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Social Sciences Research Methods Programme course timetable

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Thu 29 Feb – Mon 11 Mar

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Thursday 29 February

10:00
Atlas.ti (3 of 3) In progress 10:00 - 13:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

This course provides an introduction to the management and analysis of qualitative data using Atlas.ti. It is divided between mini-lectures, in which you’ll learn the relevant strategies and techniques, and hands-on live practical sessions, in which you will learn how to analyse qualitative data using the software.

The sessions will introduce participants to the following:

  • consideration of the advantages and limitations of using qualitative analysis software
  • setting-up a research project in Atlas.ti
  • use of Atlas.ti's menus and tool bars
  • importing and organising data
  • starting data analysis using Atlas.ti’s coding tools
  • exploring data using query and visualization tools

Please note: Atlas.ti for Mac will not be covered.

Mixed Methods (LT) new (1 of 4) [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture(s) on Moodle

Mixed and multi method approaches are increasingly common in the social sciences. Whilst much has been written about the justification, design and benefit of mixed methods, there is correspondingly little published empirical research which rigorously employs such approaches. In this interactive session, we will consider what mixed and multi methods approaches are, when you might use them, and - most importantly - start to think about how you can integrate quantitative and qualitative data (a) across a series of studies and (b) within a single study.

Equitable Research through Creative Methods new (1 of 3) [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture(s) on Moodle

Research proposals, written consent forms, participant information sheets, letters of intent, briefs and proposals on university headed paper are all claims to power, neutrality and control in the research process. Though ethically imperative, this course is an opportunity to reflect upon these “fetishes of consent” (Wynn and Israel, 2018) and the unequal power relations they may produce between participant and researcher. Employing creative methods within the research process, from start to end, is an opportunity to communicate meaningfully with all stakeholders; from a struggling mother with low literacy levels in a Mumbai slum, to a time conscious policy official in Cape Town who refuses to glance past the first paragraph of your research proposal. The ability to communicate complex and often abstract ideas beyond an academic audience is pivotal to doing research with impact, and it is also a vital part of a decolonial agenda. While “the proof of the [decolonial] pudding” is arguably identified in how research is analysed and presented (Hitchings and Latham, 2020:392), it is crucial that methodologies are subject to critical reflexivity, and foster knowledge exchange between scholars, practitioners, and respondents.

In this course we will explore a variety of “creative methods” that have been developed for use in the field, and to generate empirical data. This course then goes further, to explore ways of incorporating creativity throughout the research process in areas such as stakeholder engagement, participant recruitment, consent processes, and gatekeeper conflict during data collection and research dissemination. As part of the course, you will make a simple means for creative outreach such as a video, presentation, drawing, or video recording (etc.) that communicates your research to intended stakeholder(s). We will think critically about intended audience demographics (i.e. elderly, working mothers, young people, peasant farmers, NGO workers or city officials) and reflect upon the creative materials we have produced as a group and discuss its methodological implications. The goal is not to use creative practice as simply another empirical data gathering tool, but to address the hierarchies within academic processes and knowledge production. Creative practice is an opportunity to build new communication strategies that foster the reflexivity, flexibility, and wonder of the unknown within co-production, enabling us to move towards more equitable ways of building and cocreating knowledge.

11:00
Web Scraping and Digital Power new (1 of 2) [Places] 11:00 - 13:00 SSRMP Zoom

Web scraping has great potential as a research tool that can be applied across various fields of research including social science and humanities, and allows us to reach beyond the ‘quantitative and qualitative divide’. The programming and code-reading/analysing skills used in web scraping can enhance our understanding of digital power beyond the traditional limits of computing techniques.

This two-hour training module (plus 1-hour online Q&A session) introduces researchers to how to use Python software for web scraping. You will learn what web scraping means, the principles behind it, and ethical considerations, and importantly how to use Python to achieve web scraping. The module provides a good opportunity to learn how to enhance your coding and code-reading skills, from which you can reflect on how digital power especially web scraping and coding is shaping contemporary research. The training is programming beginner friendly.

14:00
Mixed Methods (LT) new (2 of 4) [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 University Centre, Hicks Room

Mixed and multi method approaches are increasingly common in the social sciences. Whilst much has been written about the justification, design and benefit of mixed methods, there is correspondingly little published empirical research which rigorously employs such approaches. In this interactive session, we will consider what mixed and multi methods approaches are, when you might use them, and - most importantly - start to think about how you can integrate quantitative and qualitative data (a) across a series of studies and (b) within a single study.

16:00
Visual Research Method: Drawing (Group 1) new (1 of 2) [Places] 16:00 - 18:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

This module introduces drawing as a research method, with a particular focus on the key elements and methodological considerations for using drawing as a visual research method, and the pairing of drawing with qualitative interviews. This module explores examples of using drawing as a research method across disciplines, and students are offered hands-on experience to practice using drawing as a research method through a practical workshop.

Visual Research Method: Drawing (Group 2) new (1 of 2) [Places] 16:00 - 18:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

This module introduces drawing as a research method, with a particular focus on the key elements and methodological considerations for using drawing as a visual research method, and the pairing of drawing with qualitative interviews. This module explores examples of using drawing as a research method across disciplines, and students are offered hands-on experience to practice using drawing as a research method through a practical workshop.

17:00
Web Scraping and Digital Power new (2 of 2) [Places] 17:00 - 18:00 Taught Online

Web scraping has great potential as a research tool that can be applied across various fields of research including social science and humanities, and allows us to reach beyond the ‘quantitative and qualitative divide’. The programming and code-reading/analysing skills used in web scraping can enhance our understanding of digital power beyond the traditional limits of computing techniques.

This two-hour training module (plus 1-hour online Q&A session) introduces researchers to how to use Python software for web scraping. You will learn what web scraping means, the principles behind it, and ethical considerations, and importantly how to use Python to achieve web scraping. The module provides a good opportunity to learn how to enhance your coding and code-reading skills, from which you can reflect on how digital power especially web scraping and coding is shaping contemporary research. The training is programming beginner friendly.

Monday 4 March

09:00
Panel Data Analysis new (1 of 2) [Places] 09:00 - 13:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

Panel data consists of repeated observations measured at multiple time points, collected from multiple individuals, entities, or subjects over a period of time. For instance, child A’s numeracy test score in Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4. Country B’s GDP per capita in year 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. Panel data analysis, as a subset of longitudinal data analysis, is particularly useful for addressing research questions that try to understand how variables change over time and how individual units differ in their responses to changes. An example research question could be: how do children's numeracy scores vary across different socioeconomic backgrounds, and how have these disparities changed over the years? Panel data analysis holds several advantages, such as (1) increased statistical efficiency, (2) more effective at controlling for unobserved individual or entity-specific effects, and (3) more capable to study the dynamics of relationships over time.

Over the course of this module, participants will learn how to work with panel data. Through hands-on exercises and practical examples, participants will gain proficiency in data manipulation, visualisation, and advanced statistical techniques tailored specifically for panel data. It is suitable for postgraduate students and researchers at any stages of their study and research. However, foundational Stata skills are required.

12:00
Survey Research and Design (LT) (5 of 6) In progress 12:00 - 13:30 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture(s) on Moodle

The module aims to provide students with an introduction to and overview of survey methods and its uses and limitations. It will introduce students both to some of the main theoretical issues involved in survey research (such as survey sampling, non-response and question wording) and to practicalities of the design and analysis of surveys. The module consists of six 1.5 hour sessions, alternating between prerecorded lectures and practical exercises.

14:00
Factor Analysis (4 of 4) In progress 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP Zoom

This module introduces the statistical techniques of Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor Analyses. Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) is used to uncover the latent structure (dimensions) of a set of variables. It reduces the attribute space from a larger number of variables to a smaller number of factors. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) examines whether collected data correspond to a model of what the data are meant to measure. STATA will be introduced as a powerful tool to conduct confirmatory factor analysis. A brief introduction will be given to confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling.

  • Session 1: Exploratory Factor Analysis Introduction
  • Session 2: Factor Analysis Applications
  • Session 3: CFA and Path Analysis with STATA
  • Session 4: Introduction to SEM and programming
16:00
Survey Research and Design (LT) (6 of 6) In progress 16:00 - 17:30 University Centre, Hicks Room

The module aims to provide students with an introduction to and overview of survey methods and its uses and limitations. It will introduce students both to some of the main theoretical issues involved in survey research (such as survey sampling, non-response and question wording) and to practicalities of the design and analysis of surveys. The module consists of six 1.5 hour sessions, alternating between prerecorded lectures and practical exercises.

Visual Research Method: Drawing (Group 1) new (2 of 2) [Places] 16:00 - 18:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

This module introduces drawing as a research method, with a particular focus on the key elements and methodological considerations for using drawing as a visual research method, and the pairing of drawing with qualitative interviews. This module explores examples of using drawing as a research method across disciplines, and students are offered hands-on experience to practice using drawing as a research method through a practical workshop.

Tuesday 5 March

09:00
Panel Data Analysis new (2 of 2) [Places] 09:00 - 13:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

Panel data consists of repeated observations measured at multiple time points, collected from multiple individuals, entities, or subjects over a period of time. For instance, child A’s numeracy test score in Year 1, Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4. Country B’s GDP per capita in year 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. Panel data analysis, as a subset of longitudinal data analysis, is particularly useful for addressing research questions that try to understand how variables change over time and how individual units differ in their responses to changes. An example research question could be: how do children's numeracy scores vary across different socioeconomic backgrounds, and how have these disparities changed over the years? Panel data analysis holds several advantages, such as (1) increased statistical efficiency, (2) more effective at controlling for unobserved individual or entity-specific effects, and (3) more capable to study the dynamics of relationships over time.

Over the course of this module, participants will learn how to work with panel data. Through hands-on exercises and practical examples, participants will gain proficiency in data manipulation, visualisation, and advanced statistical techniques tailored specifically for panel data. It is suitable for postgraduate students and researchers at any stages of their study and research. However, foundational Stata skills are required.

11:00
Research Data Security (LT) new (2 of 2) In progress 11:00 - 12:00 SSRMP Zoom

This course introduces students to some of the legal issues around academic research involving personal data, and walks them through securing their research by conceptualizing and then assessing possible risks, followed by examining different ways to reduce those risks. This is delivered in a practical and non-technical way although there are some terms to do with risk assessment which may be unfamiliar to them. For this reason there is a relevant glossary provided for each session.

14:00
Conversation and Discourse Analysis (4 of 4) In progress 14:00 - 15:30 Lecture Theatre A (Arts School)

The module will introduce students to the study of language use as a distinctive type of social practice. Attention will be focused primarily on the methodological and analytic principles of conversation analysis. (CA). However, it will explore the debates between CA and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), as a means of addressing the relationship between the study of language use and the study of other aspects of social life. It will also consider the roots of conversation analysis in the research initiatives of ethnomethodology, and the analysis of ordinary and institutional talk. It will finally consider the interface between CA and CDA.

17:30
Open Source Investigation for Academics (LT) new (7 of 8) In progress 17:30 - 18:30 SSRMP Zoom

Open Source Investigation for Academics is methodology course run by Cambridge’s Digital Verification Corps, in partnership with Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights, Social Sciences Research Methods Programme and Cambridge Digital Humanities, as well as with the Citizen Evidence Lab at Amnesty International.

NB. Places on this module are extremely limited, so please only make a booking if you are able to attend all of the sessions.

Wednesday 6 March

13:00
A Critical Analysis of Null Hypothesis Testing and its Alternatives (Including Bayesian Analysis) (1 of 2) [Places] 13:00 - 18:00 Department of Psychology, Psychology Lecture Theatre

This course will provide a detailed critique of the methods and philosophy of the Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST) approach to statistics which is currently dominant in social and biomedical science. We will briefly contrast NHST with alternatives, especially with Bayesian methods. We will use some computer code (Matlab and R) to demonstrate some issues. However, we will focus on the big picture rather on the implementation of specific procedures.

Thursday 7 March

09:00
Meta-Analysis (1 of 2) [Places] 09:00 - 13:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

In this module students will be introduced to meta-analysis, a powerful statistical technique allowing researchers to synthesize the available evidence for a given research question using standardized (comparable) effect sizes across studies. The sessions teach students how to compute treatment effects, how to compute effect sizes based on correlational studies, how to address questions such as what is the association of bullying victimization with depression? The module will be useful for students who seek to draw statistical conclusions in a standardized manner from literature reviews they are conducting.

10:00
Mixed Methods (LT) new (3 of 4) [Places] 10:00 - 11:00 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture(s) on Moodle

Mixed and multi method approaches are increasingly common in the social sciences. Whilst much has been written about the justification, design and benefit of mixed methods, there is correspondingly little published empirical research which rigorously employs such approaches. In this interactive session, we will consider what mixed and multi methods approaches are, when you might use them, and - most importantly - start to think about how you can integrate quantitative and qualitative data (a) across a series of studies and (b) within a single study.

Equitable Research through Creative Methods new (2 of 3) [Places] 10:00 - 12:00 Titan Teaching Room 3, New Museums Site

Research proposals, written consent forms, participant information sheets, letters of intent, briefs and proposals on university headed paper are all claims to power, neutrality and control in the research process. Though ethically imperative, this course is an opportunity to reflect upon these “fetishes of consent” (Wynn and Israel, 2018) and the unequal power relations they may produce between participant and researcher. Employing creative methods within the research process, from start to end, is an opportunity to communicate meaningfully with all stakeholders; from a struggling mother with low literacy levels in a Mumbai slum, to a time conscious policy official in Cape Town who refuses to glance past the first paragraph of your research proposal. The ability to communicate complex and often abstract ideas beyond an academic audience is pivotal to doing research with impact, and it is also a vital part of a decolonial agenda. While “the proof of the [decolonial] pudding” is arguably identified in how research is analysed and presented (Hitchings and Latham, 2020:392), it is crucial that methodologies are subject to critical reflexivity, and foster knowledge exchange between scholars, practitioners, and respondents.

In this course we will explore a variety of “creative methods” that have been developed for use in the field, and to generate empirical data. This course then goes further, to explore ways of incorporating creativity throughout the research process in areas such as stakeholder engagement, participant recruitment, consent processes, and gatekeeper conflict during data collection and research dissemination. As part of the course, you will make a simple means for creative outreach such as a video, presentation, drawing, or video recording (etc.) that communicates your research to intended stakeholder(s). We will think critically about intended audience demographics (i.e. elderly, working mothers, young people, peasant farmers, NGO workers or city officials) and reflect upon the creative materials we have produced as a group and discuss its methodological implications. The goal is not to use creative practice as simply another empirical data gathering tool, but to address the hierarchies within academic processes and knowledge production. Creative practice is an opportunity to build new communication strategies that foster the reflexivity, flexibility, and wonder of the unknown within co-production, enabling us to move towards more equitable ways of building and cocreating knowledge.

14:00
Mixed Methods (LT) new (4 of 4) [Places] 14:00 - 16:00 University Centre, Hicks Room

Mixed and multi method approaches are increasingly common in the social sciences. Whilst much has been written about the justification, design and benefit of mixed methods, there is correspondingly little published empirical research which rigorously employs such approaches. In this interactive session, we will consider what mixed and multi methods approaches are, when you might use them, and - most importantly - start to think about how you can integrate quantitative and qualitative data (a) across a series of studies and (b) within a single study.

16:00
Visual Research Method: Drawing (Group 2) new (2 of 2) [Places] 16:00 - 18:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

This module introduces drawing as a research method, with a particular focus on the key elements and methodological considerations for using drawing as a visual research method, and the pairing of drawing with qualitative interviews. This module explores examples of using drawing as a research method across disciplines, and students are offered hands-on experience to practice using drawing as a research method through a practical workshop.

Friday 8 March

09:00
Meta-Analysis (2 of 2) [Places] 09:00 - 13:00 Titan Teaching Room 1, New Museums Site

In this module students will be introduced to meta-analysis, a powerful statistical technique allowing researchers to synthesize the available evidence for a given research question using standardized (comparable) effect sizes across studies. The sessions teach students how to compute treatment effects, how to compute effect sizes based on correlational studies, how to address questions such as what is the association of bullying victimization with depression? The module will be useful for students who seek to draw statistical conclusions in a standardized manner from literature reviews they are conducting.

Monday 11 March

16:00
Visual Research Method: Drawing (Group 3) new (2 of 2) In progress 16:00 - 18:00 SSRMP Zoom

This module introduces drawing as a research method, with a particular focus on the key elements and methodological considerations for using drawing as a visual research method, and the pairing of drawing with qualitative interviews. This module explores examples of using drawing as a research method across disciplines, and students are offered hands-on experience to practice using drawing as a research method through a practical workshop.