AP2ID1-Research Methods for BSc International Development

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Jo Davies

Email: joanne.davies@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

This module aims to introduce students to the interdisciplinary use of qualitative and quantitative data in social-science research settings with particular reference to data generation, discovery and processing in developing-country contexts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
(i) Research Methods for International Development: At the end of this component students will:
•Have competency in understanding the potential role and value of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, data generation, data discovery and data processing in social science settings with particular reference to problems in developing countries.
•Have competency in the use of methods from different disciplines within the social sciences, with reference to interdisciplinarity.
•Have competency in assessing the importance of both qualitative and quantitative survey design with particular reference to developing economy contexts.
•Have an understanding of some of the intricacies involved in processing both qualitative and quantitative data derived from developing-economy contexts.

(ii) International Development Group Project: At the end of this component students will:
•have demonstrated their ability to review the literature relevant to their project, develop a research plan setting out clear aims and outcomes and the steps in the research process.
(iii) Career Planning (5 credits)
Students will be able to:
• Identify, assess and articulate their skills, interests, values and personality traits in the context of career decision making.
• Develop careers information retrieval, research and decision making skills, using a variety of sources including the Internet and interviews.
• Recognise and be able to write an effective application; identify the purpose and processes of recruitment interviews and how to perform effectively Assessment takes place late in the Summer Term of year 1 and the Spring Term of year 2.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop effective written and oral communication skills for an international development professional environment.
2. Career Planning: Students will develop business awareness through understanding broad trends in the graduate labour market and the personal attributes and achievements that employers require. They will develop oral communication and team working skills through practical group exercises. IT skills and information handling skills will be developed through use of the Internet. They will develop Personal Development Planning abilities through the reflective exercises and forward-looking nature of Career Planning, which will significantly contribute to PDP activities.

Outline content:

Outline content i) Research Methods for International Development: Qualitative Analysis Lecture 1: Course Overview and an Introduction to the role and significance of the qualitative data generation process; the philosophical perspectives underlying qualitative data generation Qualitative Analysis Lecture 2: Planning a research project, literature reviews, constructing a research question. Qualitative Analysis Lecture 3: Questionnaires and interviews in a qualitative setting Qualitative Analysis Lecture 4: Focus groups and observation, analysis of qualitative data. Qualitative Analysis Lecture 5: Assessment One Quantitative Analysis Lecture 6: Course Overview and an Introduction to the role and significance of the quantitative data generation process. The cohesion and inter-linkages between qualitative and quantitative data development. An introduction to the quantitative data sets: Case study one: Transactions costs cooperatives and milk-market development in the Ethiopian highlands. Case study two: Cattle raiding by Kuria tribesmen on the Tanzania-Kenya border and the problem with households that have too many boys. Case study three: Arsenic poisoning, well water quality and linkages to educational attainment in Bangladeshi households. Quantitative Analysis Lecture 7: Looking at data as distributions with applications from the case studies. Reading: Chapter one in Moore McCabe and Craig, Introduction to The Practice of Statistics. Quantitative Analysis Lecture 8: Displaying distributions as graphs with applications from the case studies. Reading: Chapter two in Moore McCabe and Craig, Introduction to The Practice of Statistics. Quantitative Analysis Lecture 9: Describing distributions with numbers with applications from the case studies. Reading: Chapter three in Moore McCabe and Craig, Introduction to The Practice of Statistics. Quantitative Analysis Lecture10: Assessment. (ii) International Development Group Project

Examination of Terms of Reference Research agency profile and its target audience Discuss background to project and project brief Review of literature and any information made available by the agency Development of research plan for approval by the agency and presentation in class Detailed consideration of research design including ethical clearance: (a) methods for data gathering, (b) data management, (c) data analysis techniques (iii) Career Planning The module component consists of three elements that relate to the stages in effective career planning, self-awareness (Finding Your Profile), opportunity awareness and decision making (Finding the Fit), and transition skills (Effective Applications). The first part centres on gaining work experience; the second focuses on effective applications for graduate level jobs.



Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching will be mainly lectures taking place in the Autumn Term with additional sessions in Week 6 of the Autumn Term of Part 1 and the Spring Term of Part 2 for Career Planning.

The content hours below are indicative only and maybe subject to change.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 24
Tutorials 4 8
Project Supervision 2
Guided independent study 144 18
Total hours by term 174.00 26.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Portfolio 25
Oral assessment and presentation 25
Class test administered by School 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Class Test (week five of the Autumn term) 25% Class Test (week ten of the Autumn Term) 25% Group project - Research Poster Presentation 25% - to be presented in the Spring Term Submission of a Career Planning Portfolio 25% - see AP1SCP and AP2SCP for full details

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    50 minutes each in-class test

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% only.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By class test during the resit period and re-submission of Career Planning portfolio dependent on element failed.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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