Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Research Methods 1 (Philosophical Underpinnings of Research and Qualitative Paradigm)

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Youth and Community Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit examines the importance of scientific research in Youth and Community Studies. In the introductory element of the study-unit, participants will be guided through the basic precepts of social scientific research, the theoretical roots and fundamental characteristics of diverse research approaches, while due emphasis will also be placed on the practicalities of designing research studies.

This content will be followed by a thorough appraisal of the contrasting methods upheld by divergent research approaches. This will include an in-depth review of qualitative research methods, whereby course participants will be encouraged to gain further familiarization with a wide range of research techniques including case studies, ethnography, intensive interviewing, narrative research, action research and field research.

Study-unit Aims:

a. Equipping course participants with the requisite skills to undertake qualitative research studies;
b. Emphasising the importance of knowledge-based human services underpinned by a service evaluation culture and on-going scientific research and innovation;
c. Sharpening course participants' knowledge of diverse research traditions, approaches and data collection and analytical methods;
d. Underscoring the ethical dimensions of research studies and the safeguards that needs to be assured to uphold the requisite ethical precepts.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. have a clear understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of diverse research approaches in the social sciences such as the positivist, interpretivist, critical, poststructuralist and posthumanist paradigms;
b. distinguish between diverse qualitative research approaches and techniques;
c. identify the crucial aspects of designing and undertaking a scientific research study, including, the basic aspects of sampling;
d. identify the ethical concerns in empirical research studies and be able to demarcate pathways to overcome them.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. construct and implement a social survey;
b. construct and implement topic guided, one-to-one or group interview (focus group);
c. undertake a participant observation study; and
d. analyse data.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Bradford, S. & Cullen, F. (Eds.) (2012). Research and Research Methods for For Youth Practitioners. London: Routledge.
- Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.) (2005). The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Supplementary Readings:

- Fraser, S., Lewis, V., Ding, S., Kellet, M. & Robinson, C. (Eds.), (2004) Doing Research with Children and Young People. London: Sage.
- Seale, C. (Ed.) (2004). Social Research Methods: A Reader. London: Routledge.
- Silverman, D. (ed.). (2004). Qualitative Research: Theory, Method and Practice. London: Sage.
- Patton, M.Q. (2015). Qualitative research and evaluation methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.) (2003). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Higgs, J., Titchen, A., Horsfall, D., & Bridges, D. (2011). Creative spaces for qualitative researching: Living research. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
- Miller, T., Birch, M., Mauthner M., & Jessop, J. (eds) (2012). Ethics in Qualitative Research. 2nd ed. London: Sage.
- Saldana, J. (2013). (2nd ed). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Whiteman N. (2012). Undoing Ethics: Rethinking practice in online research. New York: Springer.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Project SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Janice Formosa Pace

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.