Mixing it up: Understanding and using mixed methods research in social sciences

Overview

This is an online course for postgraduate researchers in which you will be invited to critically discuss a mixed methods approach to research. The course includes a strong conceptual and theoretical component and is also participatory in nature, with multiple resources that you can interact with either independently and/or collaboratively.

You will be expected to analyse the key advantages and challenges of mixed methods research. This will be achieved in two ways: i. by critically discussing a series of ‘real-life’ examples of mixed methods research "in action" from different social science departments around the University of Oxford and ii. by sharing, explaining and discussing the methodological challenges within your own research proposal.

The final online session will provide an opportunity to present and discuss your developing research proposals with others. With this in mind it is expected that you should be in the process of, or beginning to, plan a research project prior to starting this course. For other expected criteria for acceptance onto this course, please see the level and demands section below.

The application deadline is Monday 5 December 2022 at 12.00 (BST). Regrettably late applications cannot be considered.

 

Programme details

The course will run over eight weeks. Participants can expect to actively engage with and contribute to the course for around 15 hours per week. Additional time to prepare for wider reading and assignment preparation is also required. The list of units is as follows:

Week 1: Online induction
Week 2: Varieties of mixed methods research: a critical introduction
Week 3: The first question: why (not) mixed methods?
Week 4: A simple plan: how to design a mixed methods research project?
Week 5: Mixing it up? Analysis, interpretation and write-up
Week 6: Dissemination and 'impact': who cares about mixed methods research?
Week 7: Study week
Week 8: Synchronous online tutorial to present student’s research proposals

Certification

Accredited study

The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for this course. Participants contributing to all the forums and successfully completing the assessments (see below) will obtain 20 CATS-equivalent points (FHEQ level 7) which may count towards a Master’s level qualification. For more information on CATS points, please click here.

Fees

Description Costs
Oxford DPhil student rate £0.00
Standard course fee £945.00
Student rate (for students outside University of Oxford) £450.00

Oxford students – student must be currently enrolled in an Oxford programme. Student rate (students outside University of Oxford) – students must be currently enrolled in a programme at an educational institution and provide proof of that enrolment. Standard rate – this applies to all other applicants, including research fellows.

Course aims

The course will enable researchers to:

  • come to know the meaning, key features and varieties of mixed methods research
  • appreciate the types of research questions that can (not) be addressed using a mixed methods approach
  • think critically about the potential and limitations of mixed methods research
  • appreciate the key challenges of mixed methods research and discuss different ways of addressing these in practice
  • consider whether mixed methods research is a suitable methodological approach for your research projects
  • critically assess existing social science research and publications that use mixed methods
  • discuss your own research proposals with the course tutor and other researchers

 

Assessment methods

All participants will be expected to complete two pieces of written work.

  1. The first assignment (2,000 words) is  “formative”, i.e. it does not count toward the final grade. The first essay is an opportunity for students to receive feedback on their written work.
  2. The formal assessment for this course will be based on the second assignment (4,000 words) which requires students to present and discuss the plans and methods of their own research projects.

Academic Credit

Applicants may take this course for academic credit. The University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education offers Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points for this course. Participants attending at least 80% of the taught course and successfully completing assessed assignments are eligible to earn credit equivalent to 20 CATS points which may be counted towards a postgraduate qualification.

Applicants can choose not to take the course for academic credit and will therefore not be eligible to undertake the academic assignment offered to students taking the course for credit. Applicants cannot receive CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme) points or equivalence. Credit cannot be attributed retrospectively. CATS accreditation is required if you wish for the course to count towards a further qualification in the future.

A Certificate of Completion is issued at the end of the course.

Applicants registered to attend ‘not for credit’ who subsequently wish to register for academic credit and complete the assignment are required to submit additional information, which must be received one calendar month in advance of the course start date. Please contact us for more details.

Please contact gradschool@conted.ox.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Application

We are now open to applications until Monday 5 December 2022 at 12.00 (GMT).

We strongly recommend that you download and save files before completing to ensure that all your changes are saved.

This course requires you to complete the application form, including a supporting statement, and submit your CV by clicking the apply button. In addition to their application, all DPhil students at the University of Oxford will be required to have a supporting letter from their supervisor.

Please ensure you read the guidance notes before completing the application form, as any errors resulting from failure to do so may delay your application. In addition to their application, all DPhil students at the University of Oxford will be required to have a supporting letter from their supervisor.

Level and demands

Whilst this course will be useful to researchers at any stage of their projects, the course is primarily aimed at people who are at the beginning of their research project. With this in mind applications will be assessed using the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of a postgraduate qualification in a relevant field at master's degree or above.
  2. The ability to demonstrate prior knowledge about qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.
  3. Some research experience at postgraduate level is evidenced.
  4. Applicants are in the process of, or beginning to, plan a research project.
  5. Applicants provide a brief description of the proposed/intended area of research.