module specification

SW7051 - Evaluating Research (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Evaluating Research
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
66 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
194 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Mini Literature Review (2,000 words)
Running in 2021/22

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

Module summary

This module provides opportunities for students to:

• Develop students’ understanding of different approaches to research
• Enable students to evaluate different methodology and research methods
• Enable students to engage critically with research evidence and how findings relate to social work
• Facilitate students’ understanding and develop their ability to analyse the relationships between theories, research, ethics and policy and practice outcomes.


The role of research within professional practice, evidence-based practice, and developing ‘research mindedness’  LO 1-4

- Critical understanding research and evaluation processes  LO 1

- Identify and critical analyse forms of research: Exploratory, explanatory, descriptive, experimental, action-research  LO 1

- Skills for retrieving information from electronic and other academic sources and appraising sources  LO 2

- Constructing literature reviews  LO 1-4

- Practical issues of undertaking research  LO 1-3

- Ethical research & exploring sensitive topics
- Anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive research approaches  LO 1-4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered using a combination of formal lectures, seminars, class-based workshop exercises in practical research issues and social work related case studies. This will enable students to develop skills in reviewing and evaluating literature. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

1 Appraise critically a range of research approaches and methods and the contribution of research to inform social work practice.

2 Demonstrate the ability to identify and select an appropriate social work topic for enquiry and search for related material

3 Evaluate selected literature including relevant research studies, grey literature and policy papers related to social work. 

4 Identify and appraise issues related to anti oppressive practice and ethics

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to help students appraise evidence and apply it to their practice. The strategy aims to consolidate their knowledge of research concepts and processes and develop their confidence in testing out new skills. It will also prepare students for their dissertation, having identified a suitable topic subject to agreement with their dissertation supervisor, building on the mini literature review. A formative assessment has been included in week two where the students write a 500-word piece summarising what a literature review is and its purpose. This will help to address some of the concerns the external examiner raised about the lack of understanding of a literature review. A research proposal of 1,000 words should also be sent to the prospective dissertation supervisor in week 15 as a formative assessment in preparation for the dissertation module. The summative assessment for Evaluating Research is a mini literature review 2,000 words.

This module is a prerequisite and must be passed before progression to SW7P29 Social Work Dissertation



Core Texts:
Aveyard, H. (2014) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide. 3rd Ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press

Denzin, N. & Lincoln Y.S. (2011): Handbook of Qualitative Research London: Sage

E Journals
Current Research Journal of Social Sciences
Evaluation Review: A Journal of Applied Social Research
Journal of International Social Research  

On-line Resources
Sociological Research Online:
Social Research Update:

Electronic Databases:
E Books

Denscombe, M. (2010) Ground rules for social research: guidelines for good practice. 2nd Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Matthews, B. & Ross, L. (2010) Research methods: a practical guide for social sciences Harlow: Pearson Longman

Other texts:

Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science. 5th Ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill, Open University Press
Bryman, A. (2008) Social Research Methods. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Cresswell, J.W. (1994): Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches London: Sage
Gomm, R. (2008) Social research methodology: a critical introduction, 4th Ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Levitas, R., & Guy, W. (eds) Interpreting Official Statistics, London, Routledge.
May, T (2011) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, 4th Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Nazroo, J. (ed.) (2006) Health and social research in multi ethnic societies, London: Routledge.
Moule, P. & Hek, G. (2006) Making Sense of Research: An Introduction for Health and Social Care Practitioners (3rd  edition) London: Sage
Neuman, W. (2007) Basics of social research: qualitative and quantitative approaches, London: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon
Newman, T., Moseley, A., Tierney, S. and Ellis, (2005) A. Evidence-based social work: a guide for the perplexed Lyme Regis: Russell House
Patton, M.Q. (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods, 3rd Ed. London: Sage
Punch, K.F. (2005) Introduction to social research: quantitative and qualitative approaches, 2nd Ed. London: Sage
Sarandakos, S (2005) Social Research. 3rd Ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan