detail

  • detail

Cert (PC) Social Science Research

Academic Year 2017/18

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title

Cert (PC) Social Science Research

Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Postgraduate Certificate

Programme Code

SOC-PC-SS

UCAS Code

JACS Code

L300 (DESCR) 100

Criteria for Admissions

Exit route only – for MRes/ PG Dip Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent recognised qualification in one of the Social Sciences.

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Part Time

Type of Programme

Postgraduate

Length of Programme

1 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

60

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance

Level 7

QAA Benchmark Group
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

Sociology (2007)

Accreditations (PSRB)

External Examiner Name:

External Examiner Institution/Organisation

Dr Pauline Leonard

Southampton University

REGULATION INFORMATION

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

Students awarded ESRC 3.5 PhD Studentships, part of the NINE Doctoral Training Partnership, are exempt from Regulations for Students1.5.2 and Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes regulation 2.6 and are therefore permitted to register on two programmes simultaneously.

Programme Specific Regulations

N/A

Students with protected characteristics

N/A

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

The Postgraduate Certificate in Social Science Research provides a comprehensive introduction to the key issues in social science methodology. It aims to develop a critical understanding of the issues surrounding the development and application of social science research methods.

The focus of the Certificate programme is on producing social science postgraduates who are trained in the main social scientific research methods and approaches.

Participants are equipped with the intellectual and practical skills to engage in social science research at an advanced level, employing both quantitative and qualitative research techniques, and developing the capacity to deal with complex research questions.

The programme is designed for graduates who are keen to gain advanced knowledge and skills in the application of social science research suitable for use in addressing vast and complex questions, problems and issues in the social world, as well as impact on the users of social science research, within the academic and non-academic spheres

The focus of the programme is on producing social science postgraduates who are trained in the main social scientific research methods and approaches, and knowledgeable about the epistemological and theoretical perspectives that underpin methodologies and define the discipline. Building on a foundation of solid theoretical and epistemological training, an emphasis is placed on the practical use of these methods across a range of broad research topics.

Participants are equipped with the intellectual and practical skills to engage in social research at an advanced level, employing both quantitative and qualitative research techniques, and developing the capacity to deal with complex research questions.

The programme is designed for graduates who are keen to gain advanced knowledge and skills in the application of social research suitable for use in addressing vast and complex questions, problems and issues in the social world, including outside the academic environment.

A wide, and interesting, range of learning, teaching and assessment methods are employed across the modules, and the academics involved are constantly reflecting on, and refining, the processes and procedures they use.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Assess critically the evidential basis for statements about social phenomena, policies and courses of action.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students experience a range of pedagogical approaches in varied learning contexts, including lectures, seminars, workshops, library sessions, discussions and computer labs. These methods are designed to give them confidence in applying and critiquing skills in research design, conduct and analysis.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments critically review other studies on the topic, including their use of methods and conclusions and assignments in which students critique different discourses (including media and political).

Gather and synthesize information, drawing on materials from a range of sources.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students experience a range of pedagogical approaches in varied learning contexts, including lectures, seminars, workshops, library sessions, discussions and computer labs. These methods are designed to give them confidence in applying and critiquing skills in research design, conduct and analysis.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments involve synthesis of wide range of sources, from research literature to survey technical reports.

Validate information by assessing its merits, including the basis on which it is constructed and represented.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students experience a range of pedagogical approaches in varied learning contexts, including lectures, seminars, workshops, library sessions, discussions and computer labs.

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Critical evaluation of the sources and construction of both qualitative and quantitative data.

Present reasoned and research-informed arguments by contrasting and discussing different points of view and potential courses of action.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Seminars and class discussions teach students these skills.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to formulate their own arguments in many assignments. Contribution to class discussions also test these skills.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Find and retrieve relevant data to inform their approach to social problems and complex tasks

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to literature reviewing methods.

Methods of Assessment

Relevant assessments include literature reviews, research proposals and short reports involving data analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate a strong understanding of important debates within the social sciences.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All modules include focus on contemporary and important debates in the social sciences and encourage participation in debate and discussion in class.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments testing knowledge of core principles, concepts, theories and debates in the social sciences.

Demonstrate a broad understanding of the philosophy of research methods and how this informs research design, the methods chosen, the means of analysis and the representation and presentation of information and data.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Modules use lectures and seminar discussions to reflect on the link between theory and research.

Methods of Assessment

Research proposal requires evidence of coherency at all stages of planned research process.

Display a critical awareness of the issues surrounding the application of a range of methodological approaches.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Different approaches and debates are presented in classes centring on both theory and practice. Pedagogy entails encouraging student contributions to discussion and debate.

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge, understanding and critical awareness are assessed through written assignments (e.g. critical review of journal article).

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Demonstrate competence in the manipulation of quantitative and qualitative data and will gain experience of statistical analysis.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Courses are delivered through lectures, and computer-based workshops using specialist software SPSS and NVivo.

Methods of Assessment

Research reports, data analyses, and essays.

Develop coherent evaluation of data and ideas in social science research, conveying their relevance and understanding to a non specialised audience.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students experience a range of pedagogical approaches in varied learning contexts, including lectures, seminars, workshops, discussions, computer labs and field work. These provide students with a variety of learning environments in which students are taught different means of evaluating and presenting information.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats which include research proposal, literature reviews and research reports.

Review, summarise and evaluate empirical information and research findings across a wide range of contemporary issues in social science research.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

These learning outcomes are consistently addressed across almost all of the modules offered on the programme. As a result a wide range of different teaching methods are employed to promote depth learning, to facilitate consolidation of knowledge and understanding.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats which include research proposal, critical essay, literature reviews and research reports.

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Appreciate range of research strategies for data collection using quantitative and qualitative methods.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students experience a range of pedagogical approaches in varied learning contexts, including lectures, seminars, workshops, library sessions, discussions and computer labs.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments testing these skills include critical reviews, research proposals and critical evaluation of the sources and construction of both qualitative and quantitative data.

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Summarize complex ideas and research evidence, conveying it in a concise and easy to understand way to non-specialist audiences.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures, class discussions and supervised independent learning, centring on note taking.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats for example, research proposals and short reports.

Evaluate evidence of diverse kinds and drawing appropriate conclusions presenting complex research data and evidence in an appropriate format for a variety of audiences.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching (e.g. critiques of studies, media analysis) and readings (mainly but not exclusively of academic sources) teach students about the importance of presentation of research.

Methods of Assessment

Relevant assessments include critical reviews, research reports and essays.

Sort and prioritise the value of different types of data for the task in hand.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Workshops, computer lab-based training and practical seminars are used to teach students in these areas.

Methods of Assessment

Assessed work covering these skills includes research reports and essays.

Communicate research findings effectively to a wide range of audiences

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Flexible and interactive teaching methods allow students to develop a range of presentation and communication skills.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats.

Work in group settings with a well-developed capacity to relate to others in a research setting.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Class discussions and small group exercises and tasks are an important means of teaching and learning on this programme.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are not directly assessed but are reflected in student competency in other areas.

Use computer software packages for handling quantitative and qualitative data.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

In a computer lab environment, students are introduced to relevant software to analyse both quantitative and qualitative data. Includes use of secondary data sources.

Methods of Assessment

Research reports involving data analysis using appropriate software.

Demonstrate bibliographic and referencing skills: the identification of relevant published and web-based materials in relation to a particular topic.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material.

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Literature reviews in essays.

Formulate researchable problems within a general area of concern in the social sciences.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Learning from cases of selected social science research projects encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design and planning of both quantitative and quantitative research.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal and research reports involving qualitative and quantitative data analysis.

Demonstrate research design and data collection skills.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures, workshops, computer lab-based teaching, small group seminars, practical training sessions and supervised independent learning.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal and critical evaluation of sources and construction of qualitative and quantitative data.

Conduct data analysis, including indexing and retrieval of qualitative and quantitative data.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching is delivered in seminars, workshops, computer labs and supervised learning, as appropriate.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are tested through research reports, summaries of research findings, data analyses and essays.

Use and understand descriptive and inferential statistics (including summary measures, measures of association and significance, contingency tables and have knowledge of the use and value of appropriate learning technologies), and awareness of the use and potential misuse of statistics.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Teaching is delivered in seminars, workshops, computer labs and supervised learning, as appropriate.

Methods of Assessment

Students complete assignments involving statistical analysis.

Demonstrate a well-developed sense of professional integrity.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Class discussions, small group exercises, involvement of stakeholders (where appropriate) and case scenarios of complex research projects.

Methods of Assessment

Relevant means of assessment may include research proposal, in which students are expected to engage with ethical issues.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Competence in understanding and applying a broad range of research methods (including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods), and the use of appropriate software for their application.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

A range of teaching methods are employed including workshops, computer-based workshops, and supervised independent learning.

Methods of Assessment

Research proposals and reports require students to demonstrate competency in research methods.

Understand the significance of epistemological positions that provide the context for theory construction, research design, and the selection of appropriate analytical techniques.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The programme contains a theoretical component and students learn from pertinent examples of advanced level research projects.

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through written assignments (including essay and research proposal).

Develop research problems and design research strategies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Modules make reference to range of examples of research approaches and design.

Methods of Assessment

Assignments include research proposals and short reports involving formulation of research questions and data analysis.

Appreciate and accommodate the ethical issues involved in research.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Through seminars, discussions and elaboration of relevant project cases, students are taught the processes and purpose of research ethics.

Methods of Assessment

Task-based assignments addressing complex and ‘live’ social topics, research proposals.

Appreciate and adapt to the uses of research and the social and political contexts of research.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, seminars, debates and workshops. These ensure strong theoretical and practical skills development.

Methods of Assessment

Relevant means of assessment include research proposal and critical review.

Demonstrate a comprehension of principles of research design and strategy, including an understanding of how to formulate research questions which are amenable to empirical investigation and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, seminars, debates and workshops. Emphasis is placed on practical, varied experience in social science research.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of research understanding and knowledge through the completion of a research proposal, critical evaluation of sources and construction of qualitative and quantitative data, and short reports involving data analysis.

Demonstrate an awareness of different means of disseminating research findings in a way that is consistent with both professional practice and the normal principles of research ethics.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Various modules cover real examples of diverse and good practice in research dissemination.

Methods of Assessment

Different forms of written and oral communication, including research reports.

Display capabilities for managing research, including data management.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Time planning, project management and data organisation are developed through workshops, set tasks, group exercises, supervised independent learning.

Methods of Assessment

Research reports involving management of quantitative and qualitative data sources, including use of appropriate software.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Discuss research topics with an appreciation of sociological theory, of epistemology, of evidence, and of the relevance to current debates, and present the conclusions in a variety of appropriate academic formats.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Core modules on theory, debates and epistemology are taught through lectures, seminars and elaboration of research articles and projects. The use of interactive teaching methods (discussions, Q&As, problem orientated sessions) promotes student engagement within lectures and seminars.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats which include research proposal, critical essay, literature reviews and research reports.

Comment on the value of social science research, the impact of methodology choice, and representations of these in relation to policy questions at national, international and global levels.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The programme contains a theoretical component and students learn from pertinent examples of advanced level research projects.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats which include research proposal, critical essay, literature reviews and research reports.

Formulate and investigate questions for social science research.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Core modules are taught through lectures, seminars and elaboration of research articles and projects.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats which include research proposal and research reports. .

Assess and evaluate the methodology used to address questions and problems in social science research.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, seminars, debates, workshops, and supervised independent learning. These ensure strong theoretical and practical skills development.

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats which include research proposal, critical essay, literature reviews and research reports.

Access or gather appropriate qualitative or quantitative information to address social science research questions, using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures, workshops, library sessions and guidance and other forms of practical session contribute to learning these skills.

Methods of Assessment

Research proposals, literature reviews, research reports and critical evaluation of sources and construction of qualitative and quantitative data sources require students to demonstrate competency in research methods.

Recognise the ethical implications of social science research and identify appropriate solutions.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Through seminars, discussions and elaboration of relevant project cases, students are taught the processes and purpose of research ethics.

Methods of Assessment

Task-based assignments addressing complex and ‘live’ social topics, research proposals.

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Approaches to Social Research

SOC9012

7

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

The Sources and Construction of Qualitative Data

SOC9053

7

10

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

The Sources and Construction of Quantitative Data

SOC9054

7

10

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Qualitative Data Analysis

SOC9055

7

10

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Quantitative Data Analysis: Foundational

SOC9056

7

10

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Quantitative Data Analysis: Intermediate

SOC9057

7

10

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Notes

1. Students can apply to be exempt from SOC9056 if they have already achieved a foundational level of competence through previous study. This will be assessed by the Programme Director, in accordance with normal university regulations. Students awarded an exemption will register for SOC9057 instead. Students may not register for both SOC9056 and SOC9057.