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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/07/2022 10:53:02

Title of Module: Introduction to Social Research

Code: SOCY07020 SCQF Level: 7
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:TBC 

Summary of Module

This module introduces students to social research, placing a central focus on the development of knowledge and understanding of the research process and the development of core research skills and introductory knowledge of research philosophies, methodologies and methods.

Students will engage in a process of structured inquiry-based learning, designed to introduce and actively engage in research activity. Through a process of desk-based research, students will scope and explore a research problem, generate research questions, identify, gather, assess and evaluate research data and academic sources, and communicate their findings in an appropriate output. The early immersion in the practice of research and inquiry will support the development of key research literacies and capabilities that students require to develop as undergraduates and lifelong learners. 

In Term 1, you will cover an introduction to scientific and social research, explore how to create research questions and design social research to be able to critically reflect on research design in practice.

In Term 2, you will develop your  research literacies and capabilities through process of inquiry-based learning and work with peers in group research activity.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate understanding of the foundational elements of the research process

L2. Demonstrate a broad appreciation of the characteristics of research practice within and between different social science disciplines

L3. Apply foundational research principles of the research process

L4. Deploy critical skills to select, evaluate, distil and synthesise academic sources

L5. Communication of complex ideas/information in appropriate academic format

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 7.

Demonstration of knowledge and understanding of the research process.

Demonstration of an understanding of academic sources.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 7.

Application of knowledge and understanding of the research process through a literature review.
Application of knowledge and understanding of information and data.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 7.

Presentation and evaluation of information and data that addresses a research question

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 7.

Communication of complex ideas/information in appropriate electronic forms.
Application of technology to facilitate information and data retrieval.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 7.

Work with peers to achieve a group goal

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity22
Asynchronous Class Activity10
Independent Study156
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Bryman, A. (2016) Social research methods. 5th edition. Oxford: Oxford university press

Bickman, L. and Rog, D. J. (2009) The SAGE handbook of applied social research methods. 2nd edition. London: Sage. Online

Guthrie, G. (2010) Basic research methods: An entry to social science research. London: SAGE Publications. Online

Henn, M., Weinstein, M. and Foard, N. (2009) A critical introduction to social research. Los Angeles: SAGE

Robson, C. and McCartan, K. (2016) Real world research. 4th edn. Hoboken: Wiley.

Vanderstoep, S.W. and Johnson, D.D. (2008) Research methods for everyday life: Blending qualitative and quantitative approaches. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Online

Walliman, N. (2016) Social research methods: the essentials, Los Angeles: SAGE.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUG Social Sciences- Sociology and Social Policy
External ExaminerA Tresidder
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Critical Reflection on a Research Design - 500 words (40% of overall mark)
Group literature review of 2500 words (60% of overall mark)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Review/ Article/ Critique/ Papercheck markcheck markcheck mark  00

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of written work  check markcheck markcheck mark600
Combined Total For All Components100% 18.5 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.