module specification

SS5003 - Interactive Research Methods (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Interactive Research Methods
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Portfolio for Employer
Coursework 50%   Essay assignment
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

 The principal focus of this module is for students to build on prior understanding and learning, exploring philosophical accounts of scientific explanation and the theory and practice of sociological research through the use of work-related interactive methods. The module provides work experience for students by developing research for a real world organisation (employer). Students will learn about doing research methods by conducting research for an employer. The employer will contribute to setting out small-scale research aims and objectives; being available to assess student proposals and bids or assess the analysis/ final presentation. The first part of this module examines the theory and philosophical accounts of research methodology, as well as introducing students to the practical skills of doing interviews, transcribing them, and analysing qualitative data (LO2; LO3). The second part of the module concentrates on quantitative methods, and requires students to design research for the requirements of an employer involved in both the aims and outcomes (assessment) of the research. The module provides work-related understanding and application of research methods by involving employer requirements and needs (LO1; LO4).


Social research in the real world LO1
- Doing research for small and large organisations LO4
- Philosophical and Historical roots of social research LO2
- Positivism and scientific approaches to the social world LO1
- Ethics in Social Research LO2
- Quantitative and Qualitative approaches to social research LO1
- Ethnographic approaches to social research LO1
- Qualitative Interviewing LO3
- Participant Observation LO3
- Qualitative Data Analysis LO2
- Research design in quantitative research: Exploration, Description and Explanation. LO2
- Numeric skills: fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion
- Statistical Analysis and Graphical Presentation of Data LO1
- Relationships between ordinal and interval variables; Correlation; and analysis of quantitative data LO1

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

All material for computer workshops (lecture notes, workshop guidelines and data) will be available on module’s WebLearn pages, which will enable and enhance students’ independent learning.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Describe and critically analyse the principle methods employed in sociological research for use in professional work practices. LO1
2. Appraise and discuss key theoretical, ethical, political and contemporary issues involved in professional research practice LO2
3. Make practical use of a selected interactive method including a qualitative interview LO3
4. Bid for research, design research, and present research findings to a real-world audience (employer). LO4

Assessment strategy

 The first part of the module will be assessed through a Portfolio undertaken during the module, designed to assess student’s ability to carry out a piece of research for a real world employer:

• 2,500 words, 50% of final mark

The second part of the module will be assessed through an essay assignment comprising an essay question, and a practical accomplishment of a research design/ research practice:

• 3,000 words, 50% of final mark


Core Readings
Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Crang, M. and Cook, I. (2007) Doing Ethnographies. London: Sage.
Gobo, G. (2008) Doing Ethnography. Los Angeles: Sage.
May, T., (2011) Social Research: Issues, Methods & Process Open University Press.

Additional Readings
Dillman, D.A., Smyth, J.D., and Christian, L.M. (2014) Internet, Phone, Mail and Mixed Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. New York: Wiley.
Field, A. (2013) Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS. London: Sage.
Floyd, J. and Fowler, F.J. (2013) Survey Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, US: Sage.
     Gray, D.E. (2014) Doing Research in the Real World. London: Sage.
Hammersley,M and Atkinson, P (2007) Ethnography: Principles in Practice. Routledge.
Miller, R.L., Acton, C., Fullerton, D.A. &Maltby, J. (2009) SPSS for Social Scientists, Palgrave.
Rea, L.M. and Parker, R. A. (2014) Designing and Conducting Survey Research: A Comprehensive Guide. New York: John Wiley and Sons Inc.
Silverman, D (2005) Doing Qualitative Research. London: Sage.
Silverman, D (2007) Interpreting Qualitative Data. London: Sage.
Spradley, J.P. (1979) The Ethnographic Interview. New York: Cengage Learning.
Wagner, W. E. (2010) Using IBM SPSS Statistics for Social Statistics and Research Methods. London: Sage.