Becoming a Researcher (X3500)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module introduces you to the different ways in which research in the social sciences can be conducted, and to the key theoretical and methodological debates about research in the associated fields of childhood, education, and social work and policy.

You’ll gain insights into different methodologies, methods and applications of research. You will also have the opportunity to explore research papers in detail, and prepare your research project in Year 3.

The module content will include:

  • theories of knowledge and dominant approaches to research and research design
  • an introduction to qualitative and quantitative methodologies and how these are used
  • literature reviews, including electronic searches, summarising key debates and drawing conclusions
  • ethical concerns relating to research with children, young people and vulnerable adults, and the implications for research design
  • practitioner and insider research, including action research, case studies and evidence-based practice
  • exploring how published research is used by policy-makers and practitioners to develop practice
  • an introduction to the academic skills needed to identify material for review, and to critique it from both a methodological and a substantive perspective.


100%: Practical (Portfolio)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 44 hours of contact time and about 106 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.


This module is offered on the following courses: