Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.
This module explores the nature of the social sciences and the natural sciences, in relation to the philosophical, epistemological and ontological debates that dominate the processes of researching the human world. Debates include objectivity within the research process; the influence of facts and values in the social sciences; and whether the perturbations caused by postmodernism affect the way that social science research is (or should be) carried out.
The structure of scientific thought and the logic of scientific inquiry, explanation, prediction, falsifiability, theory, causation, laws and relationships
Origins and scope of the social sciences: conflicting perspectives on human sciences
Objectivity and value judgements in the social sciences
Ideology: beliefs and belief systems, sociological analysis of knowledge and knowing
Understanding the social world: positivism, empiricism, idealism, relativism, post-structuralism and post-modernism.
A student passing this module should be able to: 1. Provide an analytical account of the debates regarding research and epistemology 2. Critically reflect on epistemological and ontological approaches to understanding the social world 3. Critically examine philosophical, methodological and theoretical issues arising in the social sciences 4. Apply all of the above, to demonstrate a critical understanding of designing social research
A course map contains a list of the individual study units, called modules, that you study to complete your course. Some modules are compulsory, but you can sometimes choose modules outside your core area of study which interest you.
A module is a self-contained, individual unit of study. The module descriptor provides various details about the module including who the module tutor is, what you will be studying, how you will be assessed and what you will have learned once you have completed the module.
Course maps and module descriptors from previous years can be found in the Course Resources Archive.