Research Methodology and Ethics


Content, progress and pedagogy of the module

Through core lectures and group/class discussions students will explore central methodological approaches in social work research and how research relates to practice and empirical data. Together with this students will be taught and discuss main ethical implications of social work research. To fully understand and experience possibilities and barriers in different methodological approaches students will be trained in critically evaluating, designing and selecting relevant research methods for carrying out social work research. Students will gain a deep knowledge of the array of methods and techniques available in research and be able to apply such knowledge to different real life contexts within the social work framework. Students will be able to practice their skills in a Field Study – please see description in module 6.

The main module topics are: Ethics and Research in Social Work; Etnographic field work; Practice research; Qualitative methods e.g. in depth interviews, focus groups, participant observation; Quantiative methods; Mixed Method

Type of instruction

Core lectures, group work, structured debate and presenting posters. Core lectures contains a lecture, group work and joint discussions. The three modules in the second semester, although divided, are closely connected. Students are supposed to connect the three modules in Semester 2 by switching between them all the way through the semester. The aim is to make students understand that problem based learning, field studies, research methodology and ethics, theories, analyses and discussions of power and different perspectives are closely connected. This will imply that the module will contain discussions of field experiences and problem based learning. In this way, core lectures will involve both common debates and group work from all three modules. Besides the subjects taught and discussed in this module constitutes a general and basic knowledge supposed to be used throughout the program and as central skills graduates are able to utilize after finishing the program.

Module 4 will relate to module 6: 1) Field Study where students are able to practice their design, 2) PBL report as students are able to use empirical data selected in the Field study.



Name of examResearch Methodology and Ethics
Type of exam
Oral exam
Assessment is made on the basis of an oral group presentation and discussion with accompanying poster including a research design focusing methodological approaches and ethical consideration. Presentations are launches by groups of students established also for the Field Study and PBL report. Students are expected to present a proposal for a research design to teachers and fellow students. The presentation is to be delivered within a week after the last lecture of the module. The poster based presentation will, together with the students’ ability to defend their choices and reflections in the following discussion, form the basis for the assessment.
Assessment7-point grading scale
Type of gradingInternal examination
Criteria of assessmentThe criteria of assessment are stated in the Examination Policies and Procedures

Facts about the module

Danish titleForskningsmetodologi og Etik
Module codeASA20194
Module typeCourse
Duration1 semester
Language of instructionEnglish
Location of the lectureCampus Aalborg
Responsible for the module


Study BoardStudy Board of MSc in Social Work
DepartmentDepartment of Sociology and Social Work
FacultyFaculty of Social Sciences and Humanities