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Designing and Conducting Social Research

In the Department of Sociology at Warwick we believe that students are producers, not just consumers, of knowledge. This course teaches you just that – how to actually undertake and do social research.

What is it like to interview a research subject? How does one go about doing an ethnography? What ethical questions must we consider when researching life online? In this module, you'll gain practical skills for planning and carrying out social research. By the time you have finished the module you'll acquire knowledge about the research tools widely applicable in academic and professional settings.

Along with the practical research skills you will obtain, we'll also investigate how social research has changed dramatically in the last few decades – because of the changing landscapes of social research: how can and should we study the twittersphere? What effect does Snapchat have on social interactions? How can we engage diverse users and audiences, rather than seeing them only as objects of our studies?

"Sociology at Warwick offers many different types of assessment. For example, in some modules you can decide whether you want to write an essay or do an exam. Regarding the research methods modules, in your second year you get to carry out your own piece of research; both in the qualitative research module as well as on the quantitative. For example, in the module Designing and Conducting Social Research I had to conduct two qualitative interviews with Warwick students, transcribe and analyse them. This was a unique opportunity for me, because I specialise in quantitative research methods carrying out a qualitative piece of research."

- Elena Mylona, BA Sociology and Quantitative Methods


Module Director:

Katy Harsant