skip to navigation skip to content
Instructor-led course

Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Centre

This course is not scheduled to run.

Register interest
Register your interest - if you would be interested in additional dates being scheduled.

Events available

Innovative Qualitative Methodologies: Action Research and Activity Theory


Bookings for this module open on THURSDAY, 11 DECEMBER at 10:00 am
For more information see: This unit involves two sessions. The first session focuses on methodological frameworks and approaches for change-oriented research in professional settings, including action research and cultural-historical activity theory. Action research involves researching upon one’s own professional practice while activity theoretical studies often focus on external professional settings. The second session focuses on the aims and processes of research in partnerships with participants, including critical, emancipatory and developmental perspectives. These sessions may be particularly useful for those who are aiming to use academic skills in a workplace or other professional context in their dissertations or in the future. However, the discussions in these sessions will also inform other forms of research design in studies interested in understanding collaborative human activity.

Target audience
  • Students must have read the two readings prior to the first session
Topics covered
  • Session 1: Methodological frameworks and approaches for change-oriented research in professional settings
  • Session 2: Research in partnerships with participants: aims and processes

Presentations and practicals


Session One:

  • McNiff, J and Whitehead, J. (2001) Action research principles and practice, London, Routledge Falmer (part 1 p.13 – 69).
  • Edwards, A. (2011). 'Building common knowledge at the boundaries between professional practices: Relational agency and relational expertise in systems of distributed expertise'. International Journal of Educational Research, 50(1), 33-39.

Session Two:

  • To be confirmed during Session One
  • To gain maximum benefits from the course it is important that students do not see this course in isolation from the other MPhil courses or research training they are taking.
  • Responsibility lies with each student to consider the potential for their own research using methods common in fields of the social sciences that may seem remote. Ideally this task will be facilitated by integration of the SSRMC with discipline-specific courses in their departments and through reading and discussion.

Two sessions of two hours each.


Once a week for two weeks.

Events available