Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SSI2004: Research Design in the Social Sciences

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to introduce you to the principles of research design in the social sciences so that you are able to assess the research of others (e.g. in the media, in research articles) and use quantitative skills in your own research projects. This module covers the basics of research design and the scientific method, explaining how measuring variables allows us to test theories and hypotheses. It guides you in how to collect and manage social data, using surveys and experiments. It also discusses the concept of causality and introduces various research designs that can be used for causal inference with social data.

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. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of research design in the social sciences.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of different types of empirical research and data collection techniques.
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Apply knowledge of the principles of research design to social science problems.
4. Critically evaluate empirical research in the social sciences.
Personal and Key Skills5. Write reports to a deadline.
6. Evaluate the quality of empirical evidence in the public debate on social and political matters.