Research Methods For Childhood and Youth (X3233)

30 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module introduces you to the different ways in which research with children and young people can be conducted, and to the key theoretical and methodological debates about research with children and young people. It provides insights in to different methodologies, methods and applications of research, gives the opportunity to explore a specific research paper in detail, and prepares you for the dissertation in Year 3.

The module content will include:

  • theories of knowledge and dominant approaches to research with children and young people, including an introduction to qualitative and quantitative methodologies and how these are used
  • literature reviews - including how to do an electronic search and how to summarise key debates and draw conclusions
  • ethical concerns relating to research with children and young people, and the implications for research design
  • practitioner and insider research, including action research, case study and evidence-based practice
  • exploration of the ways in which published research is used by policy makers and practitioners to develop practice
  • consideration of power relations as a factor affecting research, including reference to critical theory and theories of 'capital'; and
  • an introduction to the academic skills needed to identify an article for review and to critique it from both a methodological and a substantive perspective.

Teaching methods will include a combination of weekly lectures and seminars, group tutorials and individual tutorials. Much of the course will be taught alongside the BA in Social Work. Individual tutorials will provide support with the identification of an appropriate focus for the essay and formative feedback on a draft prior to submission.

Assessment will have two components:

  1. A 2000 word essay, providing an in depth critique of a published article exploring an aspect of work with children and young people.
  2. A 1000 word outline proposal for the Year 3 dissertation, considering research methodology and design issues related to working with particular groups of children or in particular services, along with the potential ethics issues involved. This proposal will prepare you for your dissertation, and enable timely planning for allocation of supervisors, negotiation of access to sites for research and ethics review, whilst allowing you flexibility in the development of the focus of your research as you move into Year 3.


100%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Report)

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.

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 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. 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: