module specification

SS6P06 - Community and Youth Dissertation (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Community and Youth Dissertation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
215 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Written Research Proposal and reflection on changes and updates 1000 words
Dissertation 80%   Dissertation (Research Report) 6000 words
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module develops students’ research skills further and involves the design, completion and write-up of a supervised, independent research project. This module expects students to carry out a small scale primary research as well as secondary research. It incorporates an on-going self -evaluation written up as a reflective research log and demands considerable time management abilities as well as the deployment of academic skills.  On Leadership and Community Development course, the research can be carried out at the same organisation where the Work Placement is carried out. Students also have the choice of a completely different topic. Youth Studies students will develop an idea relevant to their practice and placement (if they choose placement module).

Aims of the module: this module aims to:
1. develop, refine and apply research skills and critical capacities, building on the core research skills developed through the Intermediate level module Researching Community and Youth Issues.
2. undertake a manageable independent research in an area of their choice.
3. focus on an issue affecting community or youth organisations or communities and carry out a small-scale project using primarily primary research as well as secondary research.
4. explore complex issues which are of importance to communities and /or community organisations;
5. link their topic of research to Community Development or Youth Work and relevant National Occupational Standards (CD NOS or YW NOS).

Prior learning requirements

Researching community and youth issues (SS5068) or equivalent


• Reflection on the second year’s research proposal and the new changes LO1
• identifying, formulating, and drawing up a proposal LO1
• Research methods LO2
• Literature search strategy and literature review LO3
• Research strategy and methodology LO6
• Designing interview questions and the art of interviewing LO4
• Carrying out primary research LO4
• Collecting and analysing the quantitative and qualitative data LO7
• Research ethics LO2 
• Writing up the research report: findings and conclusion LO5, LO7

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Theoretical input will be through lectures, seminars and small group workshops. 
The lectures will cover all stages relevant to completing a research systematically.
Students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of WebLearn for online and ongoing access to lecture notes, additional materials including articles and research reports, links to E-books.
Ongoing reflection on various stages of research will be part of the teaching and learning strategy for the module.
Reflection and group discussions are key to teaching for all students and will be in the context of tutor-led sessions and exercises.
The subject librarian is invited to speak at one of these workshops.
Students are encouraged to make full use of the University library resources as well as other on-line resources and, where appropriate, other libraries.
Students are expected to discuss and reflect on their ideas for a research topic and this leads to the proposal stage.
Following the completion of a research proposal, each student is matched with an appropriate member of teaching staff for individual supervision throughout the remainder of the module.
Throughout the research students are required to keep a reflective research diary to log thoughts, feelings or more practical matters concerning their research.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Reflect on second year’s research proposal and prepare a new research proposal with reference to the changes and modifications made;
2. select relevant research methods and appropriate materials for the investigation of a chosen topic and refer to ethical issues relevant to their research;
3. carry out secondary research on the chosen topic and sustain independent study over a 10-month period;
4. carry out qualitative one-to-one interviews with research participants;
5. Present and discuss research findings using theory to examine and analyse the gathered data and to develop plausible arguments;
6. identify and offer an analysis of the broader issues of social research including research paradigms and research strategies and methodology;
7. demonstrate reflection, synthesis, critical analysis and evaluation skills by offering findings, conclusion and recommendations.

Assessment strategy

Students will demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through the submission of an updated research proposal with a reflection on the improvements and amendments on 2nd year proposal (1000 words) on week 12 and the dissertation (research report of 6000 words) in week 29.
• The research Proposal will incorporate a research question, aims and objectives, rationale, a brief literature review that relates to the student’s proposed research topic, a short research method section, a brief discussion of ethics in relation to their research question. Completion of this provides impetus and direction for the main assessment, the final research report. The emphasis will be on the improvements and updates made to 2nd year research proposal (LO1)
The research report will have the following chapters: Introduction, Literature Review (Context), Research Methods, Research Findings and Analysis, Research Conclusions and Recommendations, Reflective Research Log. 6000 words (LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7)


Core Text:
• Bradford, S., Cullen, F. (eds.) (2012) Research and Research Methods for Youth Practitioners. Abingdon: Routledge.
• Bryman A., (2012) Social Research Methods. 4th ed, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
• Denscombe, M. (2010) Ground rules for social research: guidelines for good practice. 2nd Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
• Gobo, G (2008) Doing Ethnography. London: Sage.
• Iphofen, R. (2011) Ethical decision making in social research: a practical guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
• McMillan, K. and Weyeers, J. ((2011) How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports. 2nd ed, Essex (Harlow): Pearson Education Ltd.
• Neuman, W. (2007) Basics of social research: qualitative and quantitative approaches. London: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Additional Texts:
• Aveyard, H. (2010) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide. 2nd Ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press.
• Barbour, R. (2008) Introducing Qualitative Research: A student guide to the craft of Doing Qualitative Research London: Sage.
• 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
• Gomm, R. (2008) Social research methodology: a critical introduction. 2nd Ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
• Hanley B (2005)Research as empowerment? Report of a series of seminars organised by the Toronto Group
• May, T (2011) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process. 4th Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
• Nazroo, J. (ed.) (2006) Health and social research in multiethnic societies. London: Routledge.
• Patton, M.Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
• Reardon, D. (2006) Doing your undergraduate project. London: Sage.
• Ritchie J. & Lewis J. (eds) (2003) Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers London: Sage
• Saldana, J. (2009). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE
• Seidel, (1998), Qualitative Data Analysis. In The Ethnograph v5 user's manual, Appendix E. Denver, CO: Qualis Research Associates. (accessed March 2005). Google Scholar

Community Development Journal
British Journal of Sociology
Social Research
Journal of Youth Studies
Youth and policy

• Bryman, A. (2016). Bryman: Social Research Methods: Student Researcher's Toolkit. Available: Last accessed 9/03/2018.
• All Local authority websites

Electronic Databases: Academic search Complete, Sage journals Online, Cambridge Journals Digital Archive, Oxford Journals Archive, Taylor & Francis Online Journals, Social Sciences Citation Index, Wiley Online Library.

Other: Various research reports available on the module Weblearn