Social Research MRes

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 12 months   Part-time: 24 months
  • Programme start: October 2020
  • Entry requirements: You should hold a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree or international equivalent in a social science, or in a field relevant to the programme.
Social Research mres

Module details

The programme consists of 60 credits of taught modules and a 30,000 word thesis worth 120 credits.

In Semester 1, you are required to take two 15 credit modules.

In Semester 2, you can chose up to 30 credits of social research methods training modules taken from a portfolio of 5 credit modules.

If you are considering progressing to a PhD (Sociology and Social Policy), you should equip yourself with a good standard of literacy in social research methods across a range of data collection, analysis and management techniques. We strongly recommend that all postgraduate students embarking on our MA and MRes programmes undertake modules in both qualitative and quantitative methods, including SOCI508 Understanding Society Using Quantitative Methods (semester 1) at the very least, or equivalent training made available elsewhere in the university or across the MethodsNorthWest initiative.

The University is a member of the ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), and as such, if you are considering applying for any ESRC PhD funding route via the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, you will be expected to undertake modules in both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to be compliant with ESRC Postgraduate Training and Development Guidelines. These modules would include SOCI508 Understanding Society Using Quantitative Methods (semester 1) and additional modules where available/relevant, and/or equivalent requisite training made available in the university or across the MethodsNorthWest initiative. For those applying for ESRC PhD funding, this requirement should preferably be fulfilled during your MA or MRes programme, or - if successfully awarded ESRC PhD funding - during the first year of your PhD at the latest.

Compulsory modules

The Politics and Practices of Social Research (SOCI501)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1 To introduce students to the contemporary political and economic contexts for the production of social research in Universities.
2 To introduce students the key debates on the role of the social scientist and the role of social research.
3 To provide training in general research skills.
4 To provide student with an understanding of how key research methods are applied in practice.
5 To enable students to how to develop a research project through its initial stages.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Understand the contested nature of research methods in social science

(LO2) Understand the range of epistemological and methodological steps involvedin the research process.

(LO3) Be able to plan a large research project.

(LO4) Be able to critically analyze, evaluate and review current research and scholarship

(LO5) Be aware of ethical research conduct

(LO6) Understand the political and economic forces that shape the context for social research

(S1) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

(S2) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

(S3) Communication, listening and questioning respecting others, contributing to discussions, communicating in a foreign language, influencing, presentations

Philosophy of Social Science (SOCI504)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

• To introduce students to the main philosophical conceptions of social science
• To examine the status of sociology as a social science
• To examine the link between theory and methodology within social research
• To examine the different forms of knowledge production within the social sciences
• To examine the relation between sociological knowledge and wider debates about politics and experience

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) An awareness of the diversity of methods in social science and of different epistemological and ontological assumptions about knowledge that underpin social research

(LO2) An understanding of philosophical issues relating to method in social science

(LO3) An understanding of some of the contested features of method in social science, for example the question of objectivity, neutrality, standpoint, experience, interpretation, prediction, reflexivity

(LO4) An ability to critically evaluate the main philosophical debates on method in social science such as positivism, hermeneutics, critical theory, realism and constructivism.

(LO5) To apply sociological knowledge to wider debates about politics and experience

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

Optional modules

Rapid Ethnography and Rapid Appraisal (SOCI502)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To provide a critical introduction to the methodological, practical and effective undertaking of rapid ethnographic and rapid appraisal research.
To highlight the advantages and benefits of the research approach for researchers, policy-makers and other stakeholders.
To enable critical discrimination of the worth of Key Respondents (Key Informants/Key Persons) in the rapid appraisal milieu
To demonstrate the efficacy of rapid ethnographic and rapid appraisal research with reference to key studies of complex cross-cultural and criminal behaviours about which little is known.
To enable students to have good critical insight of, and the research design knowledge to carry out, rapid ethnography/rapid appraisal themselves.
To provide critical insight into the benefits of mixed-methods/triangulated research for rapid appraisals
To demonstrate how Key Person data cannot be simply trusted even when the participant is being ‘truthful’

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To understand the methodological underpinnings of rapid appraisal and rapid ethnography and how to design and undertake them effectively

(LO2) To understand the impact related advantages and benefits of the research approach for researchers, policy-makers and other stakeholders.

(LO3) To be able to effectively discriminate the relative worth of Key Respondents (Key Informants/Key Persons) and other data in the design and implementation of rapid appraisal/ethnography.

(LO4) To understand the key role of the researcher in interpreting and analysing data – especially in relation to Key Person data.

(S1) Observational skills and sensitivity awareness

(S2) Effective informed design of rapid appraisal and rapid ethnographic projects

(S3) Developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk and project management, formulating questions and combining methods effectively, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting and using; applying ethics

(S4) Problem solving, critical thinking, creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

Understanding Society Using Quantitative Methods (SOCI508)
LevelM
Credit level15
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1. To introduce students to analytical techniques suitable for use with quantitative data, and enable them to use software to appropriately practice these techniques

2. To develop critical understanding of the value of, and difficulties posed by, quantitative analysis in the social sciences

3. To equip students with the skills necessary to understand and evaluate research reports which include quantitative data

4. To explain how quantitative techniques can be used not to just to describe the social world, but also to investigate patterns of change within this world, and potentially account for the causes of this change

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) An understanding of different types of quantitative data, and appropriate collection and analytical techniques

(LO2) The ability to manipulate and analyse data using SPSS

(LO3) The ability to present data appropriately and clearly

(LO4) An understanding of the debates about whether quantitative data can be used to establish causal links between variables

(LO5) An appreciation of the value of different forms of quantitative data and knowledge of a range of secondary data sources

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - visual

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Following instructions/protocols/procedures

(S4) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S6) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing

(S7) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Communicating for audience

(S8) Time and project management - Personal organisation

(S9) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S10) Information skills - Critical reading

(S11) Information skills - Information accessing:[Locating relevant information] [Identifying and evaluating information sources]

(S12) Skills in using technology - Using common applications (work processing, databases, spreadsheets etc.)

(S13) Skills in using technology - Information accessing

(S14) Numeracy/computational skills - Reason with numbers/mathematical concepts

(S15) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

(S16) Numeracy/computational skills - Numerical methods

Using Foucault's Methods (SOCI515)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

• To introduce students to Foucault’s use of history as a method

• To demonstrate the use of Foucault’s method of discourse as an effective tool of social inquiry

• To provide an introduction to Foucault’s method in relation to his work on sexuality, discipline and docile bodies as an example of the sociological imagination

• To understand how, when and why Foucault’s methods have been taken up in the social sciences.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To demonstrate an understanding of Foucault’s use of history as a method

(LO2) To demonstrate an understanding of the role of discourse in addressing the relations between discourse and context, discourse and power and discourse and interaction

(LO3) To explain the link between Foucault’s method and the study of culture and society

(LO4) To apply Foucault’s methods to social research and social inquiry in the social sciences

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Evaluation

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

(S5) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written

Focus Groups (SOCI516)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1.To provide students with the skills they need to design and complete research using focus group discussions

2.To enable students to understand the ethical implications as well as the strengths and limitations of using focus groups

3.To develop students' skills in the analysis of focus group data, including verbatim transcripts of the discussions and notes of non-verbal interaction

4.To develop students' awareness of the practical issues involved in setting up and moderating focus group discussions

5.To provide students with a good understanding of methodological and theoretical literature they need to draw on to support their approach to focus group discussions

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To understand how and when focus groups could be used to research social issues, and be able to articulate the ethical implications of carrying out research in this way

(LO2) Students will understand focus group methodology and be able to design and carry out research involving focus group discussions

(LO3) Students will be able to capture and analyse data from focus group discussions, and clearly articulate their approach to analysis

(LO4) Students will be able to identify methodological texts to cite to support the academic integrity of their research and to identify how sociological theory may enhance their analysis and presentation of findings

(S1) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

(S4) Global citizenship - Ethical awareness

(S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S6) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

(S7) Working in groups and teams - Group action planning

Critical Discourse Analysis (SOCI517)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1.To introduce students to Critical understandings of discourse and its place in society

2.To introduce students to the practice of Critical Discourse Analysis

3.To enable student's development of Critical Discourse Analytic skills and competences

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) An understanding of ideas and concerns underpinning Critical Discourse Analysis

(LO2) An ability to conduct Critical Discourse Analaytic work

(LO3) A critical understanding of the place of discourse in society

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

(S2) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - visual

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S4) Information skills - Critical reading

Visual Data, VIsual Analysis (SOCI518)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

• To provide an introduction to sociological engagement with visual data/analysis

• To provide research students with an opportunity to practice these sets of research skills with respect to their own projects

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Familiarity with major classical and contemporary social scentific engagements with visual data and visual analysis (theoretical and empirical)

(LO2) Ability to apply the perspectives learned in Outcome 1 to an ongoing research project (e.g thesis)

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

(S3) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills – oral

Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis (SOCI519)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module will provide students with an understanding of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis as radical approaches to the study of social practices grounded in work on and with interactional data. It will be of particular interest to students and researchers working across the social sciences and beyond with a specific interest in studying practice and interaction.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) This module will provide an overview of ethnmethodology and conversation analysis as dynamic, analytically innovative and intellectually adventurous fields of research.

(LO2) It will enable students to trace the substantial influence ethnomethodology and conversation analysis continue to have in sociology, anthropology, psychology, science and technology studies, and other disciplines besides.

(LO3) Students who take this module will acquire an understanding of ethnomethodology and conversation analysis as radical approaches to the study of social practices, and will do so in the course of practical work on and with interactional data.

(LO4) As the only postgraduate short course in the UK focusing on ethnomethodology specifically, it presents a unique opportunity for students to learn about an alternative way of approaching social inquiry, one grounded in 'radical' empirical studies.

(S1) Reading skills

(S2) Writing skills

(S3) Data collection skills

(S4) Transcribing/capturing skills

(S5) Anaytic skills

Participatory Action Research (SOCI520)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1. To plan for a Particiaptory Action Research dissertation project;

2. To develop an understanding of the theoretical perspectives that inform a Participatory Action Research approach;

3. To develop understanding of appropriate methods and activities for a Participatory Action Research approach;

4. To understand ethical considerations related to a Participatory Action Research approach.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To produce a strategy for engaging in a Particiaptory Action Research project;

(LO2) Understanding Participatory Action Research within a theoretical and practice framework;

(LO3) Understanding of methodology appropriate to a Participatory Action Research;

(LO4) Reflecting on the ethical issues and practical problems associated with Participatory Action Research.

(S1) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice

(S2) Time and project management - Project planning

(S3) Information skills - Networking skills

(S4) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

(S5) Working in groups and teams - Group action planning

(S6) Personal attributes and qualities - Integrity

Ethnographic Studies of Science and Technology (SOCI521)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To introduce the student to ethnographic modes of inquiry in the social sciences

To demonstrate the importance of (a) social and cultural contexts for ethnographic analysis; (b) multi-method approaches, with emphasis on participant observation; (c) ethnographic writing as an academic convention

To provide an introduction to the field of science and technology studies, including major schools of thought, scholars and empirical concerns

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate an understanding of the integrated character of methods, analysis and writing in ethnographic inquiry

(LO2) Demonstrate an understanding of the role of foundational ethnographic texts in expanding the reach of science and technology within the social sciences.

(LO3) Explain key theoretical and analytical concerns and arguments

(LO4) Demonstrate an understanding of the range of methods bound up with ethnographic practice and the challenges associated with conducting ethnographic fieldwork in studies of science and technology

(LO5) Prepare and conduct a short ethnographic study within a scientific/ technological context

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Report writing

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

Narrative Interviewing (SOCI524)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

• To introduce the student to the theoretical and analytical principles of narrative research

• To provide students with the technical skills for conducting, transcribing and analysing narrative interviews

• To understand the contributions and limitations of using narrative inquiry in social science research

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Distinguish between story, narrative and biographical forms of research.

(LO2) Demonstrate an understanding of the specific contributions narrative research makes to different disciplinary modes of inquiry in the social sciences

(LO3) Plan a narrative interview, and use at least one technique of analysis

(LO4) Show a grasp of a variety of modes of representing and writing up narrative research

(S1) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Academic writing (inc. referencing skills)

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Creative thinking

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Synthesis

Interviewing (SOCI526)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This modules aims to attract postgraduates from all disciplines to introduce them to the theory and practice of interviews. This learning is underpinned by sociological theory and aims to provide students with an enhanced critical understanding of how different forms of interviews can be used to elicit different kinds of data. Through lectures, discussions and practical exercises, students will be enabled to develop skills to design and conduct their own interviews, and to analyse their data.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) The development of an active and critical understanding of the theories of interviews

(LO2) An appreciation of different approaches to interviewing

(LO3) The skills to prepare and thematically analyse interview data

(LO4) An understanding of how to write and present interview data

(S1) Team (group) working respecting others, co-operating, negotiating / persuading, awareness of interdependence with others

(S2) Problem solving skills

(S3) Communication skills

(S4) Ethical awareness

(S5) Adaptability

Doing Ethical Research (SOCI527)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1. To develop an understanding of the philosophical theories and principles underpinning ethical practice in research.

2. To develop an understanding of the legal and regulatory issues that underpin the formal ethical review process.

3. To develop an awareness of ethical considerations when working with the contested categories of ‘vulnerable’ groups and with sensitive topics and issues (the ethics of care).

4. To develop skills at balancing dilemmas in research ethics.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To produce a critical review of an ethical issue(s) related to your research investigation

(LO2) To demonstrate understanding of the theoretical and regulatory issues supporting good ethical research practice

(LO3) To demonstrate how to apply these theoretical and regulatory issues in practice

(LO4) To demonstrate skills in balancing dilemmas in research ethics

(S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

(S2) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

(S3) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

Researching Private Companies (SOCI529)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

The key aim of this module is to develop a range of skills to help students understand and analyse:

• The legal, social and economic basis of corporate power.
• How corporate structures and finances work.
• In practical terms how researchers can penetrate this relatively secret world as part of an academic research agenda.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To be able to formulate appropriate and researchable questions about corporate power and corporate activities

(LO2) To be able to identify data sources that can help us answer research questions about private companies

(LO3) To be able to analyse corporate ownership, management, and organisational structures

(LO4) To be able to formulate strategies that seek to overcome key barriers in researching companies

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

Using Freedom of Information Requests in Research (SOCI532)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module has two principal aims:

1) To provide students with an understanding of the uses and applications of data obtained by Freedom of Information requests, and to develop an ability to analyse, write up and disseminate data obtained in this way.

2) To provide a historical and political contexts to the development of the right to freedom of information in the UK.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students completing this module will aquire skills in identifying where key sources of government data are held

(LO2) Students completing this module will aquire a detailed working knowledge of entitlements to data provided by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

(LO3) Students completing this module will develop the ability to develop practical strategies to obtain official data.

(LO4) Students completing this module will learn how to appropriately analyse, write up and publish data obtained by Freedom of Information requests.

(S1) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media

(S2) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

Observation (SOCI533)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1. To provide students with the skills they need to design and complete research using observation

2. To enable students to understand the ethical implications as well as the strengths and limitations of using observations

3. To develop students' skills in the analysis of field notes and other records of observational data

4. To develop students' awareness of the practical issues involved designing an observational study or incorporating observation into a wider study

5. To provide students with a good understanding of the methodological and theoretical literature they need to draw on to support their approach to conducting an observational study

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To understand how and when observational methods can be used to research social life, and be able to articulate the ethical implications of carrying out research in this way

(LO2) Students will understand observational methods and be able to design and carry out research involving observation

(LO3) Students will be able to record and analyse observational data and clearly articulate their approach to analysis

(LO4) Students will be able to identify methodological texts in order to cite to support the academic integrity of their research and to identify how sociological theory may enhance their analysis and presentation of findings

(S1) Problem solving skills

(S2) Ethical awareness

(S3) Communication skills

(S4) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

Spatial Analysis: Mapping Techniques in Social Research (SOCI534)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

1. To introduce students to spatial analysis and its applicability in social research

2. To introduce students to basic digital mapping techniques

3. To enable students to apply and demonstrate digital mapping approaches and gain skills and competencies in this area.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Understanding of ideas and concepts underpinning spatial analysis

(LO2) Ability to conduct basic mapping techniques on social and criminological data

(LO3) A critical evaluation of mapping as social research method

(LO4) Ability to create and present map for research and presentation purposes

(S1) IT skills- open source mapping software

(S2) Problem solving skills - critical thinking

(S3) Communication skills- displaying and presenting maps

(S4) Communication skills- research report

Photography and Creative Practice (SOCI540)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

This module aims to

•    Provide an introduction to using photography and creative photographic practice as part of one’s research repertoire
•    Allow students to critically engage with theories of photography, particularly in its role as a research method
•    Instill an appreciation of visual material and the potential opportunities for using visual material in research
•    Provide students with basic professional skills in the discipline of photography

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Identify and explain major theories surrounding the photograph and the act of photography

(LO2) Recognise the value and significance of photography’s contribution to our understanding of society and social issues

(LO3) Describe and identify potential ethical issues with photography and creative photographic practice

(LO4) Synthesise theories from their core discipline and apply these to photographic practice

(LO5) Apply basic photography techniques in the development of a portfolio

(S1) Digital scholarship participating in emerging academic, professional and research practices that depend on digital systems

(S2) Information technology (application of) adopting, adapting and using digital devices, applications and services

(S3) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media

(S4) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

(S5) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

Doing Ethical Research (SOCI571)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterFirst Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To develop an understanding og the philosophical theories and principles underpinning ethical practice in research.

To develop an understanding of the legal and regulatory issues that underpin the formal ethical review process.

To develop an awareness of ethical considerations when working with the contested categories of 'vunerable' groups and with sensitive topics and issues (the ethics of care).

To develop skills at balancing dilemmas in research ethics.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) To produce a critical review of an ethical issue(s) related to your research investigation.

(LO2) To demonstrate understanding of the theoretical and regulatory issues supporting good ethical research practice.

(LO3) To demonstrate how to apply these theoretical and regulatory issues in practice.

(LO4) To demonstrate skills in balancing dilemmas in research ethics.

(S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.

(S2) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

(S3) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

Doing Twitter Analytics (SOCI573)
LevelM
Credit level5
SemesterSecond Semester
Exam:Coursework weighting0:100
Aims

To introduce students to key methodological concerns of working with Twitter data. To guide students in gaining first-hand experience collecting, visualising and exploring Twitter data. To enable students to see how to make sense of Twitter data for social scientific purposes. To point towards a more general role for social media and digital data in social science research.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Understand the methodological continuities and discontinuities between social media analytics and 'traditional' social science methods.

(LO2) Be able to extract and visualise Twitter data using research-oriented software.

(LO3) Be able to reflect on the methodological link between the technical aspects of Twitter analyticsresearch work and the social scientific findings that result.

(LO4) Appreciate the potential for social media and digital data analytics to provide insight on social scientific research topics.

(S1) Digital researching; participating in emerging academic practices that both leverage and concentrate topically on digital social interaction

(S2) The application of software and information technology in developing, addressing and presenting scholarly research

(S3) Research management skills, including elements such as developing and piloting a research strategy, engaging in considerations of ethics in regard to (digital) research data, undertaking exploratory empirical research involving data collection, visualising and making sense of data, and presenting research in written format

(S4) Problem solving and creative critical thinking; making sociogical sense of data which is not produced (primarily) for the purposes of social scientific research

(S5) Reflexive thinking around the research process; self-analysis of the journey from software tools and "raw" data to social scientific explanations of it


SOCI