|School||Cardiff School of Planning and Geography|
|External Subject Code||K400|
|Number of Credits||20|
|Language of Delivery||English|
|Module Leader||Dr Georgina Santos|
The module is organised in two parts. Part A provides a generic introduction to and an overview of social science research methods for planning. Part B provides skills and contexts in subject-specific epistemological paradigms, methodologies and methods. In addition, Part A of the module will provide the opportunity for students across all courses to attend ”Master-classes” from experts across the School of Planning and Geography in particular methods, techniques and perspectives.
Part B is specific to the MSc International Planning and Development, preparing students for research in spatial planning and international development and related professional practice. Part B has two elements. First, students will undertake a GIS mapping exercise to develop skills in spatial analysis. Second, in preparation for the dissertation and drawing on the lectures in Part A.
Part A - Generic
Part B - Course Specific
Part A will be delivered by lectures supported by ‘masterclass’ workshops on particular research designs and methods.Students will be required to attend four of the following 12 research methods masterclasses.
Introduction to Mapping and GIS (Scott Orford)
Mapping places in textual data (Scott Orford)
Introduction to Regression Analysis (Yiming Wang)
Agent based modelling (Yiming Wang)
Researching how people use the built environment: multi-method (Mike Biddulph)
Introduction to multi-level modelling in MLWin (Chinmoy Sarkar)
Research methods for spatial design research (Alan Chiaradia)
Deliberative and participative methods: focus groups, citizen juries and competance groups (Mara Miele).
Deliberative interviews (Peter Feindt)
Participant-led research: strategies for research with vulnerable people (Peter Mackie)
Small worlds: Exploring connectivity through social network analysis (Richard Gale)
Ethics and phronesis in planning (Huw Thomas)
Part B: The course-specific part of the module students will first undertake a GIS mapping exercise. This will include four sessions on the use of GIS Mapping, to include: data classification and handling; mapping and geo-visualisation; spatial analysis and processing; and land use and site selection, to include a mixture of lectures and laboratory sessions. Second students will undertake structured coursework as the first step in their dissertation. Drawing on Part A and relevant pointers embedded in the MScIPD core modules, students will be asked to do a piece of summative structured coursework, and will be offered up to one hour of supervision by their allocated dissertation supervisor*, who will guide him/her in these early stages of dissertation design.
In Part (A) students will practise and develop a number of skills. Students will learn to identify the relative merits of contrasting epistemological and methodological perspectives on the research process. They will learn when and how to use different research methods. They will develop skills in ideas generation and in the identification of a researchable topic. Students will also develop skills in writing research proposals and undertaking literature reviews. Whilst not actually carrying out independent research in this module, students will be given the necessary skills to design and implement a piece of research on their own.
In part (B) students will improve skills they already have, and: (a) be able to discuss their topic of research with their dissertation supervisor; and (b) present in a clear manner (both orally and in writing) the reasons behind their choices (of research topic, key readings, methods, sources of information).
The module provides an excellent opportunity to practise and master a number of skills related to research design and implementation, but also to self-discipline, organisation and critical reflection. Many of these are neglected in the noise and quick speed of lectures, classes and seminars and this module will provide students with the opportunity to think carefully about their research project. Students will be expected to:
Assignment 1 GIS Exercise (50%)
Assignment 2 Set of Questions (50%)
Assignment 1 Gis Exercise
Assignment 2 - Set Of Questions
Part A of the module will begin by introducing students to the epistemological bases of social science research for “planning” (in its widest sense) and, after C Wright Mills, introduce the “planning imagination”. This part of the module will then go on to outline the dominant research traditions in the social sciences and explain how these are intimately linked to choices made at each stage of the research process. The connections between epistemology, methodology and method are established here. The logic of enquiry for undertaking effective research is then explained along with an introduction to using quantitative methods, qualitative methods, mixed methods, case studies, secondary, documentary and archive research, visual research methods and field observation/ethnography. This part of the module concludes with discussions on data analysis and presentation.
Part B of the module will focus on developing a sound research proposal.In order to achieve this, students will choose a topic for their dissertation,
reflect on the alternative approaches to their research and choose one,and critically review the literature. It is a 'hand-on' module, and students
will actually start work on their dissertation (whether it is collecting data, running a regression using secondary data, preparing a questionnaire,
Burns, R. 2000. Introduction to research methods. London: Sage.
Bryman, A. 2012. Social research methods. 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press (or Bryman, A. 2008. Social research methods. 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Dawson, C. 2009. Introduction to research methods: a practical guide for anyone undertaking a research project. Oxford: How To Books.
Denscombe, M. (1998) The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects Open University Press, Buckingham.
Franklin, A. and Blyton, P. (eds.) Researching Sustainability: a guide to social science methods, practice and engagement. London. Earthscan.
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Silverman, D. (2010) Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook. London: Sage.
Singh, K. (2007) Quantitative Social Research Methods, Thousand Oaks, Sage.
GIS and Planning
Burrough,P.A, and McDonnell, R.A. (1998) Principles of Geographical Information Systems. Oxford University Press
Longley, P., and Clarke, G. (1995) (eds) GIS for Business and Service Planning GeoInformation International
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Martin,D. (1995) Geographic Information Systems and their socioeconomic applications, London: Routledge. 2nd edition.
RTPI (1992) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - A Planners Introductory Guide. RTPI, London.
Scholten, H.J. and Stillwell, J.C.H. (1990) Geographical Information Systems for Urban and Regional Planning (especially chapters by Ottens and le Clercq). Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Worboys, M. (1995) GIS: A Computing Perspective, London: Taylor and Francis.