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Masterclass in Social Research


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Chao-Yo Cheng
  • Assessment: two 1000-word blog posts (20% each) and a 3000-word critical reflection paper (60%)

Module description

This module allows you to engage with a variety of different issues and methods in social research. The Masterclass will help you reinforce and critically reflect on the key concepts and methods taught in the previous terms. Each week the Masterclass will feature a speaker within and/or outside the College who is an expert in the selected issue and method. In addition to the speaker series, the Masterclass will also include a series of interactive 'Pieces of Craft' activities to support your dissertation progress. We welcome postgraduate students (master’s and research) in other programmes to join the Masterclass.

Please email the if you are interested in auditing or taking the Masterclass.

Indicative module syllabus

  • Philosophy and practice of social research (e.g. social epistemology; constructive academic citizenship)
  • Computational social science (e.g. social network analysis; natural language processing; geographic data science)
  • Critical qualitative research (e.g. ethnography; discourse analysis; pitfalls and merits of mixed methods)
  • History and archives in social sciences (e.g. oral history; archival research)

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have gained:

  • a solid introduction to the frontier of social research
  • the ability to critically reflect on a range of research methods widely used in social research
  • an in-depth understanding of the social research process
  • access to a range of experts and the ability to consider research questions from a broad perspective.