SE7P00 - Research Methods and the Dissertation (2021/22)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2021/22|
|Module title||Research Methods and the Dissertation|
|Module level||Masters (07)|
|Credit rating for module||60|
|School||School of Social Professions|
|Total study hours||600|
|Running in 2021/22||
This module explores key concepts in research and supports students to undertake a small-scale independent piece of research relevant to their professional discipline.
This module aims to support students to undertake a small-scale, empirical, independent investigation of their choice relevant to their discipline. Through the course of their work for the dissertation students should:
- Produce a comprehensive and critical review of the literature
- Develop a critical understanding of research methodology and methods
- Develop a sophisticated understanding of ethics as applies to research
- Gain skills in identifying and selecting appropriate source material including data from primary sources
- Evaluate the strengths and limitations of research carried out by themselves and by other people
- Design and execute a well-planned piece of research
- Produce an extended piece of writing with a clear structure and conceptual organisation which shows stylistic competence, and uses a conventional system of full and accurate referencing
During the first part of the module key concepts in research are explored including:
- Research theory and paradigms
- Research design
- Research tools
- Critical reading and writing
- Data analysis
- Communicating your findings
Students submit a research proposal (using a structured proforma) at week 10 of the module and receive written formative feedback before beginning work on their research dissertation. The dissertation is an independent study, involving the collection and analysis of data from primary sources, carried out by individual students on a topic of their choice. The dissertation should be between 15000 words (excluding any appendices).
Each student is assigned a tutor who supports them during their research.
Learning and teaching
Students will receive theoretical input through bespoke on-line module materials with access to an allocated tutor who is available to support them either face-to-face, by e-mail or by telephone. All students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of WebLearn for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises such as reflective tasks.
Reflection and discussion are key to teaching – reflection will be promoted by the discussion-board exercises incorporated into the web-based materials.
Teaching and learning strategies and methods will link module content to workplace skills and professionalism in the early years.
On successful completion of the module students will be able to plan and carry out a small-scale piece of research relevant to discipline:
1. implement appropriate research methods in the context of a chosen topic of research
2. apply ethical considerations appropriate to their chosen area of research
3. critically analyse and present findings based on appropriate source material including data from primary sources
4. justify and evaluate the strengths and limitations of research carried out by themselves and by other people
5. structure and maintain an extended piece of writing which shows stylistic competence, and uses a conventional system of full and accurate referencing.
A dissertation based on secondary research and work in progressA dissertation based on secondary research and work in progress
Albon, D. Rosen, R. (2014) Negotiating Adult-Child relationships in Early Childhood Research, London: Routledge
Brown, T. and Jones, L. (2001) Action Research and Postmodernism: Congruence and Critique. Buckingham: OUP
Christensen, P.H. and James, A. (Eds) (2008). Research with children: perspectives and practices. (2nd ed.). New York; London: Routledge.
Christensen, P. and Prout, A. (2002). ‘Working with Ethical Symmetry in Social Research with Children’. Childhood, 9 (4), 477–497.
Clark, A. and Moss, P. (2001 and 10). Listening to Young Children: The Mosaic Approach. London: NCB/JRF.
Gallacher, L.A. and Gallacher, M. (2008). ‘Methodological Immaturity in Childhood Research? Thinking Through ‘Participatory Methods’’. Childhood, 15 (4), 499-516.
Hart, C. (2005) Doing Your Masters Dissertation, London: Sage
Johnson, B. and Christensen, L. B. (2008). Educational research: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. (3rd Ed.). Los Angeles; London: Sage.
Lahman, M. K. E. (2008). 'Always Othered: ethical research with children'. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 6 (3), 281-300.
MacNaughton, G. and Hughes, P. (2009). Doing Action Research in Early Childhood Studies: A Step by Step Guide.Maidenhead: OUP.
Mukherji, P. and Albon, D. (2015). Research Methods in Early Childhood. 2nd ed. London: Sage
Robson, C. (2011). Real World Research: A Resource for Users of Social Research Methods in Applied Settings. (3rd Ed.). Chichester: Wiley
Warming, H. (2011). 'Getting under their skins? Accessing young children's perspectives through ethnographic fieldwork'.Childhood, 18 (1), 39-53.