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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Sociology Short Name: SOCM11
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: MEADOWS RA Dr (Sociology)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Throughout the year
Assessment Pattern
Course assessment will be by means of two exercises submitted towards the end of each semester
Module Overview
Module Aims

This course will aim to: 

  • outline the range of research methods used for studying people in social situations, focusing particularly on survey methods 
  • illustrate these methods with relevant examples of completed research drawn from the substantive areas of interest of the students (e.g. education, health, and social services). 
  • provide the students with opportunities to practise certain research skills in data collection, data processing and data analysis.
Learning Outcomes

After completeing the course, students shold be able to:

Understand the epistemological reationale underlying the variety of techniques that are commonly used in modern social research;

design a questionnaire and understand the pros and cons of a range of survey designs
identify sources of error in survey measureents and be aware of how they can be prevented and removed
assess the quality and completeness of reporting on surveys on the basis of specific criteria
obtain and report on secondary survey data

Module Content
  • Introduction to the course the main methods of data collection.
  • Hypothesis testing.
  • Induction and deduction.
  • The problems of measurement.
  • Theoretical concepts and their empirical indicators.
  • Design of questionnaires and interview schedules.
  • Pilot studies.
  • The continuum of types of interview from 'fixed-choice' to 'interview guide' Life Histories.
  • Self-completion questionnaires.
  • Diaries and Time Budgets.
  • Telephone interviewing and CATI,
  • Computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI).
  • Coding.
  • Scaling.
  • Index Construction.
  • Attitude and Occupational Scales.
  • Introduction to experimental design.
  • Panel and Longitudinal studies.
  • Sampling theory.
  • Multistage samples.
  • Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) Sampling.
  • Problems of nonresponse.
  • Conducting largescale social surveys.
Methods of Teaching/Learning

Selected Texts/Journals

DeVaus, D.A.(2002) , (5th Edition), London: UCL Press
Bryman, A (2001) Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press
Gilbert, N (ed) (2001) Research Social Life, 2nd ed. Sage
Groves, R,Floyd J.Fowler, M.Couper, J.M. Lepkowski, E.Singer, and R. Tourangeau, 2004. Survey Methodology, New Jersey: Wiley.

Last Updated
27th August 2009