APPROACHES TO RESEARCH - 2017/8

Module code: POL2027

Module provider

Politics

Module Leader

EXADAKTYLOS T Dr (Politics)

Number of Credits

15

ECT Credits

7.5

Framework

FHEQ Level 5

JACs code

X210

Module cap (Maximum number of students)

N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 2

Independent Study Hours: 122

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
School-timetabled exam/test MID-TERM QUIZ IN- LECTURE 25
Coursework RESEARCH PROPOSAL OUTLINE (500 WORDS) 15
Coursework RESEARCH PROPOSAL (2500 WORDS) 60

Alternative Assessment

N/A This is a compulsory module for all students at level 5 on BSc Politics, BSc International Politics, BSc Politics with Policy Studies, BA International Politics w/& Languages.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module overview

 

In this class, we build on students’ understanding of research skills introduced at Level 1. We investigate in depth the basic assumptions that inform social scientific research including philosophical issues such as the source of knowledge in social science. We will review different quantitative and qualitative methodologies employed in political science such as experiments, surveys, interviews, focus groups, content analysis, document analysis, discourse analysis, ethnographic research, case studies and comparative analysis, and practice on designing solid research projects that will require application of one of the above methods to solve a specific political puzzle.

 

Module aims

Identifying research questions in research articles and structuring research questions for their own research;

Establishing the relevance of research questions for theory and society;

Searching and integrating theoretical literature to a research

Engaging with a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods

Developing testable hypotheses

Understanding the principles that relate to hypothesis testing

Learning to incorporate feedback into an improved, revised version of one's presentation;

Producing written work that satisfies the criteria required in scientific publications, including proper citation and bibliographical references.

You are expected to participate and discuss the main concepts and studies from each section's readings.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Have an understanding of research processes
Construct reasoned arguments, synthesize relevant information and exercise critical judgement; applying the relevant concepts and methodological approaches to your own research proposal
Deploy a range of relevant research and evaluation skills
Employ relevant research and evaluation skills to investigate politics - or policy-related areas
Produce a rigorous research proposal

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Introduction to the research theories and methodological approaches employed in the study of politics

Philosophy of science

The outline of a research proposal

Formulating research questions and building hypotheses

Introduction to quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches: Experimental design, Surveys and Public Opinion Polls, Comparative methodology, Content analysis, Documentary and Archive Analysis, Elite interviewing, Participant observation, Focus Groups, Discourse analysis, Ethnographic research

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Introduce students to a new topic, and provide room for student-led discussion of the topic.

The learning and teaching methods include:


lecture 1x11
seminar 1x11
revision workshops 2x3
 research project workshop 2x1


 

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

·         Mid-term quiz: it aims to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their fundamental knowledge of the class material, ensuring that all students are on the same page; to reflect on their own learning and make use of the reading material; consolidate knowledge through short-answer questions and multiple choice questions.

·         Research proposal outline: it aims to provide students the opportunity to identify relevant theoretical frameworks and schools of thought; critically apply their perception on the needs of a research project; evaluate different research approaches and their relevance to research questions; deploy a range of research skills; access relevant material to extract information; understand the research process strategy.

·         Research proposal: it aims to provide the students with the opportunity to apply all the above in the outline; reflect on their own performance, assess and constructively incorporate previous feedback; identify relevant literature that supports their choice of method; identify, investigate, analyse and project different research strategies; adopt a proactive approach to understanding the implications of the research process; demonstrate a range or research skills

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         A mid-term quiz in the middle of the term, unseen and taken in-class. It is 40 minutes long and assesses knowledge of the material of the previous lectures through short-answer questions and multiple choice questions.

·         A research proposal outline of 500 words on a topic of their own choice that forms the basis of the research proposal—as outlined in the handbook.

·         A research proposal of 2500 words that incorporates a revised version of the outline above in addition to expanding on the research methods and research design components.

 

Assessment deadlines to be confirmed in the module handbook.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive regular feedback based on their knowledge of the module material through the quiz and the additional workshops spread throughout the term, and their first assignment will provide feedback to be used in the final research proposal. Seminars will be an opportunity to discuss feedback and provide peer review to the students’ work.

Reading list

Reading list for APPROACHES TO RESEARCH : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/pol2027

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics with Creative Writing BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics with German BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.