Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at:

SO242-15 Designing and Conducting Social Research

Undergraduate Level 2
Module leader
Akwugo Emejulu
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Core intermediate year qualitative methods module.

Module web page

Module aims

This module introduces students to core methodological concepts and strategies used in qualitative social science research including: research design, ethnography, in-depth interviewing, documents and discourse. In the module we will discuss and develop the analytic skills necessary to interrogate epistemological assumptions in published sociological research and claims of knowledge in the social sciences more generally. In addition to critically evaluating previous research, students will develop their ability to collect and analyze data using a range of qualitative methods. By the end of the module, students will acquire knowledge about the research tools widely applicable in academic and professional settings, and demonstrate evidence of this through a qualitative methods portfolio and research proposal.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Week 1 – Introduction: Doing Qualitative Research
Week 2 – Epistemology and the Politics of Knowledge
Week 3 – Ethics in Qualitative Research
Week 4 – Researching the Past: Archives and Oral History
Week 5 – Sensory and Auto Ethnography
Week 6 – Reading Week
Week 7 – Doing Research Online
Week 8 – Participatory Methods
Week 9 – Dealing with Data
Week 10 – Module Review and Assessment

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • On completion of the module, students will be able to: 1. Understand the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the main qualitative research methods 2. Demonstrate knowledge of the key techniques for data analysis in the social sciences through the development of a portfolio, and activities undertaken in seminar through formative and summative work 3. Evaluate, analyse and interpret qualitative data
Indicative reading list

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. (1985). Naturalistic enquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Back, L. and Puwar, N., 2012. A manifesto for live methods: provocations and capacities. The Sociological Review, 60(S1), pp.6-17.

Collins, P. H. 1986. Learning from the outsider within: The sociological significance of black feminist thought. Social Problems, 33(6), S14-S32.

Silverman, D. (2006) Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook, London: Sage.

Wiles, Rose. What are qualitative research ethics?. A&C Black, 2012.

Coffey, A. and Atkinson (1996) Making Sense of Qualitative Data Analysis: Complementary Strategies, Thousand Oaks, Cal.: Sage.

Strauss, A and Corbin, J (1998) Basics of Qualitative Research: Techniques and Procedures for Developing
Grounded Theory, London: Sage.

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Research element

Students are assessed by an individual research project using one of the methods covered in the module.

Subject specific skills

Qualitative data collection using a variety of methods, qualitative data analysis, writing up research, understanding of ethics procedures.

Transferable skills

Critical thinking, independent learning through project work, data collection and analysis, time management.

Study time

Type Required Optional
Lectures 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Seminars 9 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Fieldwork (0%) 1 session of 5 hours
Private study 132 hours (88%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

Students are expected to read set texts each week in preparation for the seminar.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A4
Weighting Study time
3000 Word Research Report 100%

Students will complete 1 research task from a choice of 4 and provide a report.

Feedback on assessment

Written feedback via Tabula. Students will also have the opportunity to discuss plans for their project in seminars and in advice & feedback hours with module staff.


This module is Core for:

  • Year 2 of ULAA-ML34 BA in Law and Sociology (Qualifying Degree)
  • USOA-L301 BA in Sociology
    • Year 2 of L301 Sociology
    • Year 2 of L305 Sociology with Specialism in Cultural Studies
    • Year 2 of L303 Sociology with Specialism in Gender Studies
    • Year 2 of L304 Sociology with Specialism in Research Methods
    • Year 2 of L302 Sociology with Specialism in Social Policy
  • Year 2 of UGEA-RL23 Undergraduate German and Sociology
  • Year 2 of UHIA-VL13 Undergraduate History and Sociology
  • Year 2 of ULAA-ML33 Undergraduate Law and Sociology
  • Year 2 of UPOA-ML13 Undergraduate Politics and Sociology
  • Year 2 of UCEA-Y205 Undergraduate Social Studies (Full-time)
  • Year 2 of USOA-L314 Undergraduate Sociology and Criminology
  • Year 2 of UIPA-L3L8 Undergraduate Sociology and Global Sustainable Development
  • Year 2 of USOA-L311 Undergraduate Sociology and Quantitative Methods

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 3 of UAS2-LM4A Undergraduate Health & Social Policy (2+2)
  • Year 2 of UCEA-Y205 Undergraduate Social Studies (Full-time)

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 2 of UFRA-R1L3 Undergraduate French with Sociology

This module is Core option list A for:

  • Year 3 of USX2-Y202 Undergraduate Social Studies [2 + 2]

This module is Core option list B for:

  • UPDA-Y201 Undergraduate Social Studies (Part-time)
    • Year 1 of Y201 Social Studies
    • Year 2 of Y201 Social Studies
    • Year 3 of Y201 Social Studies
    • Year 4 of Y201 Social Studies
    • Year 5 of Y201 Social Studies
    • Year 6 of Y201 Social Studies
    • Year 7 of Y201 Social Studies
    • Year 8 of Y201 Social Studies
    • Year 9 of Y201 Social Studies

This module is Option list A for:

  • Year 2 of ULAA-ML33 Undergraduate Law and Sociology

This module is Option list D for:

  • Year 2 of UHIA-VL13 Undergraduate History and Sociology

This module is Option list G for:

  • Year 2 of UPHA-V7ML Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics