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IR5902   Research Methods

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: Lecture: Wednesday 11am- 12noon; Thursday 9.00 to 10.00am in weeks 4, 5 and 7 only Tutorial: Thursday 11am-12noon and 12noon-1pm

This module will present appropriate research methods to enable students to critically understand the professional literature, and to lay the foundations to enable students to engage in further research. The broad aim of this module is to provide students with sufficient research skills to identify, read and understand professional literature, and to undertake their own research activities. It will introduce critical elements of research methodology, introduce and develop skills in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, describe and illustrate literature and documentation search and retrieval strategies, and provide an introduction to the role of the intelligence analyst as a practical example.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1-hour lecture and 1-hour tutorial per week + advertised office hours plus online material.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr T K Wilson

Intended learning outcomes

  • Explain the different theoretical approaches to social research
  • Discuss the philosophical underpinnings of social research
  • Critique examples of research in the field of terrorism studies using the evaluative approaches described in the module
  • Critically evaluate the utility of a range of research methods to research questions in the field
  • Design a research study including being able to: o Develop an appropriate research question; o Select a suitable research method; o Analyse the data derived from the research; o Display information appropriately; and o Produce robust conclusions on the basis of the research evidence