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Researching Vulnerable Populations (Module)

Module description

This module aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the ethical approaches and governance of health and social science research, as applied to sensitive issues and vulnerable populations. The module will not cover issues relating to basic clinical research.

Aims and objectives

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of:

  • The fundamental ethical considerations and legal frameworks underpinning health and social science research.
  • The ethical considerations arising throughout the research process: from initial project concept to research governance and dissemination.
  • Consent, capability and autonomy in research participation.
  • The general principles and practices underpinning the interests and protection of vulnerable research participants, including confidentiality and anonymity.
  • The dilemmas and required responses to ‘wearing two hats’ of clinician and researcher.
  • Ethical and practical issues relating to the safety of researchers.

In this module we discuss issues which some students may find emotionally challenging. Please contact Hanna Kienzler if you would like further information about the content before you choose your optional module.

Indicative readings

  • Mauthner, M., Birch, M., Jessop, J., Miller, T. (eds) 2002 Ethics in Quantitative Research. Sage, London.
  • Iphofen, R. (2011) Ethical decision making in social research: a practical guide. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.
  • Dickson-Swift, V., James, E.L., Liamputtong, P. (2010) Undertaking Sensitive Research in the Health and Social Sciences: Managing Boundaries, Emotions and Risks. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Farrimond H. (2013) Doing Ethical Research. Sage, London.
  • Ransome P (2013) Ethics & Values in Social Research. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Staff information

Dr Hanna Kienzler

Teaching pattern

Lectures and seminars

Module assessment - more information

1 x 3000 word essay (100%)

Key information

Module code 7SSHM506

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework

Credit value 15

Semester summer session 1

Study abroad module No