Research Methods and Dissertation (877L5)

60 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

All year

The Research Methods and Dissertation module comprises two parts:

  • a workshop sequence which introduces you to the idea of research-mindedness in social work and research methods for evidence-informed practice and guides your planning of a research proposal which includes the use of a rapid evidence review methodology
  • a supervision framework, which provides academic guidance and personal support during the process of approval of title and Dissertation preparation.

The aim of the module as a whole is to enable you to:

  • develop and demonstrate research-mindedness in social work through the acquisition of an informed awareness and critical understanding of relevant social research methodologies and methods
  • define appropriate research questions, plan how to explore and analyse them in practice, reflect upon and debate ethical issues arising in social work research and the criteria used for resolving them and design a feasible research proposal that will guide Dissertation work
  • learn about and make use of one review methodology, that of rapid evidence review
  • use that methodology to produce a coherent report and analysis of data addressing the research questions selected and reaching conclusions that demonstrate sound judgement about the quality of the evidence and its relevance and validity for social work practice and policy.

You are able to choose your own Dissertation topic but it must be directly relevant to social work as a profession and/or discipline.


100%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Dissertation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 600 hours of work. This breaks down into about 2 hours of contact time and about 598 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.