This module will look at the dominant traditions in the philosophy of social science and how these have shaped substantive research within the study of the social sciences.
Aims and Objectives
Knowledge and Understanding
Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:
- Critically evaluate philosophical debates in social science
- Discuss the contribution of philosophical issues and knowledge bases to research practice
- Describe the relationship between philosophical standpoints and methodological strategies
- Identify a variety of social and political contexts and uses of research
- Identify different value positions and their implications for research
Transferable and Generic Skills
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Oral communication
- Independent working
- Problem solving
- Information technology
- Interpersonal skills
- Written communication skills
This module explores key theoretical and methodological issues in social science research, contrasting ‘ways of knowing’. It is premised on the idea that social science is better served by
researchers who can master several methodologies, who can consciously choose among concepts and theories and who command many basic principles of reasoning. Indicative content includes a discussion of philosophical and theoretical positions, understanding causality, comparative and case study research and discuss the relevance of social science research to real-world problems.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
- Multi-disciplinary lectures
- Multi-disciplinary seminars
- Independent study
|Total study time||100|
Resources & Reading list
Other. Listed set books, text books, web sites, other sources of related information. Resources to support the production of blended learning materials will be made available by the Doctoral Training Centre
Ted Benton and Ian Craib (2001). Philosophy of Social Sciences. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Jonathon Moses and Torbjorn Knutsen (2007). Ways of Knowing. Palgrave.
John Hughes and Wes Sharrok (2008). Theory and Methods in Sociology. Palgrave Macmillan.
Martin Hollis and Steve Smith (2001). Explaining and Understanding International Relations. Oxford University Press.
Peter Burnham et al (2008). Research Methods in Politics. Palgrave Macmillan.
The module will be assessed by one 2500-3000 word coursework assignment. The essay is based on materials introduced and discussed in the lectures and from students’ independent study
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External