SO5011 - Real World Research 2

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What will I learn on this module?

The aim of this module is to enable you to become an effective qualitative social researcher.

In the first part of the module, you will learn about the philosophies and methods used by qualitative researchers in a real world context. Key to this will be covering ‘traditional’ qualitative methods such as interviews, focus groups and observations as well ‘contemporary’ methods including qualitative mapping, visual methods and online ethnographies.

In the second part of the module we will put that learning in to practice to explore how research projects evolve and how to select appropriate research strategies. In groups you will use qualitative methods to explore a key social issue within the context of Newcastle upon Tyne. To do this you will learn about the research process and will carry out a research project from start to finish, including planning a data collection strategy, going out and collecting that data, analysing it and reporting on it. In addition you will also complete a research risk assessment and an ethics form – all essential components of the research process.

Learning from this module will support you in most careers where research, people and analytical skills are needed.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a range of interactive lectures in which we will explore key methods, processes and challenges surrounding qualitative research methods. In seminars we will put into practice this learning through research specific activities including: planning ethnographic research, analysing research transcripts from actual staff research projects, deconstructing research proposals and critiquing research findings. Activities will involve both individual and group work and all sessions will include a range of stimulus materials to guide and support discussion.

Throughout the module you will also learn through the planning and completion of the group research project. This will involve planning your own project, collecting and analysing data. The process of completing this assignment will involve understanding and completing risk assessments and research ethics processes as well as deconstructing the research process.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported throughout the module by module tutors through: interactive lectures and seminars with regular opportunities for question and answer sessions and group tutorials during the completion of the research project. In addition you will be able to access one-to-one tutorials with the module team through the weekly ‘office hours and feedback’ sign up process and via email and telephone.

If you have any further or specific learning needs then do discuss this with the module leader at the start of the semester.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding
1. You will develop a critical understanding of the histories and philosophies underpinning qualitative approaches to social science research.

2. You will understand the process of conducing qualitative social research including: the development of a research question, the importance of conducting risk assessments and securing ethical clearance.

3. You will develop a critical knowledge of a range of qualitative social research studies that have shaped the development of qualitative research practice.

Intellectual / Professional skills and abilities
1. You will develop the skills to be able to carry out qualitative social research projects (including data collection and data analysis) as well as understand the practical issues involved in conducting a research project.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA)
1. You will develop an understanding and appreciation of the role and importance of social research and in a real world context and will be able to develop your own critiques of how research is used by governments and media organisations. You will develop the inter-personal skills that are needed to complete a task as part of a team in a work setting.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through the completion of a:

2,000 research proposal in which you will work independently to develop a qualitative proposal for new research in response to existing data in the form of an interview transcript. You will read the transcript and use this to identify an issue that requires further research. You will then write a research proposal (with full academic referencing) to explore the issue under the following headings: Introduction to the research issue, Key research question and rationale, Research strategy, Research ethics, Research practicalities and Proposal conclusion. This component is work 60% of the final mark.

3,000 word group research report in which your work with your group (of no more than 5 students) to discuss the process, data and findings from the research project that you have completed. You will plan your report around the following headings: Research strategy, Research findings and Research experiences. This component is worth 40% of the final mark.

The skills required for the summative assessment will be developed through formative assessment tasks in seminars: for example, students will develop research questions, data collection and data analysis techniques.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code L300

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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