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SO31Q-15: Experiments in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Timing and CATS

This module will run in Autumn Term (2022/23) and is worth 15 CATS.

This module is a 3rd year optional module available to Social Sciences and Humanities.

Further information.

Module Convenor: Prof Ulf Liebe


Module Description

Is the gender wage gap caused by discrimination? What explains differences in voter turnout? Which type of education and development aid is effective? What affects the movement of visitors in an art gallery? Experiments are the “gold standard” for uncovering causal effects and they were rediscovered in social science research and the humanities in the last decades. The results of experimental research give valuable insights for theory testing and programme evaluation.

This module will develop your understanding of experimental methods as well as why experiments can help to solve a wide range of research puzzles and social problems. The module will provide you with the skills to conduct and critically reflect on experimental research in the social sciences and humanities. As part of this module, you will carry out an own experiment.

The principal learning aims of this module are:

  1. to familiarise you with different types of experiments;
  2. to raise your awareness of the advantages, pitfalls, and problems of experimental methods used in social science and humanities research;
  3. to equip you with the skills to understand and undertake experimental research.

The module will be assessed by a Group presentation (30%) and 2,000 words essay (70%).

What past participants said:

"The lecturer, Professor Ulf Liebe was very helpful in my learning in every aspect. [...] Although I never had any prior knowledge regarding the module contents, the well structered lectures and seminars naturally led to improve my understanding of the module contents."

"The module convenor is really helpful and patient in solving my queries and I’m very grateful for that."

"Presentation in week 10 has made me feel more confident to present as tutor encourages and supports us throughout the way. I enjoyed this module!"