a new set) or use their own data, possibly collected for PhD work. They develop advanced skills through the application of modelling techniques to this dataset. The assessment is to write a report in the style of a journal article which presents the research problem, statistical analysis and discussion of findings with reference to suitable theoretical, methodological and empirical literatures. Students will previously have taken SM1 and usually SM2: This module therefore is an option for students specialising in quantitative research.

Dates: TBC

Contact: s.demack@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Advanced Design And Statistics 1&2

It has been increasingly recognised that researchers should supplement their use of significance-testing with more meaningful indicators of effect size. This module, therefore, will highlight the criticisms directed at null hypothesis significance-testing and provide guidance on the recommended methods for overcoming such weaknesses. Additionally, students are often taught advanced statistical techniques without an understanding of the common links between them. This module will, therefore, explain statistical techniques such as ANOVA and multiple regression by reference to the general linear module. The module will also develop students’ understanding of advanced statistics by introducing them to some multivariate techniques such as factor analysis. This module is intended for students who have covered the design and statistics usually taken on undergraduate Psychology courses. It is therefore ideally suited to postgraduate Psychology students.

ADS2 builds upon ADS1, moving on to multivariate techniques. This module, therefore, will provide a grounding in a range of multivariate statistical techniques and provide practical experience of conducting and interpreting such analyses using SPSS. It is also recognised that researchers often wish to go beyond explanatory techniques in order to compare or confirm specific models. The module will, therefore, introduce students to confirmatory analytic analyses such as structural equation-modelling and provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience of conducting such analyses using relevant software (e.g. AMOS). This module is intended for students who have covered some advanced univariate statistical methods and some of the more familiar multivariate techniques (e.g. factor analysis).

Dates: TBC

Contact: j.g.reidy@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Designs In Educational Research

This module aims to prepare students to be able to conduct research and to make informed judgements about the appropriateness of designs in educational research. It will address some philosophical issues as well as more concrete and technical issues. Students will be able to consider relations between research questions, design choices and methodological decisions. The module will enable them to make informed choices about appropriate methodology on the basis of an overall knowledge of the range of approaches in educational research.

Dates: TBC

Contact: m.s.boylan@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Educational Theory, Policy And Research

Users and producers of educational research need to ground their judgements in an understanding of underlying issues of methodology and philosophy. A knowledge of fundamental philosophical, political and psychological debates concerning educational theory, policy and practice is required of those engaged in educational research. The module aims to provide an understanding of the main themes of these debates, the links with contemporary issues of practice and the impact on educational research.

Dates: TBC

Contact: m.s.boylan@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Research Designs For The Social Sciences

By focusing on the issue of alternative research designs, students will address some of the points of connection between the metatheoretical and epistemological issues about the nature of social science and the more concrete and technical issues concerned with the practice of social research. Students will be able to consider relations between research questions, design choices and methodological decisions. Indicative content includes discussions of types of social science knowledge and their relation to cultural knowledge, approaches to the production of knowledge, implications for research designs, major design approaches (experimental, survey, case study, action research, ethnographic, archive and documentary designs) and their evaluation and assessment. This module aims to enable students to understand and apply different research designs and evaluate and understand the connections between qualitative and quantitative methods and the rationale for utilising them. The notion of research design is examined in the context of debates around epistemology and ontology, particularly in relation to the applicability of positivism to social science.

Dates: TBC

Contact: a.j.rosie@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Philosophies Of Research 1&2

The purpose of this module is to familiarise students with the philosophical background to the different research traditions and enquiry techniques that social scientists draw upon in empirical fields of research. Positivism or ‘naive’ Empiricism, Hermeneutics, Critical Theory, Postmodernism, Scientific Realism and Feminism are the six research traditions featured on the course. The module considers the basic assumptions that these well known traditions make about ‘human nature’, the nature of ‘society’, the nature of ‘knowledge’, and about the nature of social explanation. The competing moral and political values associated with these approaches will be debated, and implications for the design, ethics and conduct of specific projects research in students’ fields of interest explored. The treatment of each of the six research traditions will focus on two fundamental concerns; to examine philosophical assumptions and to consider the implications that these different ‘philosophies of science’ have for our understanding and assessment of the research methods and techniques that have been adopted in the social sciences. Students are required to develop a comparative understanding of research traditions in terms of their relevance for our understanding of substantive issues as well as their implications for research methodology.

Students demonstrate understanding of diverse approaches to research and the creation of knowledge, embedding their own work within historical and emergent paradigms. POR2 module content includes examination and discussion of postcolonial thinking, critical race theory, feminist theorising, social philosophies, science and scientism, globalization theorising, modernity/postmodernity debates, reflections on modernity. In addition to key theorists and current critiques, the module makes use of a wide range of video and audio material, including films such the The Handmaid’s Tale or Heart of Darkness as well as historical or theoretical documentaries. Assessment requires extended discussion and critique of chosen research paradigms, with particular reference to current research generated from these.

Dates: POR1 – Semester 1, POR2 – Semester 2

Contact: c.bennett@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Psychological Theory And Psychological Research

This module takes a number of ‘external vantage points’ on the psychology enterprise, as well as looking at the diversity of understandings of the discipline (both contemporaneous and historical) internal to psychology. It is therefore both integrative and critical. Scrutiny comes from the viewpoints of history, ethics, philosophy of science, metaphysics and from the discipline’s own internal debates. Having firmly grasped the various approaches to psychology that have been developed historically or that are in contention now, students will go on to consider the various ontological and epistemological commitments that have been present in psychological approaches (especially since the mid-nineteenth century). Attention is given to the various metaphysical dualisms that beset the discipline, as well as the basic issue of freedom and determinism. We consider the question of the scientific status of psychology and of some of the various methodologies practiced within and around the discipline (the boundary being contentious). We discuss the basis of the ethical principles to which psychological researchers must be committed.

Dates: TBC

Contact: tbc@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Postgraduate Research Methods (Language)

An introduction to research methods for postgraduate students of English literature and language. The course covers both the formal construction of the thesis together with the necessary skills expected of a student in terms of accessing information and publications, managing supervision and so on. Available as distance learning module.

Dates: TBC

Contact: s.l.mills@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Postgraduate Research Methods (Literature)

An introduction to research methods for postgraduate students of English literature and language. The course covers both the formal construction of the thesis together with the necessary skills expected of a student in terms of accessing information and publications, managing supervision and so on. Available as distance learning module.

Dates: TBC

Contact: m.steggle@shu.ac.uk

 

D&S Research Methodologies For Education

The unit aims to provide a suitable foundation for effective use of research by practitioners. It can serve as an introductory course for research students. Through the examination of a range of methodologies characteristic of education research it seeks to enable you to make informed judgements about research methods and conclusions found in literature and those that arise in doing your own research projects.

Dates: TBC

Contact: m.s.boylan@shu.ac.uk

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