Introduction to Social Science Research

Introduction to Social Science Research

  1. Module Title: Introduction to Social Science Research
  2. Module Prefix/Number: PSYC 399A / SOC 399
  3. Credit Value: 3
  4. Description:
    Science is a systematic and logical approach to discovering how things in the universe work. When conducting research, scientists use the scientific method to collect measurable, empirical evidence to derive results that aim to support or refute a hypothesis and theory. This course is designed for students to gain an understanding of social science research, the research process and the limits and potential of research. It facilitates students’ awareness of the ability to conduct research in an ethical and thorough manner using appropriate research methods. Students will also be introduced to the importance of data analysis and interpretation, as well as the writing process in research.
  5. Student Learning Outcomes:
    By the end of this course, students should achieve the following Learning Outcomes
    1. Learn and understand the steps in the Scientific Method.
    2. Explain the relationship between theory, hypothesis, data collection, and analysis in the pursuit of social science knowledge.
    3. Understand the ethics of social science research.
    4. Identify the respective strengths and limitations of quantitative and qualitative approaches to social science research
    5. Identify and explain the most common social science research methods, most notably observations, questionnaire-based surveys, interviews, focus-group discussion, experiment, and archival research.
    6. Understand the importance of data analysis and interpretation.
    7. Familiarise with the writing process of social science research.
  6. Learning, Teaching and Assessment:
    Lectures and seminar classes are delivered using a variety of media. Seminar classes will explore each of the topics covered in the module: students will work in groups to analyse, evaluate and debate case studies and critical issues in this module. Seminar classes also include practical activities to develop a range of analytical skills and to encourage engagement and critical evaluation of this module.
  7. Assessment Plan:
    Type of Assessment Weightage  (%)
    Coursework 60%
    Examination 40%

    Formative Assessment
    Requires completion of assignments/coursework, thereby encouraging students to develop reflection skills that aid deeper learning of the material.

    Summative Assessment
    The examination allows students to display their knowledge and critical skills in specific areas of this module.

  8. Indicative Student Workload
    Types of hours Number of hours
    1. Guided Learning Hours 24
    2. Non-Guided Learning Hours 126
    3. Placement/Work-based Learning Experience N/A
    TOTAL 150
  9. Indicative Module Content
    • Introduction to Social Science Research
    • The Scientific Method
    • Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches to Research
    • Ethics
    • Methods – observations
    • Methods – semi-structured in-depth interviews
    • Methods – experiments
    • Methods – focus group discussion
    • Methods – questionnaire-based survey
    • Data analysis and interpretation
    • Writing a social science research paper

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