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Postgraduate Module Descriptor

SSIM904: Research Design Methods and Skills for AQM

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Aims

This is an advanced level research design and methods course intended to equip you with a broad range of relevant skills and knowledge, allowing you to formulate research questions and carry out your own research projects. The primary aims of the unit are to:

  • Introduce the epistemological and methodological traditions in social science research and map the social science research space, particularly highlighting the range of quantitative methods used;
  • Introduce key skills for designing and organizing a research project, conducting critical reviews of published research; and disseminating and communicating research.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Develop understanding of the principles of research design and appreciate multiple alternative approaches to developing and addressing research questions;
2. Develop critical understanding of the scientific method;
3. Understand the relationship between empirical research and theory generation and testing (theory-evidence links);?
4. Define a researchable problem and formulate research questions and hypotheses that are amenable to empirical investigation;
Discipline-Specific Skills5. Show comprehensive understanding of issues posed by social research in relation to ethics, confidentiality and legality.
6. Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the principles behind causal inference;
7. Develop understanding of the theoretical and data structure assumptions underlying a range of advanced quantitative methods;
Personal and Key Skills8. Demonstrate an advanced ability to study independently and effectively;
9. Develop the ability to present, summarize and report complex empirical results and methodological approaches for a non-academic (or non-quantitative) audience in order to engage the broader social science community, funding bodies and policy-makers in your research.
10. Become acquainted with relevant software tools and IT applications for the retrieval, analysis and the presentation of quantitative information.