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- Select training provider - (Social Sciences Research Methods Programme)
Mon 18 Oct, Wed 20 Oct 2021
15:00 - 17:00

Venue: SSRMP Zoom

Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Programme


Bookings cannot be made on this event (Event is in the past).

Other dates:

Wed 8 Mar 2023

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Research Ethics in the Social Sciences

Mon 18 Oct, Wed 20 Oct 2021


Ethics is becoming an increasingly important issue for all researchers, particularly in the covid-19 era. The aim of this session is twofold: (I) to demonstrate the practical value of thinking seriously and systematically about what constitutes ethical conduct in social science research; (II) to discuss the new valences of research in the pandemic era and develop new practices to tackle the insecurity it has created.

This three-hour session will be delivered via Zoom, and involve mini-lectures, small group work, and group discussions.

Target audience
  • University Students from Tier 1 Departments
  • Masters and PhD students seeking ethical approval
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here
  • NB: This module is unsuitable to staff with experience of the ethical review process

Participants are required to locate, download and read the ‘Ethical Code’ or set of ‘Guidelines’ which most apply to their academic discipline. Please bring this Code or set of guidelines to the workshop, along with any critical observations. There are some examples of codes and guidelines below. For a summary, and as a resource, see:

Here are some common examples:


Number of sessions: 2

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Mon 18 Oct 2021   15:00 - 17:00 15:00 - 17:00 SSRMP Zoom Dr Matthew Sparkes
2 Wed 20 Oct 2021   15:00 - 17:00 15:00 - 17:00 SSRMP Zoom Dr Matthew Sparkes
Topics covered
  • What do we mean by ethics?
  • National and international policy frameworks
  • Ethics and risk in the covid era
  • Ethics across disciplinary boundaries
  • Dealing with ethical dilemmas
  • The processes of applying for ethics approval within the University of Cambridge
Learning Outcomes

This course does not contain a formal assessment but has learning outcomes that are linked to the wider outcomes of the broader programme:

  • To allow students to distinguish between values, moral and ethical issues
  • encourage students to think about problems and dilemmas in conducting research
  • help students to gain an overview of ethical relationships
  • enable students to know when to ask for help
  • prepare students in terms of defence of possible criticisms of their own research.

Number of sessions: 2 The sessions, will be split between mini-lectures, small-group work and class discussions.

  • Israel,M. & Hay, I. (2006) Research Ethics for Social Scientiests. London:Sage
  • Haggerty, K.(2004) 'Ethics creep: governing social science research in the name of ethics'. Qualitative Sociology, 27, pp391-414
  • Mertens, D. and Ginsberg, P. (2009) The Handbook of Social Research Ethics. Cal. Thousand Hills: Sage

This module is not assessed.

How to Book

Click the "Booking" panel on the left-hand sidebar (on a phone, this will be via a link called Booking/Availability near the top of the page.


Moodle is the 'Virtual Learning Environment' (VLE) that the SSRMP uses to deliver online courses.

SSRMP lecturers use Moodle to make teaching resources available before, during, and/or after classes, and to make announcements and answer questions.

For this reason, it is vital that all SSRMP students enrol onto and explore their course Moodle pages once booking their SSRMP modules via the UTBS, and that they do so before their module begins. Moodle pages for modules should go live around a week before the module commences, but some may be made visible to students, earlier.

For more information, and links to specific Moodle module pages, please visit our website


This module runs twice a year - once in Michaelmas Term; once in Lent Term.

Elements of Social Science Research

Booking / availability