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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Sociologists use a range of methods and techniques to explore and test sociological theory. This module introduces many of these methods and techniques. It aims to ground students’ theoretical understanding of society through the practical analysis of a variety of data. It starts by introducing the varying philosophical starting points of research and goes on to provide foundation level critical analysis skills in the key quantitative and qualitative methods that sociologists have deployed to understand and ‘capture’ the social world.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Professor Bernadette Hayes

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

The course covers the following areas:

  • Underlying philosophy of social science research in terms of what counts as knowledge.
  • Qualitative research methods, such as in-depth interviewing and participant observation.
  • Quantitative research methods, such as sampling and questionnaire construction and design.
  • Elementary statistical analyses, such as graphical displays of data, measures of central tendency and variation, cross-tabulations and elaboration.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Class test (50%) and 1 two-hour examination (50%). Students are not required to pass both elements as long as an overall pass is achieved.

If an overall pass is not achieved the failed component or components must be retaken.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is in terms of weekly class exercises plus a final mock exam, for which oral feedback is provided.


Feedback is provided throughout the course through weekly class exercises.

Course Learning Outcomes


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