Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Introducing Sociological Research
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Exclusive (Any Acad Year)
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written individual report  500 Words  20%
Semester Assessment Written research proposal  1000 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Written group report  (qualitative research report plus supplementary material) 2000 Words  30%
Supplementary Assessment Written research proposal  1000 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Written individual report  (qualitative research report plus supplementary material) 750 Words  30%
Supplementary Assessment Written individual report  500 Words  20%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate understanding of both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods.

Demonstrate analytical capacities, through generating a wide range of datasets.

Exhibit the ability to work independently and in groups.

Demonstrate a more nuanced grasp of what constitutes data within Sociology.

Integrate skills research design, analysis and interpretation in order to undertake effective research in Sociology.

Organise and synthesise research findings effectively in a written report.

Brief description

This module provides an introduction to social research, and, in particular, to the collection and analysis of sociological data. The module concentrates on methodological issues, including how research strategies are designed and how qualitative and quantitative data can be collected, collated, managed and then analysed. It explores ways of collecting and handling various forms of data, including the examination of how to undertake and analyse qualitative interviews, ethnographic observation and how to undertake documentary research, and implement surveys. It also considers the reliability of data sources, the nature and limitations of the methods available for analysing them, and the ethical principles that inform and govern contemporary sociological research.

The emphasis will be firmly upon student participation and students will be given a variety of opportunities to explore and discuss the issues raised in the lectures, as well as to undertake the analysis of existing sociological data. The assessments will provide an opportunity for learning as well as being a way of testing learning. In the first half of the unit, this will be facilitated by the students undertaking a basic review of an area of research literature of individual interest to them, and then designing their own research projects. In the second half, they will be involved in analysing and interpreting existing data in small groups and on their own, thereby developing their group working skills as well as their ability to write research reports in a group context as well as individually.


The first half focuses on key principles of research design and data collection, and the second half focuses upon data analysis. Each week there will be a lecture and a seminar based largely upon interactive group work. The emphasis is firmly upon active learning, whereby students engage actively with the basic information and ideas presented in the lectures in their group and individual work. In the first half, practical seminar workshop activities will facilitate reinforcement and practical application of the lecture content. In the second half of the unit the seminars and workshops, will provide direct experience of coding, analysing and interpreting a range of data sources working in small groups.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The use of statistical analysis, including how to interpret descriptive statistics using excel.
Communication Students will be required to present written work in an appropriate academic manner.
Improving own Learning and Performance Independent reading, self-directed learning and independent project work.
Information Technology Competency in using the internet and the library database for academic sources of information, word processing, data analysis and presentation in Excel.
Personal Development and Career planning Many of the skills developed through this module are transferable to non-academic contexts and students are made aware of their wider applicability.
Research skills Compentency in using the internet for sources of information, word processing, data analysis and presentation in Excel.
Subject Specific Skills Understand the principles and analysis techniques used in sociological research, including how to design, collect, analyse, interpret and present sociological data.
Team work Students will undertake analysis of secondary data in groups and group discussion will be a key feature of workshops.


This module is at CQFW Level 4