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Postgraduate Sociology 2020-2021

SL5011: ADVANCED QUALITATIVE METHODS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

Qualitative Sociology: Philosophy and Methods: This course introduces students to a range of methods used in qualitative social science research (such as participant observation, qualitative interviewing, focus groups, diaries, photography and film, and archived data sources). The emphasis will be on the research process, from project design to analysis and presentation, with methodological issues raised in the context of researchable questions. Issues of reliability, representativeness and validity, and the potential for combining methods will be addressed. Students use the course work to develop their research interests and reflect on their research practices.

SL5512: ADVANCED QUANTITATIVE METHODS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

All researchers need to understand quantitative research, not only those who carry it out themselves. Everyone comes across quantitative research in literature reviews and even in the press. In this course students will acquire an understanding of the most common quantitative methods they are likely to use or come across in published social science research. The module will encompass different types of quantitative study and address issues such as when quantitative methods are appropriate, how quantitative questions are formulated, research design, sampling (both online and offline), scale construction, reliability and validity and ethical practices in quantitative research and design.

SL5513: ADVANCED QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS IN SOCIAL SCIENCE

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course familiarises students with quantitative research techniques commonly used in the social sciences. It begins by covering the basic concepts underlying quantitative methods and the fundamental statistical techniques used for analysing relationships between two variables.  The main part of the course focuses on multiple regression analysis, perhaps the most widely used technique in quantitative social science research. Students gain practical knowledge by undertaking two research reports to assess a substantive topic of their choosing. 

SO5014: ADVANCED SOCIAL THEORY

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

Karl Popper argued, wisely, at least this time, that all languages are theory-laden. In other words, if we are doing social science, it is impossible not to do theory, but we have a choice to do it well or poorly, informed by the thinking of others who have gone before us, or in ignorance of it. In this course we learn to reflect explicitly about that which may otherwise simply remain implicit in empirical sociological examination. In this project, we are assisted by important thinkers who have developed distinctive and influential ways of considering the social. We begin with classical sociological theory before moving on to the work of more recent social thought, giving students an advanced working knowledge of the most important theoretical tools available to jobbing social scientists.

SO5015: POLICY EVALUATION

30 credits

Level 5

First Sub Session

Institutions and organizations are today commonly demanding evidence-based policy formation. As a result, the necessary social research methods for Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) are in high demand. This course in Policy Evaluation is the core course in the MSc in Policy Evaluation and will equip graduates with the knowledge necessary to understand the current demand for, existing practices of, and substantial challenges to monitoring and evaluation of policy, implementation procedures, and impacts. The course serves as the primary topical course for this MSc and provides student with the theoretical and conceptual understanding of policymaking and programme implementation necessary to put M&E practices in context, and to better understand the need for specific M&E skills and how they might be best utilized across an array of work environments.

SO5512: DIMENSIONS OF GLOBALIZATION

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This interdisciplinary course focuses on substantive dimensions of globalization by considering recent changes occurring in the economic, political, social, and cultural realms of society. These themes are analysed by considering recent empirical studies, which seek to clarify our theoretical understanding of globalization through advanced social scientific research. The substantive themes covered include global capitalism, the global division of labour, global governance, the changing role of the nation state, transnational social change, and cultural homogenization and heterogenization. Interconnections between these aspects of globalization are highlighted.

SO5515: THE COMPARATIVE STUDY OF EUROPEAN SOCIETIES

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

The core course will look at Europe as a society as well as by comparing different nations and regions within it. It will look not just at the European Union, but also countries that are also in the broadest sense “European” stretching to the former Soviet Union and the former Yugoslavia. It will address key contemporary issues such as citizenship and belonging, identities in a European context, work, family and the demographic challenge as well as work-life balance.

SO5519: SEX, GENDER, VIOLENCE: CRITICAL APPROACHES

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course investigates the ways people think about, understand, and respond to violence. How do we know what counts as violence or a violence act? Why does legislation against violence often seem inadequate, perhaps especially in the case of gendered and sexual violence?

SO5529: PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES

30 credits

Level 5

Second Sub Session

This course provides students with a review of some of the central concepts and processes central to conflict resolution and post-conflict peacebuilding. As such, the course is designed both to introduce the theoretical foundations of particular approaches to conflict resolution (or “peacemaking”) and peacebuilding, and to describe how those theoretical underpinnings give rise to specific mechanisms or processes within given contexts. In the area of peacemaking the course will cover topics such as negotiation, mediation, and intergroup dialogue processes, while in the area of peacebuilding the course will discuss more recent innovations such as Truth-Telling mechanisms, Criminal Tribunals, and both individual and collection reparations programmes. The course is particularly designed to inspire students to consider the complicated nature of both peacemaking and peacebuilding through a number of different case studies and perspectives.

SO5904: DISSERTATION: SOCIOLOGY

60 credits

Level 5

Third Sub Session

This is a compulsory element on the MSc Sociology programme.

SO5906: DISSERTATION (MSC IN SEX, GENDER, VIOLENCE)

60 credits

Level 5

Third Sub Session

Students who meet the necessary requirements proceed to the dissertation. Students identify an appropriate dissertation topic in consultation with the programme co-ordinator. The dissertation is especially designed to extend an interest which students develop throughout the programme, particularly whilst undertaking the specialist and elective courses in the second semester, and to have experience in formulating, designing and conducting their own social science research investigation. The dissertation can also be library-based around conceptual and theoretical issues.

SO5909: DISSERTATION IN SOCIAL RESEARCH

60 credits

Level 5

Third Sub Session

Students wishing to complete the MRes in Social Research must submit a research dissertation.  The MRes training courses are designed to assist students in identifying an area of study and in writing a proposal to carry out work on s supervised piece of independent research of their own.  The dissertation is 14,000 words in length with a 500 word summary.

SO5916: DISSERTATION IN POLICY EVALUATION

60 credits

Level 5

Third Sub Session

The Dissertation in Policy Evaluation can be completed either as a research project or as a collaborative Monitoring and Evaluation project for a partner organization in the community seeking to have one of their policies or programmes assessed. In either case, this project is a major piece of independent work undertaken by the student with the guidance and supervision of a member of the teaching staff of the department. The project gives students an opportunity to investigate a policy or programme that excites their interest to a depth not otherwise available in the curriculum, and to develop either their research and gain experience of independent study or their M&E skills and gain experience working with a artner organization in the community. If choosing to complete a traditional dissertation the topic may derive from interests developed in other courses, or from subjects not otherwise covered in the curriculum. If choosing to conduct the hands on M&E project, then the topic will be driven largely by the needs of the partner organization. In either case, the project should involve the use and development of the research skills provided by the programme. Students and staff should attach appropriate effort to this important piece of work. 

 

SO5919: DISSERTATION IN PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES

60 credits

Level 5

Third Sub Session

Students in this course conduct independent research supervised by the coordinator into the topic of Post-Conflict Justice and Peacebuilding. The end goal of the course is to complete the dissertation in a timely fashion and to develop skills in research design, methodology, analysis, critical thinking and writing at a professional level. While the exact research question or methodologies utilized for the project are decided in consultation with the supervisor and must be within the field of post-conflict justice and peacebuilding, they will reflect the interests of the individual student.

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