module specification

SS7168 - Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
164 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Analysis of survey data of up to 1500 words
Coursework 70%   Research Plan of 2,000 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Week All day

Module summary

On this module you will gain a solid grounding in methodological approaches to researching forms of violence against women and children and evaluating support and prevention initiatives/interventions. You will be taught about: feminist epistemologies and power in the research process (including standpoint theory and the need to take account of intersecting relations of power throughout the research process); how to conduct literature searches; the importance of a literature review for research projects; formulating research questions; ethical dilemmas and practices; how to make sense of quantitative data, including prevalence data; a range of qualitative research methods – interviewing, focus groups, ethnography and qualitative data analysis techniques (thematic, discourse, narrative, content, semiotic); undertaking research with children and young people, including through the use of creative and arts-based methods; producing impactful, policy-oriented research; and approaches to evaluation and the specific issues, challenges and opportunities of creating knowledge through evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence. You will also benefit from expert guest lectures on completed research projects, detailing the researcher’s approach to the production of knowledge, consideration of multiple power relations, reflections on ethics and key findings, and the impact of their research / evaluation.

The aims of the module are:

• To develop students’ understanding of research projects and the research process.
• To introduce feminist epistemological and methodological approaches to research.
• To explore the range of methods used to build the evidence base on violence against women and children, and the connections to policy contexts.
• To assess the strengths and limitations of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods for answering research questions on violence against women and children.
• To address ways to collect, organise, store and analyse data.
• To critically examine approaches to evaluating interventions with victim-survivors and perpetrators of violence.
• To explore the creation and critique of knowledge claims about violence and interventions.

Prior learning requirements


Available for Study Abroad? NO

Module aims



Epistemology and methodology [LO 2]
Feminist, participatory and intersectional epistemologies to research. Creating knowledge from the lives of women and children; perspectives on giving voice; distinguishing between qualitative and quantitative approaches and combining the two for mixed methods; paying attention to power inequalities, silences and subjugated knowledges. Also consider how knowledge claims from research and evaluation can influence law and policy on violence against women and children.

Designing research projects [LO 1, 3 & 4]
From setting research questions, aims and objectives, to selecting methods and analysing data. Techniques used to research violence against women and children, from qualitative interviews, questionnaires, prevalence surveys, specific approaches to gather children’s perspectives, and how to research social media spaces. Also how to design research that speaks to policy while retaining a value-based philosophy; dissemination and impact. Sessions on data analysis will consider different analysis techniques and tools and will link back to discussions of power and forwards to ethics.

Ethics in process and practice [LO 1 & 5]
Emancipation and empowerment in the research process, with an emphasis on feminist perspectives. Individual and social dimensions of change through participation in research; gatekeeping and access; assumptions about harm and re-victimisation, how to learn about but not validate perpetrators’ and offenders’ perspectives.

Evaluation models and methods [LO 4]
What counts as success and how to measure intended outcomes of interventions, with an emphasis on realist evaluation approaches. Theories of change; the challenges of evaluating practice for researchers and practitioners; data and attribution bias; creation of knowledge.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module is delivered over 6 days,10am -5pm. Three blocks of 2 days will be spread over the teaching semester of 15 weeks. Lectures are combined with practical exercises to give students an opportunity to digest what they have been taught and understand how this relates to the practice of doing research on violence and abuse. The practical exercises also offer opportunities for developing transferable skills, such as interviewing on sensitive issues. The guest lectures offer insights on the process and management of actual completed research projects. To facilitate the participation of neuro-divergent and disabled students we offer slides, lecture recordings and all assessments information at the very beginning of the module.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

1. Understand the research process.

2. Critically assess a range of research methods appropriate to exploring violence and abuse.

3. Develop and present analysis of data on violence against women and/or children.

4. Design a research plan, linking research questions to methodological and/or evaluative approaches.

5. Engage with ethical issues and practices when researching violence and evaluating interventions.

Assessment strategy

This will consist of two pieces of written assessments.

The first, an analysis of survey data, of up to 1500 words, is  assessed against learning outcomes 2&3.

The second assessment is a plan for a research or evaluation project, to include a 2000-word review of existing literature on methodological approaches to researching the chosen topic. The research plan must include an overarching research question, aims, objectives and a detailed case for the proposed methodology. This will be assessed against learning outcomes 1, 2, 4 & 5.

Students must pass on aggregate.

Course work 100%: analysis of survey data followed by research plan.


Child Abuse Review
Feminist Review
Journal of Gender Based Violence
Qualitative Inquiry
Sociological Inquiry
Sociological Research Online
Violence Against Women
Women’s Studies International Forum

Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit
European Institute for Gender Equality
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
Sage series on research methods

Academic Search Complete
Care Knowledge
Lexis Library
Oxford Journals Archive
Sage journals online
Science Direct
Social Care Online
Web of Science