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Research Skills for Social Work
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Research Skills for Social Work

Second Edition


June 2012 | 160 pages | Learning Matters
Social Work students often find research an intimidating and complex area of study, with many struggling to understand the core concepts and their application to practice. This book presents these concepts in an accessible and user-friendly way. Key skills and methods such as literature reviews, interviews, and questionnaires are explored in detail while the underlying ethical reasons for doing good research underpin the text. For this second edition, new material on ethnography is added.
 
Introduction
 
Planning your research
 
Undertaking a literature review
 
Interviews
 
Focus groups
 
Questionnaires
 
Documentary analysis
 
Analysing your data
 
Writing up your dissertation
 
Conclusion
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

This has been a very useful book in helping students with their undergraduate dissertations. I found the chapter on the literature review particularly helpful in my lectures to the students on that topic. It has also been a great help in my supervision of social sciences Master's students.

Mr Neil Van Dokkum
Dept of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
January 31, 2013

This book is structured well, clearly setting out the various stages of research, how to undertake literature reviews (particularly relevant for the BA and MSW classes I teach) and then covering the research process generally. It has a useful glossary and references. The fact that it links research to the Professional Capabilities Framework makes it very relevant and useful.

Mr Nigel Hall
School of Social Work, Kingston University
January 17, 2013

Excellent book - student friendly, yet challenging

Dr Jo Finch
School of Humanities and Social Science, University of East London
November 21, 2012

I found this a useful text, but as focus of our module is the effective use of research in practice rather than 'doing research', this text did not become essential. However, it will be used in the year 3 Independent Study module.

Mrs Kay Wall
Please select your department, North East Worcestershire College
November 20, 2012

Clear, accessible text which is useful for BA and MA students in social work. Demystifies research concepts and processes.

Ms Rosemary Littlechild
Institute of Applied Social Studies, Birmingham University
October 31, 2012

An effective book that provides students with an effective framework for researching and link theory to practice and policy

Ms Sarah Riding
School of Health Care & Early Years, Blackpool and the Fylde College
October 5, 2012

This is an important area that many practitioners neglect and which we must prioritise in terms of the development and recognition of social work as a profession. This book is accessible to students to enable them to take away some of the anxieties they may have about utilising research findings into their practice.

Ms Kirsteen Laidlaw
Social Work Carlisle, University of Cumbria
October 3, 2012

It is difficult to pitch a book on research methods for social work. This book is pitched at a basic overview level of research methods suited to qualifying training, but our qualifying (BSc) curriculum is so full of essential practice skills that little is taught on research methods. The book is too simple for post qualifying studies where we teach qualified (~ 10yrs) social workers to undertake research/audit/evaluation projects.

Professor Brian Taylor
Social Work , University of Ulster
September 26, 2012

Very useful chapter for my students who undertake literature reviews as part of the module assessment

Mr Peter Mounsey
Higher Education, Burnley College
August 30, 2012

This is a good basic introduction to research methods in social work.
A litttle short on mixed methods approach.

Mr Robert Banks
Faculty of Health, Staffordshire University
August 1, 2012

Andrew Whittaker

Andrew Whittaker, PhD, is Professor of Social Work Research at London South Bank University, England, where he is head of the Risk Resilience and Expert Decision Making (RRED) research group. His research on risk and decision making has ranged from ethnographic to randomised controlled trial research designs. Andrew recently completed a review of professional decision making for a child death inquiry in Queensland, Australia. He is the Convenor of the Decisions, Assessment and Risk Special Interest Group (DARSIG) of the European Social Work Research Association. DARSIG is the main European network for researchers in the field of assessment... More About Author