Introduction to Social Research Methods

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FREE,
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edX online courses
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be tau...
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with edX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.

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Sciences & Technology
Business & Management
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Course Description

How does ‘society’ function? What makes ‘culture’? These are crucially important questions that can help us to understand the most pressing issues that human beings face today – but how do we answer them? This course will explore the techniques and approaches used by researchers to answer difficult questions about the social world.

In this course, we’re going to explore:

  • The kinds of methods researchers tend to adopt
  • The contexts in which certain research methods are used
  • The benefits, drawbacks and ethical implications of research 

This course isn’t a practical or technical guide to doing research. Rather, it offers a way for us to think deeply about what methods are, and what they allow us to achieve.

When you complete this course, we want you to be critical users of research – and that means having the ability to always question the application of methods, and to hold ourselves to account as research...

How does ‘society’ function? What makes ‘culture’? These are crucially important questions that can help us to understand the most pressing issues that human beings face today – but how do we answer them? This course will explore the techniques and approaches used by researchers to answer difficult questions about the social world.

In this course, we’re going to explore:

  • The kinds of methods researchers tend to adopt
  • The contexts in which certain research methods are used
  • The benefits, drawbacks and ethical implications of research 

This course isn’t a practical or technical guide to doing research. Rather, it offers a way for us to think deeply about what methods are, and what they allow us to achieve.

When you complete this course, we want you to be critical users of research – and that means having the ability to always question the application of methods, and to hold ourselves to account as researchers and scholars.

That not only makes our research better, it also foregrounds the things that are most exciting and interesting about methods.

We’ve designed this course to provide you with a unique opportunity to develop your understanding of methods. This course is part of the Masters in Digital Education programme at the University of Edinburgh. You will study alongside students who are enrolled at the University and who are working towards a postgraduate qualification. By joining us you’ll get a sense of what it is like to study on our programme. 

The Masters in Digital Education has built up a reputation over the years for critical engagement in our field, and it is this way of learning that we want to foreground in this course. Introduction to Social Research Methods will be about developing a rounded understanding of methods, and their underlying assumptions and values.

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Eli Appleby-Donald profile image
Eli Appleby-Donald profile image

Eli Appleby-Donald

10/10 starsCompleted
1 year, 11 months ago
This course was fantastically in-depth with huge opportunities to learn further. The teaching style was varied, personal and thought out, much more so than any other MOOC I have participated in. Although you can take this course at your own pace and chose to "lurk", I would highly recommend getting involved with your classmates, the activities and the assessments and taking advantage of the excellent teaching.
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