Unit learning outcomes
On completion of this unit you should be able to:
1 Demonstrate the following: Knowledge and understanding of the social research process and methodology from selecting a topic to the presentation of findings.
2 Demonstrate the following skills and abilities: Critically assess the existing research on a topic, define a research question and consider the ethical design of research to enable the collection and analysis of relevant data
What am I required to do in this assignment?
There is only one assignment for this Unit.
You are required to develop a portfolio relating to a single topic. You must agree your topic in advance with your seminar group lead tutor. Your topic has to be specific and it can be in the question format.
You should develop a 3000-word portfolio comprised of the following eight different elements:
1. Introduction (150 words approx.) – introduce your topic, its relevance and importance, any important background
information and key definitions
2. A literature review (1,000 words) – You must explain your methodology first in this section in 2-3 paragraphs (i.e. how you conducted your literature searches, which database you used, what search criteria you applied, how you narrowed down the search results and how you selected your key articles). The rest of this section must present findings from your review of peer-reviewed journal articles, through the analysis and synthesis of the relevant research evidence (i.e. what you can find about your topic in the literature).
3. Data analysis (500 words) – analysis of statistics relating to your topic (e.g. prevalence data, demographic data, etc.). You are required to produce your own table using the existing statistics and reference the original source below the table/figure you produced (not just copying tables and figures from websites). You are expected to analyse trends
(ideally using two variables) so you are expected to discuss at least two different periods in time. Discuss what the
changes in figures mean in relation to your topic.
4. Policy analysis Or Media analysis (newspapers only) on your topic (500 words). If you choose to do media analysis, you must use a minimum of 2 newspaper articles from different points on the political spectrum to discuss the media representation of your topic.
5. A reflection statement about your learning from the elements listed above (200 words) – what you have learned and what gaps in the literature and research you found from your literature review, data analysis and policy or media
analysis. This section provides the rationale for the new research you are proposing.
6. A research proposal (500 words) – You are introducing a new research study you are proposing here. Your research proposal must include your research question, the methods of data collection, research ethics and the methods of data analysis. You are expected to propose a primary research study in this research proposal. Therefore, the discussion of research ethics should be about how primary data will be ethically collected and the description of the methods of data analysis must concern how the primary data collected will be analysed in your proposed research.
7. Conclusions (150 words)
8. References – a minimum of 8 academic sources must be included, excluding newspaper articles, statistics, policy
papers, research reports, etc. Academic sources only include peer-reviewed journal articles and academic books.
You must include all the elements listed above in your portfolio.
What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)
In order to pass the Assessment you will need to:
Complete each element of the portfolio
Demonstrate the ability to locate and review relevant research, data and either policy or media documents
Propose an appropriate question and method for the collection of primary data