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IR3114   Critical Research Skills

Academic year(s): 2024-2025

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: A ballot system is in place.

Planned timetable: Monday 1pm - 2pm

This module builds on the highly successful Emerging Researchers Programme developed by the Third Generation Project, to provide a module for students with a strong interest in social justice issues and critical theory, as well as those intending to proceed to postgraduate education and/or enter into research/policy-oriented careers. Drawing from both non-Western and Western methodological frames, this module will provide students with a grounding in critical, participatory and anti-oppressive research methodologies that: question normative research processes; foreground the subjectivity of the researcher as a salient factor in research design; and engage in a progressive struggle to advance social justice aims. The module is divided into two parts.The first part is theoretical, whilst the second is focused upon developing on inclusive - and historically rooted - research practice, by focusing upon a number of justice struggles, including those chosen by students themselves.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2005 and pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 lecture (x10 weeks), 1 tutorial (x10 weeks), 3 x 2 hours media viewing

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 100% coursework

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination =100%


Module coordinator: Professor A M S Watson
Module teaching staff: Prof A Watson

Intended learning outcomes

  • Evaluate individual pieces of research in light of their epistemological and ontological assumptions.
  • Identify and assess the contributions critical, participatory and anti-oppressive methodologies make to social research.
  • Outline and demonstrate critical awareness of the ways in which critical and anti-oppressive research methodologies contribute to collective emancipatory goals.
  • Apply key elements of critical and anti-oppressive research methodologies to allow students to develop their own approach to critical research.
  • Understand the role of historical dialogue and the ways in which historical narratives are used as part of contemporary justice struggles.