Theory and Methods in Postgraduate Studies

This module serves to consolidate postgraduate research and learning support by enabling students to engage with theories, methods, and skills of direct relevance to their studies. The module is core for all PPR PGT politics students and complements core subject and discipline-specific provision in religious studies and philosophy. The module aims to equip students with the ability to reflect upon the processes and implications of research project planning, design and execution in Politics, Philosophy and/or Religion.

The first part of the module examines the principles of research, including different disciplinary traditions of knowledge production. It goes on to set out the process of structuring a research project and explores how to develop and apply theory. The second part of the module examines a range of methods for conducting research, including interviews, surveys, and case studies. The final section covers questions of ethics and goes through how to write up and present research. Through the module, students will design research projects, develop writing and critical evaluation skills, and have the opportunity to present their research ideas as part of the annual MA conference. The module involves a combination of lectures, small group discussion, and presentations covering the following areas:

Select Bibliography:

Bryman, A. 2016. Social Research Methods 5th Ed.: Oxford University Press

Cooley, L. 2003. Dissertation Writing in Practice. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Creswell, J. and Creswell, J.W. 2018. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. 5th Ed.Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Grix, J. 2010. The Foundations of Research. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

McMillan, K. 2011. Study Skills for International Students. Harlow: Prentice Hall, 2011.

Potter, S. (ed.) 2006. Doing Postgraduate Research. 2nd ed. London: Sage.

Thody, A. 2006. Writing and Presenting Research. London: Sage.

Wilkinson, D. 2005. The Essential Guide to Postgraduate Study. London: Sage.

Wisker, G. 2008. The Postgraduate Research Handbook. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.