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Demonstrate the following: Knowledge and understanding of the social research process and methodology from selecting a topic to the presentation of findings

Unit title & code

Researching, Representing and Evidencing the Social World  - ASS081-2

Assignment number and title

One – Research Portfolio

Assignment type


Weighting of assignment


Size or length of assessment

3000 words

Unit learning outcomes

On completion of this unit you should be able to:

1 Demonstrate the following: Knowledge and understanding of the social research process and methodology from selecting a topic to the presentation of findings.

2 Demonstrate the following skills and abilities: Critically assess the existing research on a topic, define a research question and consider the ethical design of research to enable the collection and analysis of relevant data












What am I required to do in this assignment?

There is only one assignment for this Unit.

You are required to develop a portfolio relating to a single topic. You must agree your topic in advance with your seminar group lead tutor. Your topic has to be specific and it can be in the question format.

You  should develop a  3000 word portfolio comprised of  the following eight different elements:

  1. Introduction (150 words approx.) – introduce your topic, its relevance and importance, any important background information and key definitions
  2. A literature review (1,000 words) – You must explain your methodology first in this section in 2-3 paragraphs (i.e. how you conducted your literature searches, which database you used, what search criteria you applied, how you narrowed down the search results and how you selected your key articles). The rest of this section must present findings from your review of peer-reviewed journal articles, through the analysis and synthesis of the relevant research evidence (i.e. what you can find about your topic in the literature).
  3. Data analysis (500 words) – analysis of statistics relating to your topic (e.g. prevalence data, demographic data, etc.). You are required to produce your own table using the existing statistics and reference the original source below the table/figure you produced (not just copying tables and figures from websites). You are expected to analyse trends (ideally using two variables) so you are expected to discuss at least two different periods in time. Discuss what the changes in figures mean in relation to your topic.
  4. Policy analysis Or Media analysis (newspapers only) on your topic (500 words). If you choose to do media analysis, you must use a minimum of 2 newspaper articles from different points on the political spectrum to discuss the media representation of your topic.
  5. A reflection statement about your learning from the elements listed above (200 words) - what you have learned and what gaps in the literature and research you found from your literature review, data analysis and policy or media analysis. This section provides the rationale for the new research you are proposing.
  6. A research proposal (500 words) - You are introducing a new research study you are proposing here. Your research proposal must include your research question, the methods of data collection, research ethics and the methods of data analysis. You are expected to propose a primary research study in this research proposal. Therefore, the discussion of research ethics should be about how primary data will be ethically collected and the description of the methods of data analysis must concern how the primary data collected will be analysed in your proposed research.
  7. Conclusions (150 words)
  8. References - a minimum of 8 academic sources must be included, excluding newspaper articles, statistics, policy papers, research reports, etc. Academic sources only include peer-reviewed journal articles and academic books.

You must include all the elements listed above in your portfolio.

What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)


In order to pass the Assessment you will need to:

  • Complete each element of the portfolio
  • Demonstrate the ability to locate and review relevant research, data and either policy or media documents 
  • Propose an appropriate question and method for the collection of primary data


How do I produce high quality work that merits a good grade?

As the student completing this assignment you will complete this section in the session in which the assignment is introduced. Please do bring a hard copy or upload a copy to your laptop/device so that you can work digitally in completing this.

How does this assignment relate to what we are doing in scheduled sessions?

This Unit aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge for carrying out a well planned  literature review  and  to develop understanding of the social world.  The scheduled sessions are designed to build your knowledge and capability, and together with your own wider reading, they  will enable you to tackle successfully  each of the tasks required for the research portfolio which you are tasked to produce.


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