Researching Human Rights: Social Science Research Methods

Optional module (10 ECTS Credits) - Spring Term

Aims and learning objectives

The module will introduce you to the theories and methods of qualitative social sciences research and how they can be applied to the study of human rights. It will assist you in developing your skills for understanding and evaluating the process and outcomes of applied research. You will reflect on the theoretical context, key concepts and tools of social sciences research in order to articulate a critical perspective on human rights.

Module outline

  • Researching Human Rights: Art, Science and/or Commitment?
  • Research Principles and Design: the Quantitative and the Qualitative approach
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Interviews and Focus Groups
  • Data Analysis
  • Ethical Implications of Social Research
  • Historical Sources, Archives and Oral Histories
  • Measuring Human Rights and Assessing Human Rights Regimes
  • Comparisons and Case Studies
  • Preparing for your Human Rights Dissertation

Assessment

Either a 6,000-word essay (100%) responding to a set question relating to the contents of the module. Or a 6,000-word research proposal (100%), which will serve as the basis for your dissertation project.

This module is ordinarily taught on Mondays. Lectures usually take place from 10.00am to 12.00.