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Unit information: Inclusive Research with Disabled People in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Inclusive Research with Disabled People
Unit code ACHSM0001
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Dowling
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


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School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

This unit springs from the burgeoning movement for emancipatory and participatory research carried out by and with disabled people. In order for social research to have an impact, it is necessary for it to be grounded in the lived experience of disabled 'end users' of social care services. Developments in this field have been led by disabled people themselves, who have criticised conventional social care research for a tendency to reinforce a care system which they see as oppressive (Oliver, 1990). The unit will explore these developments, and specifically focus on research which includes people with learning disabilities, where there are issues of the ownership of the research, the development of the skills necessary to carry out research, power relationships and support.

Your learning on this unit

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Describe and synthesize developments in the field of emancipatory, participatory and inclusive research by and with disabled people since 1990.
  • Understand how to design research, using participatory and action research models.
  • Identify and critically reflect on the main benefits and tensions in practising inclusive research with those who might find it hard to engage in research methodologies

Construct a practicable, robust and valid research project which includes disabled people or other community participants as key players.

The summative assessment tests all of the ILOs and accounts for 100% of the unit mark.

How you will learn

The unit will be delivered through blended learning and will involve contributions from disabled people. It will comprise of a combination of lectures, group discussion and self-directed exercises

How you will be assessed

Formative assessment:

Group feedback showing evidence of learning from inclusive research methods workshop.

Summative assessment:

4,000 word essay (100%: there will be an option to carry out the assignment in one of two ways):

a) reporting on discussions with disabled people, in relation to designing, initiating or using some research. The assignment will both report on that discussion and reflect on it in relation to the issues raised in the literature.

b) identifying the key issues and tensions in inclusive research methodologies in the literature and showing how they can be addressed in practice.


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. ACHSM0001).

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.