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IP108 Qualitative Methods for Undergraduate Research

Dr Kirsten Harris
Module Leader
Core
Term 1
10 weeks
15 CATS
2 workshop hours / week
Not available to students outside the School for Cross-Faculty Studies

Moodle Platform »

Principal Aims

The module aims to introduce first year students on the Liberal Arts degree to the range of research methods employed in the Arts and Humanities and to offer them opportunities to practise using some of these methods in practical assignments.

The module’s aims complement those of the Certificate of Digital Literacy where students learn to conduct research using approaches from Digital Humanities.


Principal Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of what constitutes sound scholarly practice, distinguish instances of plagiarism and correct them;
  • Search through a range of archival sources using a systematic and precise method, and evaluate the potential usefulness of these sources;
  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the process of planning and conducting an interview, and the implications of the decisions made by the researcher;
  • Identify the ethical factors that must be taken into consideration when undertaking data collection through interviewing, and follow departmental ethics policy;
  • Identify and engage with the various discourses embedded in a range of primary historical, social and cultural sources;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of methodologies used in analysing cultural sources, including critical theory;
  • Demonstrate the ability to interpret primary and secondary sources, and use them to build a persuasive argument.

Syllabus

  1. Introduction to qualitative research methodologies
  2. Fair use of sources: Citation and plagiarism
  3. Does truth matter? Subjectivity, mediation and persuasive interpretation
  4. Theoretical approaches
  5. History: Archival methodologies
  6. History: Using sources
  7. Social research: Ethics
  8. Social research: Designing and conducting interviews
  9. Culture: Literary and visual methodologies
  10. Culture: Cultural studies and ethnographic methodologies

Assessment

  • 1 x online practical test on sound scholarly practice (20%)
  • 1 x portfolio of 3 tasks (40%)
  • 1 x 2000 word research essay (40%)

Illustrative Bibliography

Gale, M.B. and A. Featherstone. “The Imperative of the Archive: Creative Archive Research” in Kershaw (2010) Research Methods in Theatre and Performance.

King, M.T. “Working with / in the Archives” in Gunn (2011) Research Methods for History.

Steedman, C. “Archival Methods” in Griffin (2013) Research Methods in English Studies.

Dixon, S. “Researching Digital Performance: Virtual Practices” in Kershaw (2010) Research Methods in Theatre and Performance.

Jordanova, L. “Approaching Visual Materials” in Gunn (2011) Research Methods for History.

Rose, G. “Visual Methodologies” in Griffin (2013) Research Methods in English Studies.

Cowman, C. “Collective Biography” in Gunn (2011) Research Methods for History.

Thomson, A. “Life Stories and Historical Analysis” in Gunn (2011) Research Methods for History.

Evans, M. “Auto/biography as a Research Method” in Griffin (2013) Research Methods in English Studies.

Summerfield, P. “Oral History as a Research Method” in Griffin (2013) Research Methods in English Studies.

Gunn, S. “Analysing Behaviour as Performance” in Gunn (2011) Research Methods for History.

Strange, J-M. “Reading Language as a Historical Source” in Gunn (2011) Research Methods for History.

Griffin, G. “Discourse Analysis” in Griffin (2013) Research Methods in English Studies.

Griffin, G. “Interviewing” in Griffin (2013) Research Methods in English Studies.

Belsey, C. “Textual Analysis as a Research Method” in Griffin (2013) Research Methods in English Studies.