Researching Childhood and Youth: Dissertation (X3239)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring teaching

This module focuses on guided research enquiry into a topic of your choice. It brings together research and professional practice by providing you with an opportunity to undertake empirical research or a desk-based study in an area relevant to work with children and young people.

Individual and group tutorials will provide: support with the identification of a focus for the dissertation, an appropriate research design and research questions; advice on ethics review; formative feedback on one proposal plan and and one dissertation draft prior to submission.

The module draws on knowledge of research processes gained earlier in the course, specifically in the Research Methods course taught in Year 2.

The module content will include:

How to conduct a small-scale research study - either desk-based or empirical - in an area relating to work with children, young people or families.
Ethics issues relating to research with children and young people, including how to obtain ethics approval for an empirical project.
Issues relating to desk-based studies and use of secondary data.
Approaches to reviewing the literature.
How to develop a research design and to frame research questions.
Input on specific data collection methods such as interviewing, observation and focus groups.
Researcher positionality.
Methods of data analysis, including workshops to introduce the use of ICT for this purpose.
Input relating to the academic skills necessary to communicate and present research findings in an accessible and appropriate format.

Teaching methods will include a combination of weekly lectures and seminars, workshops on data analysis requiring ICT facilities and group and individual tutorials.

Some lectures, seminars and workshops will involve joint learning with the BA in Social Work. The majority of the work will be undertaken through private study but there will also be opportunities for peer presentation to support the initial development of the project focus and design.


100%: Lecture


100%: Written assessment (Dissertation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: