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Sustainable Development towards an Inclusive and Equitable Global Society: Economic, Sociocultural, Ecological Dimensions

Sustainable Development is a fast growing discipline within areas of study that complement such growth, thereby developing in tandem. It requires researchers who can collect and analyse information from multiple academic disciplines. Furthermore, they have to interpret those findings and translate their interpretation into action plans for policy and decision makers, contributing to the transformation and creation of policies and the generation of reform.

For this reason, the MSc in Sustainable Development towards an Inclusive and Equitable Global Society: Economic, Sociocultural, Ecological Dimensions is an interdisciplinary programme presenting "alternative" narratives and paradigms in contrast to the dominant meta narratives across the key modules. The students will be free to collaborate with scholars across the various disciplines on original interdisciplinary research. In so doing, students will help create new fields of inquiry that will have a wide impact in many aspects of daily life.

This MSc route offers a graduated progression through a number of exit awards directing the student to true expertise in this fast-paced and growing discipline. On completion of the MSc programme, students will be aware of the normative aspects of sustainable development as a discipline, its methodological cornerstones, and its relation to other social sciences, humanities and arts. They will:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the underlying theories governing the epistemology underpinning sustainability;
  • analyse the core methods necessary to systematically master and synthesise complex systems in applying knowledge and understanding and learning skills in the field of sustainable development;
  • discover new knowledge through original research;
  • contribute to the knowledge base governing the epistemology underpinning sustainability through research;
  • interpret the data and findings of such research;
  • communicate new knowledge through scholarship of publishable quality which satisfies peer review;
  • present original research outcomes which extend the forefront of a discipline or relevant area of professional practice;
  • demonstrate systematic and extensive knowledge of the subject area and expertise in generic and subject/professional skills;
  • exhibit judgement skills in the identification of leverage points for sustainable development within and across the relevant fields;
  • perform critical analysis and empirical research;
  • manifest autonomy and responsibility by taking a proactive and self-reflective role in working and to develop professional relationships with others, where appropriate;
  • formulate ideas and hypotheses independently and proactively;
  • assess the design, development, implementation and execution of these ideas and hypotheses plans;
  • evaluate, critically and creatively, current issues, research and advanced scholarship in the discipline;
  • establish discourse with stakeholders on the leverage points identified to generate sustainability;
  • transcribe and disseminate findings through a call for action;
  • give clear and accurate presentations, orally as well as scripted, in a style appropriate for purpose;
  • construct and make coherent arguments to different audiences, formally and/or informally through a variety of techniques;
  • present and defend original research outcomes which extend the forefront of a discipline or area of professional practice relevant to sustainable development;
  • justify and defend research results in a constructive way at conferences, workshops, seminars etc.;
  • articulate ideas clearly so as to justify specific research projects to funding authorities;
  • promote public awareness and understanding of a specific area or field of research; and,
  • support and direct the learning of others effectively when involved in teaching.

Competences: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the responsibility and autonomy to:

  1. hink creatively within the remit of Agenda 2030 and the context(s) of sustainable development, in the field of education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  2. illustrate how thinking skills can contribute to addressing sustainable development challenges, in education and for an inclusive, equitable society;
  3. draw on and combine the disciplinary knowledge and modes of thinking acquired on sustainable development, education, globalisation and an inclusive, equitable society;
  4. explain phenomena of globalisation and an inclusive, equitable society;
  5. critically rethink the way to approach development challenges and determine solutions to the problems faced in sustainable development in general, in education and by an inclusive, equitable society;
  6. leverage innovative (and sometimes contested) approaches to sustainable development, in education and for an inclusive, equitable society;
  7. analyse data and arguments related to sustainable development, education, globalisation and an inclusive, equitable society;
  8. identify and critically reflect on key international actors in the field of sustainable development, in education and an inclusive, equitable society; and,
  9. discuss sustainable development policy formulation with the relevant parties/authorities in education, based on an appreciation of the dimensions that inform development policy decisions, with special focus on international approaches for an inclusive, equitable society through the research project related to this module and seminar/fora participation.

Knowledge: by the end of the module, learners will have been exposed to:

  1. an appreciation of the debate around the pillars beyond the traditional three-pillar model including culture, governance, politics, spirituality, etc.;
  2. different development paradigms in contrast to the dominant economic paradigm as well as an appreciation of grassroots’ initiatives that are challenging the dominant paradigms;
  3. different notions, definitions, concepts and approaches of sustainable development in education, global understanding and global competence;
  4. the critical need for global competence to resolve the world’s seemingly intractable problems;
  5. advocacy for the sustainable development goals, as actionable and achievable in education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  6. substantive knowledge about Agenda 2030 in its breadth and depth as key to realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including a critique of the SDGs and their limitations;
  7. the entire spectrum of globalization from the roots of the global order to the global society of the present;
  8. the opportunities and challenges presented by the world’s growing complexity and diversity;
  9. the rapidly changing global economic, digital, cultural, political, spiritual and environmental forces shaping the future – the VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous;
  10. the opportunities and challenges presented by the world’s growing complexity and diversity;
  11. basic legal and policy principles, the legal terms and procedures relating to sustainable development within the socio-economic fabric;
  12. critical engagement through the application of thinking skills; and,
  13. knowledge on the key international players in sustainable development and their initiatives and collaborations.

Skills: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the following skills:

In Applying Knowledge and Understanding, learners will:

  1. apply the different development paradigms and different concepts in the field of sustainable development in education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  2. work at different levels and across different sectors in the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development, in education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  3. understand and empathise with the world beyond their immediate environment so as to appreciate other cultures while being aware of their own cultural identities;
  4. examine the origins and implications of others’ and their own assumptions to recognize the perspectives and worldviews of others;
  5. develop a work ethic which will contribute to raising quality of life via sustainable development, in education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  6. describe the general position of the law and policy in relation to sustainable development;
  7. demonstrate an ability to apply thinking programmes and tools to sustainable development proposals, in education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  8. demonstrate an ability to apply systematic and extensive knowledge of the subject area and expertise in generic and subject/professional skills; and,
  9. independently and proactively formulate ideas and hypothesis to design, develop, implement and execute plans by which to evaluate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in education and an inclusive, equitable society.

Where Judgment Skills and Critical Abilities are concerned, learners will:

  1. develop a fact-based and critical worldview so as to critically combat nationalist fervour by increasing global competence;
  2. analyse development models in relation to indicators such as a rights based approach, gender awareness in development debates, in education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  3. perceive development not only within the constraints of the EU countries but beyond, within the Commonwealth and the rest of the world, including indigenous models;
  4. evaluate the risks and burdens emanating from the legal obligations, explicit and implicit to sustainable development policies and projects;
  5. conceptualise intelligence, perception and thinking through the development of mind mapping and other meta-cognitive elements related to critical thinking by applying multi-perspective thinking approaches;
  6. construct thinking processes as part of their reflective practice by developing a position concerning a local, global or cultural issue and taking action to solve problems to improve collective well-being;
  7. critically and creatively evaluate current issues and research in sustainable development and where they apply to education and global society; and,
  8. use tools to analyse data on sustainable development in different aspects including education and an inclusive, equitable society.

Where Module-Specific Communication Skills are concerned, learners will: 

  1. work with the different sectors in society: public; private; and, non-governmental organisations, to tackle development challenges through placement opportunities that will run in parallel with this module and module related research projects;
  2. interact with people across cultures and regions in appropriate ways by demonstrating sensitivity, respect and appreciation for other cultures;
  3. interpret the meaning and legal implications of applying sustainable development policies and laws;
  4. carry out analysis in the field of education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  5. prepare other individuals for their global futures in the diversity of society by promoting the value of diversity;
  6. interpret national and transnational policies and implications for sustainable development in general, in education and an inclusive, equitable society;
  7. demonstrate that thinking is a skill that can be learnt; and,
  8. identify different critical thinking preferences of the target audience/ stakeholders involved in sustainable development to contribute to meaningful dialogue and planning.

Where Module-Specific Learner Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. encounter opportunities to learn about global developments that affect the world and their own lives;
  2. identify sustainable related legal procedures, as well as the authorities to address and revert to in connection with their implementation;
  3. retain their cultural identity while being simultaneously aware of the cultural values and beliefs of people around them;
  4. create opportunities to take informed, reflective action;
  5. identify and describe the appropriate thinking programmes and tools deemed effective in the formulation of sustainable development planning and implementation;
  6. internalise the importance of being equipped with effective thinking skills;
  7. apply effective thinking skills in relation to sustainable development programmes; and,
  8. present and defend original research outcomes which extend the forefront of a discipline or relevant area of professional experiences.

Where Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences are concerned, learners will:

  1. develop mind mapping and other metacognitive elements related to critical thinking by applying the thinking programmes and tools deemed effective in the formulation of sustainable development planning and implementation;
  2. implement acquired digital skills and competences to prepare semi-products and products relevant to sustainable development in education (e.g. papers, policy briefs, conference papers and presentations);
  3. construct and make coherent arguments to different audiences, formally and/or informally through a variety of techniques; and,
  4. engage in experiences, digital and otherwise, that facilitate international and intercultural relations.

Module: The Research Process - 6 ECTS

Educational Objectives/Learning Outcomes: Competences: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the responsibility and autonomy to:

  1. break the research programme down into work packages taking into account the challenges and issues inherent to sustainability research, multi/trans/interdisciplinarity, comparative sustainability research, the significance of time for sustainability research, trends in social-scientific sustainability research and researching complex sustainability issues;
  2. estimate the time required for each work package;
  3. develop a research programme using project management techniques, such as Gantt charts;
  4. establish milestones;
  5. handle delays, including trade-offs;
  6. produce an acceptable research proposal;
  7. make modifications to the research proposal, if required;
  8. devise a structure for the dissertation;
  9. define the scope and content of the abstract, introduction and main chapters;
  10. write the dissertation in a clear and logical way;
  11. design the dissertation so that it complies with requirements;
  12. structure the dissertation appropriately; and,
  13. appreciate what is required in the viva voce examination.
  14. Knowledge: by the end of the module, learners will have been exposed to:
  15. the concept of a research programme plan;
  16. challenges inherent to sustainability research, challenges of multi/trans/interdisciplinarity, comparative sustainability research, the significance of time for sustainability research, trends in social-scientific sustainability research and researching complex sustainability issues;
  17. the importance of personal progression reviews;
  18. what to do if the research programme goes wrong;
  19. the sections of the research proposal and their purpose;
  20. how these sections should link together;
  21. how to define research intentions in sufficient detail;
  22. how to describe any major hurdles to be overcome in gaining access to organisations in order to conduct the research;
  23. any ethical problems likely to arise in carrying out the research;
  24. the basic elements of style; and,
  25. the editing process and its importance.
  26. Skills: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the following skills: In Applying Knowledge and Understanding, learners will:
  27. write a dissertation no matter how challenging;
  28. handle the various challenges, overcoming the issues inherent to sustainability research, multi/trans/interdisciplinarity, comparative sustainability research, the significance of time for sustainability research, trends in social-scientific sustainability research and researching complex sustainability issues;
  29. understand what the examiners will be looking for in terms of style and presentation;
  30. start writing as soon as possible; and,
  31. develop the dissertation structure.
  32. Where Judgment Skills and Critical Abilities are concerned, learners will:
  33. critically analyse the findings of their secondary research
  34. design a pilot study based on their interpretation of the findings;
  35. select an appropriate methodology;
  36. generate and interpret results;
  37. write a pilot study report;
  38. integrate the literature synthesis with the pilot study results;
  39. use the results to develop a formal theory; and,
  40. break the formal theory down into research and operational hypotheses.
  41. Where Module-Specific Communication Skills are concerned, learners will:
  42. develop a working relationship with the supervisor in relation to these areas;
  43. discuss supervisor feedback with supervisor on the challenges and issues of these fields and their impact on the student’s research;
  44. obtain informed consent from data subjects;
  45. communicate findings in an appropriate writing style;
  46. synthesise the literature;
  47. edit the dissertation including appraisal and updates; and,
  48. address an audience.
  49. Where Module-Specific Learner Skills are concerned, learners will:
  50. address challenges, resolving issues inherent to sustainability research, multi/trans/ interdisciplinarity, comparative sustainability research, the significance of time for sustainability research, trends in social-scientific sustainability research and researching complex sustainability issues;
  51. understand the structure and content of a Master’s Dissertation literature review;
  52. appreciate the relationship between the literature review and the literature synthesis;
  53. create the linkages between the literature review and the rest of the research;
  54. tap the sources of literature;
  55. perceive when a citation is required;
  56. use citations and references;
  57. maintain focus during the execution of the literature review;
  58. foster a continuing relationship with the supervisor; and,
  59. satisfy the requirement for continued progress reporting.
  60. Where Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences are concerned, learners will:
  61. use different software products and tools to search, organize, systemize and create information relevant to the research process;
  62. differentiate between software products and tools used in the collection of qualitative and quantitative data;
  63. process qualitative and quantitative data, analysing same; and,
  64. select software to prepare drafts, publications, bibliography and present findings.

Module: Introduction to Research Methods in Social Science – 5 ECTS

Educational Objectives/Learning Outcomes: 

Competences: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the responsibility and autonomy to:

  1. outline the key characteristics of the two major research paradigms, positivism and phenomenology, specifically addressing research in sustainability;
  2. differentiate between verification and falsification;
  3. apply deductive and inductive approaches to research;
  4. understand the importance of data that test a belief or hypothesis;
  5. appreciate the nature of a positivist hypothesis; and,
  6. formulate a null hypothesis.

Knowledge: by the end of the module, learners will have been exposed to:

  1. basic characteristics of quantitative research with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  2. basic characteristics of qualitative research with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  3. the primary differences between the two approaches;
  4. relative advantages and disadvantages of each approach and the implications on sustainability research;
  5. how the two approaches can be used together in the same design; and,
  6. implications of adopting either approach or a combined approach and the impact of either on sustainability research;
  7. what to include in the research design and methodology section;
  8. what to include in the data collection and analysis section of the dissertation;
  9. how to reappraise the literature and develop the research theory specifically addressing research in sustainability; and,
  10. how to generate research results and conclusions.

Skills: by the end of the module, learners will have acquired the following skills:

In Applying Knowledge and Understanding, learners will:

  1. explain what is meant by applied research specifically addressing research in sustainability;
  2. differentiate between applied research and academic research with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  3. appreciate the concept of preferred and allowable research fields;
  4. align preferred and allowable fields;
  5. understand the consequences and implications of committing to a research field with an emphasis on sustainability research;
  6. establish the research scope;
  7. generate a research problem within the field of sustainable development;
  8. be conversant with some basic approaches to the identification of possible research topics within the field of sustainable development;
  9. develop a research question related to the field of sustainable development;
  10. understand the significance of research questions, theories and hypotheses with reference to trends in sustainability research; and,
  11. understand the concept of research and operational hypotheses within the field of sustainable development.

Where Judgment Skills and Critical Abilities are concerned, learners will:

  1. critically evaluate and decide on a research orientation with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  2. differentiate between a hypothesis-based and an exploratory-based orientation as applicable to sustainability research;
  3. describe the relevance of sample size in each orientation;
  4. analyse the research orientation matrix and its quadrants with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  5. investigate how the research programme can be oriented in or across different quadrants as applicable to sustainability research;
  6. demonstrate how each orientation contributes to the knowledge of the subject within the field of sustainable development;
  7. indicate how a hypothesis-based orientation angles towards the discovery of new facts within the field of sustainable development; and,
  8. outline how an exploratory-based orientation angles towards the exercise of independent critical power within the field of sustainable development.

Where Module-Specific Communication Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. express the importance of developing a well thought-through research strategy and statement of methodology within the field of sustainable development;
  2. discuss the differences between longitudinal and cross-sectional research with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  3. outline the research methods applicable to sustainability research, their advantages and disadvantages;
  4. debate the concepts of reliability, validity and generalisability and how these apply to sustainability research; and,
  5. be conversant with the discourse surrounding triangulation, including the key players, in sustainability research.

Where Module-Specific Learner Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. anticipate the practical demands of the data capture techniques to be used and the data’s application within the field of sustainability research;
  2. understand the data capture and recording implications of the different research methods and the techniques associated with them with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  3. prepare the stance to be adopted when approaching a variety of data sources and consider the ethical considerations involved with an emphasis on sustainability research;
  4. explain the arrangements required if findings are to be generalised as applicable to sustainability research;
  5. understand how to maximise response rates within the field of sustainability research;
  6. choose one or more appropriate data collection and analysis techniques, bearing in mind the implications for design, elicitation of responses, analysis, presentation and argument with an emphasis on sustainability research; and,
  7. handle a combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques with reference to trends in sustainability research.

Where Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences are concerned, learners will:

  1. use different software products and tools to search, organize, systemize and create information relevant to their research activities within the field of sustainable development;
  2. differentiate between software products and tools to collect, process and analyse qualitative and quantitative data as applicable to sustainability research; and,
  3. select software to prepare drafts, publications, bibliography and present findings with reference to trends in sustainability research."

Module: Application of ICT in Research – 5 ECTS

Educational Objectives/Learning Outcomes:

Competences: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the responsibility and autonomy to:

  1. acknowledge the role of ICT technologies in research;
  2. analyse a problem and identify and define the technology requirements appropriate to its solution;
  3. apply appropriate ICT solutions that are aligned to research strategies such as software programs, in particular SPSS and N*Vivo mentioned in the previous two modules; and,
  4. develop applied and cognitive competences in the acquisition, interpretation and application of various ICT principles.

Knowledge: by the end of the module, learners will have been exposed to:

  1. Knowledge of the application of ICT in pre-data analysis and relevant activities before reaching the stage of data analysis;
  2. Understanding of various tools and applications applied to activities during the stage of qualitative and quantitative data analysis; and,
  3. Insight on the various tools applicable to activities of research carried out after completing the stage of data analysis.

Skills: by the end of the module, learners will have acquired the following skills:

In Applying Knowledge and Understanding, learners will:

  1. Use and apply current technical concepts and practices in the creation of information technology solutions, such as application domains, evaluation and software programs, in particular SPSS and N*Vivo mentioned in the previous two modules;
  2. Apply knowledge of technology appropriate to the discipline; and,
  3. Understand best practices and standards and their application in research methodology.

Where Judgment Skills and Critical Abilities are concerned, learners will:

  1. Implement and evaluate several applications and tools to meet desired needs;
  2. Appreciate the rationale lying behind such decisions and decision processes; and,
  3. Understand professional, ethical, legal, security and social issues and responsibilities where ICT is concerned.

Where Module-Specific Communication Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. Identify different communication tools and select the appropriate ones for the intended type of communication;
  2. Function effectively in teams to accomplish a common goal; and,
  3. Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.

Where Module-Specific Learner Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. Comprehend basic ICT principles and interrelationships;
  2. Face situations where a methodological approach is primarily required; and,
  3. Analyse critically and autonomously information available, collected in the framework of a specific project.

Where Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences are concerned, learners will:

  1. Identify which problems are to be solved and apply the appropriate type of applications and tools to support the research process;
  2. Use appropriate tools for concept mapping (freeware, such as CmapTools, Mindomo, Visual Understanding Environment, XMind 8, BrainSharper, etc.) and problem solving; and,
  3. Use manipulatives, data gathering instruments, software applications, etc., to explore, analyse, and represent concepts."

Module: Quantitative Research Methods – 7 ECTS

Educational Objectives/Learning Outcomes:

Competences: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the responsibility and autonomy to:

  1. assimilate scientific investigation quantitative methods and techniques specifically addressing research in sustainability;
  2. apply critical and reflective use and implementation of quantitative research methods for social science, with a focus on sustainability research;
  3. differentiate, select, apply and justify different quantitative research methods pertinent to a particular research problem/area/study in scope within the field of sustainable development;
  4. understand and critically evaluate the results from quantitative studies in social sciences with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  5. understand, transfer, use and apply the methodological knowledge gathered from previous quantitative studies in advancing their own research work especially those within the field of sustainable development;
  6. independently and collaboratively develop and implement quantitative research in social science within the field of sustainable development; and,
  7. carry out quantitative research tasks autonomously within the field of sustainability research.

Knowledge: by the end of the module, learners will have been exposed to:

  1. advanced quantitative design methods, their strengths and limitations;
  2. the different quantitative methods and their applicability in specific sustainability research situations;
  3. quantitative research design and planning, formulation of theoretical framework, research questions, hypotheses, analytical framework within the field of sustainable development;
  4. advanced sampling theory, types of sampling, quality and limitations of different types of sampling;
  5. use of survey instruments, their composition, formulating questions/ statements with reference to sustainability research;
  6. advanced data collection strategies and data processing;
  7. advanced statistical methods and software for data analysis;
  8. different types of quantitative publications, presentation and reporting of research results for different audiences and purposes, particularly those in the field of sustainable development; and,
  9. the importance of research ethics principles in quantitative research and strategies to achieve them with reference to sustainability research.

Skills: by the end of the module, learners will have acquired the following skills:

In Applying Knowledge and Understanding, learners will:

  1. demonstrate knowledge of a range of quantitative research paradigms, research methods and measurement techniques applicable to the field of sustainable development;
  2. select, retrieve and use secondary data sources pertinent to the quantitative objectives, research questions and hypotheses quadrants with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  3. demonstrate competence in research skills through practical activities;
  4. pose research questions relevant to sustainable development operationalising them in the process;
  5. prepare a theoretical framework embedded in sustainable development theories;
  6. formulate quantitative objectives and the research problem within the field of sustainable development;
  7. design a quantitative study in sustainable development;
  8. select appropriate quantitative methods to address the research questions and hypotheses relevant to sustainable development;
  9. define the study’s target population within the field of sustainable development, sampling type and different sampling techniques;
  10. design quantitative data collection instruments, formulate instrument questions and assemble instruments;
  11. plan and implement quantitative data collection and process the obtained data;
  12. reason statistically demonstrating competence in a range of statistical methods;
  13. apply research ethics principles appropriate to quantitative methodologies with particular emphasis on the sensitive nature of sustainability research;
  14. select and apply quantitative data analysis methods relevant to the sustainability research carried out;
  15. reason scientifically demonstrating the relationship between theory and evidence in the field of sustainable development;
  16. detect meaningful patterns in behaviour and experience statistically; and,
  17. present the quantitative research results using different means, for different purposes and audiences involved in sustainable development.

Where Judgment Skills and Critical Abilities are concerned, learners will:

  1. demonstrate a critical understanding of quantitative research methods;
  2. evaluate, select and use quantitative specimens of sustainability research in their activity;
  3. critically evaluate quantitative research findings from quantitative studies implemented by other researchers of sustainability research;
  4. evaluate the quantitative data gathered from different sources within the field of sustainable development and draw conclusions from quantitative research findings;
  5. evaluate quantitative research findings, conclusions, theoretical foundations of their own quantitative research activities and those of their peers and/or collaborators in sustainability research; and,
  6. use their judgement and critical analysis of facts, data and information in quantitative research tasks involving analysis within the field of sustainability research.

Where Module-Specific Communication Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. interpret numerical/statistical forms of data applying to the area within sustainable development under research;
  2. freely communicate quantitative research methodology theory and instruments, analysis techniques, findings and conclusions within the field of sustainability research;
  3. communicate their own quantitative research activities with peers/colleagues and wider society within the field of sustainable development;
  4. present quantitative research activities, findings/results of sustainability research in written and oral format to different audiences and for different purposes; and,
  5. freely use and adapt quantitative research methodology terminology to different situations and audiences (i.e., experts and non-experts).

Where Module-Specific Learner Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. autonomously search, select, process and use information related to quantitative research methodology as applied to sustainability research;
  2. autonomously learn and apply new quantitative research methods in their research activity within the field of sustainable development;
  3. develop understanding of quantitative research methods and adapt them to the specific quantitative research project, task or situation within the field of sustainable development; and,
  4. help others (e.g., peers/colleagues, general audience) to understand a quantitative method and/or technique or finding and draw conclusions for sustainability research.

Where Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences are concerned, learners will

  1. use different software products and tools to search, organize, systemize and create information relevant to their quantitative research activities within the field of sustainable development;
  2. differentiate between software products and tools to collect, process and analyse quantitative data of sustainability research;
  3. select software to prepare drafts, publications, bibliography and present findings of sustainability research; and,
  4. select and use digital means for disseminating their research findings within the field of sustainable development. "

Module: Qualitative Research Methods – 7 ECTS

Educational Objectives/Learning Outcomes: 

Competences: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the responsibility and autonomy to:

  1. assimilate scientific investigative methods and techniques specifically addressing research in sustainability;
  2. apply critical and reflective use and implementation of qualitative research methods for social science with a focus on sustainability research;
  3. differentiate, select, apply and justify different qualitative research methods pertinent to a particular research problem/area/study in scope within the field of sustainable development;
  4. understand and critically evaluate the results from qualitative studies in social sciences with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  5. understand, transfer, use and apply the methodological knowledge gathered from previous qualitative studies in advancing their own research work, especially those within the field of sustainable development;
  6. independently and collaboratively develop and implement qualitative research in social science within the field of sustainable development; and,
  7. carry out qualitative research tasks autonomously within the field of sustainability development.

Knowledge: by the end of the module, learners will have been exposed to:

  1. advanced qualitative design methods, their strengths and limitations;
  2. different qualitative methods and their applicability in specific sustainability research situations;
  3. qualitative research design and planning, formulation of theoretical frameworks, research questions, research problems within the field of sustainable development;
  4. advanced sampling theory, types of sampling, quality and limitations of different types of sampling;
  5. advanced data collection strategies and data processing;
  6. advanced data analysis methods – content and thematic analysis – and software;
  7. different types of qualitative publications, presentation and reporting of research results for different audiences and purposes in the field of sustainable development; and,
  8. the importance of research ethics principles in qualitative research and strategies to achieve them with reference to sustainability research.

Skills: by the end of the module, learners will acquire the following skills:

In Applying Knowledge and Understanding, learners will:

  1. understand the varied approaches to qualitative research perspectives, from positivist to poststructuralist and their applicability to sustainability research;
  2. demonstrate a practical understanding of how established qualitative research techniques are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;
  3. select, retrieve and use secondary data sources pertinent to the qualitative objectives, research questions and hypotheses with reference to trends in sustainability research;
  4. formulate a research question relevant to sustainable development, prepare a theoretical framework, and formulate qualitative objectives and the research problem within the field of sustainable development;
  5. design a qualitative study in sustainable development;
  6. select appropriate qualitative methods to address the research questions and the research problem relevant to sustainable development;
  7. define the study’s target population within the field of sustainable development, sampling type and different sampling techniques;
  8. design qualitative data collection instruments, formulate instrument questions and assemble instruments;
  9. plan and implement qualitative data collection and process the obtained data;
  10. apply research ethics principles appropriate to qualitative methodologies with particular emphasis on the sensitive nature of sustainability research;
  11. select and apply relevant qualitative data analysis methods relevant to the sustainability research carried out; and,
  12. present qualitative research results using different means, for different purposes and audiences involved in sustainable development.

Where Judgment Skills and Critical Abilities are concerned, learners will:

  1. evaluate, select and use qualitative specimens of sustainability research in their activity;
  2. evaluate qualitative methodologies and develop critiques within the ambit of sustainability research;
  3. critically analyse qualitative data using a variety of different analytical techniques, locating those techniques within an epistemological perspective;
  4. critically evaluate qualitative research findings from qualitative studies implemented by other researchers of sustainability research;
  5. evaluate the qualitative data gathered from different sources within the field of sustainable development and draw conclusions from qualitative research findings;
  6. evaluate qualitative research findings, conclusions, theoretical foundations of their own research activities and those of their peers and/or collaborators in sustainability research; and,
  7. use their judgement and critical analysis of facts, data and information in qualitative research tasks involving analysis within the field of sustainability research.

Where Module-Specific Communication Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. freely communicate quantitative research methodology theory and instruments, analysis techniques, findings and conclusions within the field of sustainability research;
  2. communicate their own qualitative research activities with peers/colleagues and wider society within the field of sustainable development;
  3. present qualitative research activities, findings/results of sustainability research in written and oral format to different audiences and for different purposes;
  4. freely use and adapt qualitative research methodology terminology to different situations and audiences (i.e., experts and non-experts); and,
  5. deal with complex research issues systematically and creatively, communicating the conclusions to specialist and practitioner audiences.

Where Module-Specific Learner Skills are concerned, learners will:

  1. autonomously search, select, process and use information related to qualitative research methodology as applied to sustainability research;
  2. autonomously learn and apply new qualitative research methods in their research activity within the field of sustainable development;
  3. demonstrate skills in gathering, analysing and managing qualitative data, from computer-driven to discourse analysis;
  4. develop understanding of qualitative research methods and adapt them to the specific qualitative research project, task or situation within the field of sustainable development; and,
  5. help others (e.g., peers/colleagues, general audience) to understand a qualitative method and/or technique or finding and draw conclusions of sustainability research.

Where Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences are concerned, learners will

  1. use different software products and tools to search, organize, systemize and create information relevant to their qualitative research activities within the field of sustainable development;
  2. differentiate between software products and tools to collect, process and analyse qualitative data of sustainability research;
  3. select software to prepare drafts, publications, bibliography and present findings of sustainability research; and,
  4. select and use digital means for disseminating their research findings within the field of sustainable development."

Info

Deadline
Always Open
Degree
Master
Duration
1 Year
ECTS
120
Tuition Fee
€ 4000
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