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Social Sciences Research Methods Programme course timetable

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Fri 28 Jan – Thu 10 Feb

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Friday 28 January

10:00
Doing Multivariate Analysis (DMA 4) (1 of 4) Finished 10:00 - 12:00 SSRMP Zoom

This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of multivariate analysis, covering Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and logistic regressions. You will learn how to read published results critically, to do simple multivariate modelling yourself , and to interpret and write about your results intelligently.

Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre, and covers the theory behind multivariate regression; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using statistical software.

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions having fun by building your own statistical models.

14:00
Doing Multivariate Analysis (DMA 4) (2 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP Zoom

This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of multivariate analysis, covering Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and logistic regressions. You will learn how to read published results critically, to do simple multivariate modelling yourself , and to interpret and write about your results intelligently.

Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre, and covers the theory behind multivariate regression; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using statistical software.

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions having fun by building your own statistical models.

Monday 31 January

14:00
Public Policy Analysis (1 of 3) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP Zoom

The analysis of policy depends on many disciplines and techniques and so is difficult for many researchers to access. This module provides a mixed perspective on policy analysis, taking both an academic and a practitioner perspective. This is because the same tools and techniques can be used in academic research on policy options and change as those used in practice in a policy environment. This course is provided as three 2 hour sessions delivered as a mix of lectures and seminars. No direct analysis work will be done in the sessions themselves, but some sample data and questions will be provided for students who wish to take the material into practice.

Tuesday 1 February

14:00
Introduction to Stata (2 of 2) Finished 14:00 - 18:00 Taught Online

The course will provide students with an introduction to the popular and powerful statistics package Stata. Stata is commonly used by analysts in both the social and natural sciences, and is the statistics package used most widely by the SSRMC. You will learn:

  • How to open and manage a dataset in Stata
  • How to recode variables
  • How to select a sample for analysis
  • The commands needed to perform simple statistical analyses in Stata
  • Where to find additional resources to help you as you progress with Stata

The course is intended for students who already have a working knowledge of statistics - it's designed primarily as a ""second language"" course for students who are already familiar with another package, perhaps R or SPSS. Students who don't already have a working knowledge of applied statistics should look at courses in our Basic Statistics Stream.

17:30
Open Source Investigation for Academics new (2 of 8) Finished 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. Open Source Investigation for Academics is a methodology course run by Cambridge’s Digital Verification Corps, in partnership with Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights, the Social Science Research Methods Programme and Cambridge Digital Humanities, as well as with the Citizen Evidence Lab at Amnesty International.

Wednesday 2 February

14:00
Issues in Measurement: Validity and Reliability Finished 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP Zoom

This short two-hour course will provide an introduction to measurement issues in the social sciences. We design questions (or "survey instruments") to gain information on the concepts we are researching. Two prime considerations in whether an instrument is effective are validity (does our instrument actually measure what we want it to measure?) and reliability (does our instrument give consistent results across a range of different situations?) Considerations of validity and reliability are important across many areas of social science, including the measurement of personality and mental health; attitudes; ability tests; substance use disorders; and cultural differences and similarities between various groups. The course will discuss the importance, concepts, and types of validity and reliability. We will also briefly look at some statistical techniques for validity and reliability checks: Cronbach’s Alpha, Kappa coefficient, and Factor Analysis.

Thursday 3 February

09:00
Atlas.ti (1 of 6) Finished 09:00 - 10:30 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture on Moodle

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

10:30
Atlas.ti (2 of 6) Finished 10:30 - 12:00 SSRMP Zoom

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

11:30
Reading and Understanding Statistics (1 of 4) Finished 11:30 - 13:30 Taught Online

This module is for students who don’t plan to use quantitative methods in their own research, but who need to be able to read and understand published research using quantitative methods. You will learn how to interpret graphs, frequency tables and multivariate regression results, and to ask intelligent questions about sampling, methods and statistical inference. The module is aimed at complete beginners, with no prior knowledge of statistics or quantitative methods.

15:30
Ethnographic Methods (1 of 4) Finished 15:30 - 17:00 Taught Online

This module is an introduction to ethnographic fieldwork and analysis and is intended for students in fields other than anthropology. It provides an introduction to contemporary debates in ethnography, and an outline of how selected methods may be used in ethnographic study.

The ethnographic method was originally developed in the field of social anthropology, but has grown in popularity across several disciplines, including sociology, geography, criminology, education and organization studies.

Ethnographic research is a largely qualitative method, based upon participant observation among small samples of people for extended periods. A community of research participants might be defined on the basis of ethnicity, geography, language, social class, or on the basis of membership of a group or organization. An ethnographer aims to engage closely with the culture and experiences of their research participants, to produce a holistic analysis of their fieldsite.

Session 1: The Ethnographic Method What is ethnography? Can ethnographic research and writing be objective? How does one conduct ethnographic research responsibly and ethically?

Session 2: Visual Anthropology This session outlines the relation of ethnographic film to anthropology and ethnographic knowledge generally, looks at some examples of contemporary ethnographic film practice, and inquires into the possible utility of photography and video recording in the research process of ethnographic fieldwork in general. We continue the prior session’s consideration of some of the epistemological, theoretical, social, and ethical considerations that tend to arise around use of these audiovisual recording technologies in anthropological fieldwork and analysis.

Session 3: Ethnography and/as Audio Shortly after the phonograph was invented, ethnographers began using audio recording to document the cultural practices they were researching. For some, it has served as a kind of scientific tool to gather evidence and generate archives of linguistic, musical, and other sonic practices; for many others, it has served as an essential tool for interviewing about any topic; and for other still, audio recording and re-composition offer new possibilities of what ‘writing culture’ means. What are the consequences of using audio recording in fieldwork? And what are the technical, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of doing so?

Session 4: Relationships in the Field Ethnographic methodology and participant observation often involve researchers’ positioning in existing networks of social relations. This session is meant to help attendees manage interpersonal relationships with research participants from academic, political, and ethical perspectives. We will discuss when and why relationships in ethnographic fieldwork can be a reason for concern. We will reflect on the social distinctions that emerge when doing fieldwork with other people and their effects on researchers’ decision-making process. Finally, we will think through different fieldwork strategies when working with others, and how they impact the production of ethnographic knowledge.

Friday 4 February

10:00
Doing Multivariate Analysis (DMA 4) (3 of 4) Finished 10:00 - 12:00 SSRMP Zoom

This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of multivariate analysis, covering Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and logistic regressions. You will learn how to read published results critically, to do simple multivariate modelling yourself , and to interpret and write about your results intelligently.

Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre, and covers the theory behind multivariate regression; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using statistical software.

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions having fun by building your own statistical models.

14:00
Doing Multivariate Analysis (DMA 4) (4 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP Zoom

This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of multivariate analysis, covering Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and logistic regressions. You will learn how to read published results critically, to do simple multivariate modelling yourself , and to interpret and write about your results intelligently.

Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre, and covers the theory behind multivariate regression; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using statistical software.

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions having fun by building your own statistical models.

Monday 7 February

09:00
Diary Methodology (1 of 3) Finished 09:00 - 13:00 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture on Moodle

This SSRMP module introduces solicited diaries as a qualitative data collection method. Diary methodology is a flexible and versatile tool which has been used across a variety of disciplines (e.g. public health, nursing, psychology, media studies, education, sociology).

Solicited diaries are particularly powerful in combination with qualitative interviews, enabling the remote collection of rich data on intimate or unobservable topic areas over a longer period of time. This multi-method approach, also known as the ‘diary-interview method’ (DIM), has been originally developed as an alternative to participant observation (see: Zimmerman, D. H., & Wieder, D. L. (1977). The Diary: Diary-Interview Method. Urban Life, 5(4), 479–498.), which makes it an especially attractive qualitative data collection method in Covid-19 times.

In addition to the engagement with pre-recorded videos on Moodle (covering diary methodology basics), you will get hands-on experience with designing your own qualitative diary (3 hours live workshop via Zoom) and trying out the role of a researcher as well as research participant over a 5-day period (teaming up with a module colleague and filling out each other’s diaries). We will reflect on these experiences and answer remaining questions in a final 1-hour live session via Zoom.

The module is suitable for anybody interested in learning more about the method and/or using solicited qualitative diaries in their own research projects.

14:00
Public Policy Analysis (2 of 3) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP Zoom

The analysis of policy depends on many disciplines and techniques and so is difficult for many researchers to access. This module provides a mixed perspective on policy analysis, taking both an academic and a practitioner perspective. This is because the same tools and techniques can be used in academic research on policy options and change as those used in practice in a policy environment. This course is provided as three 2 hour sessions delivered as a mix of lectures and seminars. No direct analysis work will be done in the sessions themselves, but some sample data and questions will be provided for students who wish to take the material into practice.

Tuesday 8 February

12:30
Qualitative Research Rigour Finished 12:30 - 13:30 SSRMP Zoom

Historically, qualitative research has been criticised for being less rigorous than quantitative research through not fulfilling quality standards such as objectivity, validity, and reliability. This leads to questions whether qualitative research can fulfil these specific markers of rigour, how it can come as close as possible to fulfilling them, and whether qualitative research should at all attempt to live up to these understandings of research quality. Responding to this debate, many methodologists have argued for the need of translating objectivity, validity, and reliability within qualitative research designs.

The discussion of rigour is a loaded one, among methodologists of all three research approaches (qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods) as well as mong qualitative researchers themselves. This course introduces different quality strategies for qualitative research to help students make informed decisions for improving their own empirical work and to better judge the rigour of empirical qualitative research done by others.

14:00
Qualitative Interviews with Vulnerable Groups (1 of 3) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP Zoom

Qualitative interviews are often used in the social sciences to learn more about the world and are often considered to be particularly appropriate for people we might class as vulnerable. The goal of this course is to encourage students to think critically about whether this is actually the case, and to offer a practical guide to conducting qualitative research with vulnerable participants in a way which neither produces nor takes advantage of their vulnerability. It will be highly discursive, and will draw throughout on ‘real life’ examples from the lecturer’s work interviewing people in prison, as well as with other research with people deemed vulnerable. The course will be of interest to students who are conducting, or planning to conduct, research with a group considered vulnerable, and will also be of interest to students who want to critically engage with such research in their field. In the first session, we will consider the politics of vulnerability. What is it? What creates it? What does it mean to deem someone ‘vulnerable’? What are the benefits and dangers of conducting research with ‘vulnerable’ people, and how can different forms of research exploit, create and alleviate vulnerability? In the second session we will think through the challenges of actually undertaking interviews in the field. We will discuss both how to plan for interviews and how to deal with the unexpected, and we will also discuss the various ways in which both the researcher and the interview participant can become vulnerable during the interview. In the third session we will explore questions of representation. How can we – ethically and rigorously – analyse and write up research conducted with vulnerable groups? Who are our most important audiences, and does this shape how we portray the people we are writing about?

Content warning: Throughout, the course will cover the experience and effects of different forms of trauma. In particular, it will draw on examples from the lecturer’s own work conducting interviews with imprisoned men convicted of sex offences. More specific details about content warnings will be added to the moodle by the beginning of Lent 2022 and will also be discussed at the beginning and end of each session. If any potential attendees of this seminar have any concerns or questions, please do contact the lecturer on amani2@cam.ac.uk.

Further Topics in Multivariate Analysis (FTMA) 1 (1 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture on Moodle

This module is an extension of the three previous modules in the Basic Statistics stream, and introduces more complex and nuanced aspects of the theory and practice of mutivariate analysis. Students will learn the theory behind the methods covered, how to implement them in practice, how to interpret their results, and how to write intelligently about their findings. Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using the statistical software Stata.

Topics covered include:

  • Interaction effects in regression models: how to estimate these and how to interpret them
  • Marginal effects from interacted models
  • Ordered and categorical discrete dependent variable models (ordered and multinomial logit and probit)

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions building your own statistical models.

Further Topics in Multivariate Analysis (FTMA) 2 (1 of 3) Finished 14:00 - 16:00 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture on Moodle

This module is an extension of the three previous modules in the Basic Statistics stream, and introduces more complex and nuanced aspects of the theory and practice of mutivariate analysis. Students will learn the theory behind the methods covered, how to implement them in practice, how to interpret their results, and how to write intelligently about their findings. Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using the statistical software Stata.

Topics covered include:

  • Interaction effects in regression models: how to estimate these and how to interpret them
  • Marginal effects from interacted models
  • Ordered and categorical discrete dependent variable models (ordered and multinomial logit and probit)

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions building your own statistical models.

16:00
Further Topics in Multivariate Analysis (FTMA) 1 (2 of 4) Finished 16:00 - 18:00 SSRMP Zoom

This module is an extension of the three previous modules in the Basic Statistics stream, and introduces more complex and nuanced aspects of the theory and practice of mutivariate analysis. Students will learn the theory behind the methods covered, how to implement them in practice, how to interpret their results, and how to write intelligently about their findings. Half of the module is based in the lecture theatre; the other half is lab-based, in which students will work through practical exercises using the statistical software Stata.

Topics covered include:

  • Interaction effects in regression models: how to estimate these and how to interpret them
  • Marginal effects from interacted models
  • Ordered and categorical discrete dependent variable models (ordered and multinomial logit and probit)

To get the most out of the course, you should also expect to spend some time between sessions building your own statistical models.

17:30
Open Source Investigation for Academics new (3 of 8) Finished 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. Open Source Investigation for Academics is a methodology course run by Cambridge’s Digital Verification Corps, in partnership with Cambridge’s Centre of Governance and Human Rights, the Social Science Research Methods Programme and Cambridge Digital Humanities, as well as with the Citizen Evidence Lab at Amnesty International.

Wednesday 9 February

14:00
Feminist Research Practice (1 of 4) Finished 14:00 - 15:15 SSRMP Zoom

This series of workshops are aimed at students interested in interdisciplinary and feminist research practice. The course revolves around a simple query: what makes research feminist? It is the starting point to engage with classic and more contemporary writings on feminist knowledge production to answer some of the following questions: what are the ‘proper’ objects of feminist research? Who can do feminist research? Why do we do feminist research, and what is its relevance? Who do we cite in our research? We will have in-class discussions and hands-on assignments that will allow students to practice some of the main debates we will read about.

Thursday 10 February

09:00
Atlas.ti (3 of 6) Finished 09:00 - 10:30 SSRMP pre-recorded lecture on Moodle

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

10:30
Atlas.ti (4 of 6) Finished 10:30 - 12:00 SSRMP Zoom

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

11:30
Reading and Understanding Statistics (2 of 4) Finished 11:30 - 13:30 Taught Online

This module is for students who don’t plan to use quantitative methods in their own research, but who need to be able to read and understand published research using quantitative methods. You will learn how to interpret graphs, frequency tables and multivariate regression results, and to ask intelligent questions about sampling, methods and statistical inference. The module is aimed at complete beginners, with no prior knowledge of statistics or quantitative methods.

15:30
Ethnographic Methods (2 of 4) Finished 15:30 - 17:00 Taught Online

This module is an introduction to ethnographic fieldwork and analysis and is intended for students in fields other than anthropology. It provides an introduction to contemporary debates in ethnography, and an outline of how selected methods may be used in ethnographic study.

The ethnographic method was originally developed in the field of social anthropology, but has grown in popularity across several disciplines, including sociology, geography, criminology, education and organization studies.

Ethnographic research is a largely qualitative method, based upon participant observation among small samples of people for extended periods. A community of research participants might be defined on the basis of ethnicity, geography, language, social class, or on the basis of membership of a group or organization. An ethnographer aims to engage closely with the culture and experiences of their research participants, to produce a holistic analysis of their fieldsite.

Session 1: The Ethnographic Method What is ethnography? Can ethnographic research and writing be objective? How does one conduct ethnographic research responsibly and ethically?

Session 2: Visual Anthropology This session outlines the relation of ethnographic film to anthropology and ethnographic knowledge generally, looks at some examples of contemporary ethnographic film practice, and inquires into the possible utility of photography and video recording in the research process of ethnographic fieldwork in general. We continue the prior session’s consideration of some of the epistemological, theoretical, social, and ethical considerations that tend to arise around use of these audiovisual recording technologies in anthropological fieldwork and analysis.

Session 3: Ethnography and/as Audio Shortly after the phonograph was invented, ethnographers began using audio recording to document the cultural practices they were researching. For some, it has served as a kind of scientific tool to gather evidence and generate archives of linguistic, musical, and other sonic practices; for many others, it has served as an essential tool for interviewing about any topic; and for other still, audio recording and re-composition offer new possibilities of what ‘writing culture’ means. What are the consequences of using audio recording in fieldwork? And what are the technical, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of doing so?

Session 4: Relationships in the Field Ethnographic methodology and participant observation often involve researchers’ positioning in existing networks of social relations. This session is meant to help attendees manage interpersonal relationships with research participants from academic, political, and ethical perspectives. We will discuss when and why relationships in ethnographic fieldwork can be a reason for concern. We will reflect on the social distinctions that emerge when doing fieldwork with other people and their effects on researchers’ decision-making process. Finally, we will think through different fieldwork strategies when working with others, and how they impact the production of ethnographic knowledge.