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Unit information: Doing Social Research in 2021/22

Unit name Doing Social Research
Unit code SOCI10005
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. O'Connell Davidson
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will consider the role of research in sociology by examining different traditions and different kinds of evidence that can be used in sociological research. It will introduce students to the methodology and methods applied in the design, administration and completion of research projects in order to equip them with the skills to critically interpret data (qualitative and quantitative) and to evaluate research. Students will examine the research process from the initial formulation of a research question, through identifying appropriate methods, to the dissemination of results. The unit will also introduce students to current sociological research from a range of sub-disciplines which adopt a variety of methods.


  • to explore the relevance of social research for the discipline of sociology
  • to explain the principles underlying the design, process and analysis of sociological research
  • to discuss the relationship between research question, research methods and research settings
  • to alert students to the role of political and ethical issues in research
  • to familiarise students with a body of current sociological research across a range of substantive areas
  • to encourage a critical approach to studying sociological research

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • understand the relevance of social research to the discipline of sociology
  • demonstrate an understanding of the principles underlying the design, process and analysis of sociological research
  • show understanding of the major ethical and political issues in sociological research and how they can be addressed
  • identify appropriate research methods for particular research questions and settings
  • show familiarity with a body of current sociological research
  • critically analyse a range of sociological research

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information

Summative assessment:

1. Presentation (15%)

2. 2000 word essay (85%)

Both assessments address the Intended Learning Outcomes


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SOCI10005).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.