Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to L530


  • None.


  • Dissertation (SOCI3091).

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce students to the basic research procedures employed in social scientific enquiry, with particular reference to its relevance to community and youth work practice.


  • The module will cover the following areas:
  • The nature of 'practitioner research'.
  • Methodological issues - positivism, realism and the process and purpose of social research.
  • The nature of data.
  • Measurement.
  • Secondary data analysis.
  • Sampling.
  • The survey research process.
  • The use of documentary sources.
  • Oral history.
  • Ethnographic interviewing.
  • Observational strategies.
  • Analysing qualitative material.
  • Action research.
  • The relationship of research to policy.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • an appreciation of the value of research for practitioners;
  • an understanding of the relationship between our assumptions about the nature of human beings and about how we know the world, and the design of, and approaches to research;
  • a critical understanding of the nature of social research, the variety of approaches and methods involved in research design, data collection, interpretation and use of findings;
  • a familiarity with the basic vocabulary and concepts of social research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the ability to read critically, understand and use the results of both qualitative and quantitative research;
  • the ability to design and carry out a small piece of research.
  • the ability to identify research methods appropriate for community and youth work processes.
Key Skills:
  • a range of communication skills including the ability to: evaluate and synthesise information obtained from a variety of sources; communicate relevant information in different ways and select the most appropriate method of communication for different tasks; monitor, and reflect on, the use of communication skills;
  • a range of numeracy skills including the ability to: read and interpret complex tables, graphs and charts; organise and classify research data; make inferences from sets of data; reflect on the use of number skills;
  • competence in the use of IT resources including the ability to: word-process; use a range of web-based resources to gather relevant information; monitor and reflect on the use of IT skills;
  • a capacity to improve own learning and performance, including the ability to: manage time effectively; work to prescribed deadlines; engage in different ways of learning including both independent and directed forms of learning; gather necessary information from a range of bibliographic and electronic sources; monitor and critically reflect on the learning process.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • There will be twelve seminars, with a mixture of input from the tutor, small group discussion, and exercises. Use will be made of case study material relating to classic research texts and research relating to youth and community work policy and practice.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Total 200
Lectures 12 1 Per Week 2.5 Hours 30
Preparation and Reading 170

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2500 words written assignment 1 50%
2500 words written assignment 2 50%

Formative Assessment:

Analysis of a piece of research literature

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University