Research Methods (BA Social Work) (L5097)

15 credits, Level 5

All year

This is a taught module with attendance in large and smaller group forums, taught during the Spring term of Level 2. Much of the teaching for this module will be delivered alongside that for the BA in Childhood and Youth: Theory and Practice. The module will combine workshop/lecture formats with smaller seminar groups and will utilise the following approaches:

  • structured input, exercises and discussion in the large group 
  • small group discussion/workshops to progress individual thinking and assignment preparation
  • informal group presentations in relation to approaches to the assessment task (formative presentations only)

This module aims to highlight the importance of research-mindedness within social work practice and builds upon elements already introduced in earlier aspects of the degree. As such the module aims to enable you to:

  • develop research-mindedness, critical understanding and skills as consumers and practitioners of social work research
  • critically examine findings and methodological issues in published research
  • understand the research process from initial topic area through to devising a sound research question

Module content will include: 

  • research-mindedness and its relevance for practice
  • framing research questions and planning and developing a literature based research minded project proposal 
  • literature-based research, use of library/electronic resources (refresher only as this is addressed in your first and second years)
  • qualitative and quantitative methodologies 
  • ethics of social work research
  • integrating research and theory for evidence based practice.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

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 2023/24. 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.


This module is offered on the following courses: