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Social Research and Analysis for Organisations

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About this course

This is a new and innovative programme devised by the Department of Social Sciences at Northumbria University, in collaboration with Newcastle City Council, to meet the needs of people who use research as part of their job. 

The programme aims to ensure that students have the wide range of skills necessary to meet the research needs of the public, commercial and third sectors.  Students attend the university for one afternoon per week and study independently at other times, with support available from tutors through face to face meetings and/or email.  On successful completion of the programme, students have the option to ‘top up’ their qualification to a Masters.

The teaching and learning methods reflect the fact that the programme has been designed to provide students with research skills that can be used in the workplace.  To this end, there is one module that concentrates on developing skills in the classroom (Social Research Methods) and one that concentrates on applying these skills in practical situations (Applied Social Research Methods).

Social Research Methods

This module equips students to undertake social science research at postgraduate level, regardless of the extent to which they have previously studied research methods.  After some consideration of the contribution of research to understanding issues such as inequality, students are taken through the different stages of a research project (e.g. sampling, collecting data), using a range of exercises to show the practical questions that can affect each stage.  

Teaching takes the form of workshops, including some formal input from the module tutor, with references to extra reading for those less familiar with the topic and the opportunity to discuss that reading with the tutor.  However, the emphasis is on active learning and reflection, with students undertaking exercises such as facilitating a focus group.  Assessment is in the form of a practical research proposal.

Applied Social Research Methods

This module puts the learning from the Social Research Methods module into practice in an organisational context.  Students work in small groups to understand the data capture, storage and analysis mechanism used by staff within organisations across a range of issue areas. They see at first hand practical applications in areas such as choice of methodology, selection of respondents, data collection techniques and methods of data analysis. 

The module involves a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and independent learning. Students ‘bid’ for a particular group research project organised by a team leader in key thematic areas (for example: NEET, Housing, Adult Commissioning, MST etc) and will be mentored by an analyst/research lead.   Assessment through group presentations and a group report will enable students to learn the specific skills of team working that are most relevant to a research situation.  

Learn from the Best

In addition to the opportunities that are provided for discussion (either face to face or online) between the module tutor and the student group, all students will be encouraged to communicate regularly with the module tutor through face to face meetings (where feasible), telephone conversations and email.  You will be constantly encouraged to identify the links between the material that is presented and your own experience of homelessness.

If you have any further or specific learning needs then do discuss this with the module leader at the start of the semester. You will also be able to access a range of academic support (including academic skills around reading, writing, research, literature reviews, referencing, etc) and pastoral support (including, health and wellbeing support and guidance) from our award winning student services and library teams. This support is available both face to face and online.

In addition, if you have moved to the UK to study from overseas then additional support will be provided for international students with a focus on helping you settle in to the university and the city, understanding culture traditions in the UK and explore academic expectations. Additional English language support can be accessed should you need further support.

Tutors

Dr Darryl Humble

Currently Darryl is the Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Sociology and the PG Cert Social Research and Analysis for Organisations. He contributes to postgraduate and undergraduate teaching across the department in applied research methods, sociology and international development as well as developing overseas study visits, bespoke research training and CPD programmes for public, community and voluntary sector organisations. 

Darryl has taught social sciences in the UK’s Higher and Further Education sectors since 2004 and in 2016 became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Darryl’s approach to research and engagement work is underpinned by a commitment to working in partnership with organisations and individuals seeking to bring about positive social change. Darryl’s current research interests are based on three key themes:

• Exploring and understanding notions of change and work in a civil society context. 

• Constructing encounters with development. 

• Rethinking the value and consequences of qualitative research methods. 

Dr Jamie Harding

After Jamie graduated he undertook a number of jobs in the area of public sector housing: he was a housing needs assistant with Newcastle City Council, a housing officer with a housing association and a housing initiative co-ordinator, negotiating for suitable housing for Bosnian refugees arriving in the North East of England.  His experience in this area convinced him of the need for further research into housing issues so he successfully applied for a job at Northumbria in 1995, initially teaching professional housing courses and undertaking related research.

On completing his PhD and publishing the findings as a monograph, Jamie transferred to the then Division of Sociology and Criminology in 2004, continuing to teach and research in the area of homelessness and pursuing further interests in the areas of research methods and criminal justice.  Working with colleagues, he has undertaken large numbers of contract research projects addressing specific social problems within the North East.

Jamie is programme leader for the Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice and has co-edited a textbook on the Criminal Justice System.

The majority of Jamie’s teaching is in the area of research methods, where he has taught both quantitative and qualitative approaches.  In recent years he has concentrated on qualitative methodology, an area where he has published a textbook and is seeking to use a wide range of methods such as online focus groups.

Jamie’s contract research has concentrated on the area of homelessness, where he works with a number of local partners, some of who provide placements for students.  He has twice taken the role of independent expert at Eurocities reviews of Newcastle City Council’s homelessness services and was part of a European research project examining responses to homelessness in Newcastle, Hamburg, Malmo and Bologna.

Most recently Jamie has undertaken contract research in the area of criminal justice, including one project examining the housing situation of people leaving prison.  He is currently co-editing a book about the criminal justice system in England and Wales.

 

Course info

Award Type PG Certificate

Delivery Method Part Time

Sector Architecture, Built Environment and Construction, Digital, Tech and Creative, Engineering and Manufacturing, Financial and Legal Services, Health, Sport and Social Care, Leadership and Management

Study Mode Part time (one afternoon per week)

Location Northumbria University, City Campus

Start September 2019

Duration 18 Months

The programme aims to ensure that students have the wide range of skills necessary to meet the research needs of the public, commercial and third sectors. This includes, for example, introductory quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis, research ethics, research project development and proposal writing. On successful completion of the programme, students have the option to ‘top up’ their qualification to a Masters.

 

 

 

 

 

Students attend the university for one afternoon per week and study independently at other times, with support available from tutors through face to face meetings and/or email.   

Must be working in a professional environment

The teaching and learning methods reflect the fact that the programme has been designed to provide students with research skills that can be used in the workplace.  To this end, there is one module that concentrates on developing skills in the classroom (Social Research Methods) and one that concentrates on applying these skills in practical situations (Applied Social Research Methods).

£2000

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