Methods of Social Research SPS5023

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The course will provide student with the opportunity to acquire skills in research design, quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis. Further the course will enable students to think critically about the social science research methodologies and methods.


  The course will consist of 10 three hour sessions

Requirements of Entry

The normal qualification for admission to study for a higher degree by research course work is a degree with at least upper second class honours, in a relevant subject or combination of subjects. In special circumstances, other academic or professional qualifications may be recognised as am equivalent.


The course will be formally assessed through ONE 4000 word essay.

Course Aims

  The overall aims of the course are to:


■ introduce you to a range of research methods commonly used in social research and to provide practical guidance in the use of such methods;


■ provide you with an opportunity to acquire skills in research design, quantitative and qualitative data collection, and in data analysis;


■ give you a grounding in research methods which will be useful to you when you begin your own dissertation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

  As a result of the course, you should be able to:


■ identify and discuss the range of theoretical traditions in social research methodology;


■ demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of quantitative and qualitative research design and strategy;


■ select appropriate (qualitative and/or quantitative) research methods for use in different research settings and be able to explain and justify your selection;


■ construct research hypotheses and demonstrate basic skills in question formulation and questionnaire design;


■ demonstrate practical skills in analysis and presentation of quantitative data


■ plan, carry out, analyse and evaluate a qualitative interview to demonstrate practical skills in conducting, recording, analysing and reporting on in-depth interviews;


■ critically assess social research from a methodological standpoint.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

  Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.