Online course

Introduction to Research Ethics: Working with People

Find out how to conduct ethical research when working with people by studying this online course for university students.

Introduction to Research Ethics: Working with People

Ensure your research is up to the highest ethical standards

Research ethics is vital when conducting research with people. Non ethical research may put research subjects at risk and even jeopardise the validity of the findings. As we undertake more and more research using increasingly diverse methods like the internet, it is important to get it right the first time.

On this course, you will learn the principles of ethical research, and how to manage human subject research in sensitive and appropriate ways. You will consider issues like gaining consent, making sure that personal information is handled safely, and recruiting vulnerable participants.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsMy name's Natasha McKeever. And I'm a Lecturer and Digital Learning Specialist at the Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre at the University of Leeds.

Skip to 0 minutes and 20 secondsThis course will be useful for anybody doing research with people, with a particular slant on social research methods, for example, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups. Research Ethics is really important for the development of society. And we're doing more and more research. So it's really important that we get it right. We're also being able to do research with more and more diverse methods. For example, the use of the Internet is expanding the way that we can do research.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsBy the end of the course, learners should be able to get consents from participants when recruiting them. They should be able to think about how to do risk assessments in an appropriate way, how to store the participant's data safely, which is particularly relevant after the recent changes in European legislation, how to anonymise data, and, finally, how to conduct research using social media and the Internet ethically.

Skip to 1 minute and 26 secondsWe try to make the course come alive through the use of case studies to show how the ethical research principles apply in the real world. Also, participants will use and produce resources, which they can use in their own research and later as a professional.

What topics will you cover?

  • Research ethics: why it matters
  • Recruiting your participants for your research and getting their consent
  • What to consider if you are recruiting vulnerable participants
  • Could your research put you or your participants at risk of harm?
  • Storing personal data
  • Archival and internet research

When would you like to start?

  • Available now
    This course started 28 January 2019

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify and evaluate key principles of ethical research
  • Apply principles of ethical research
  • Identify potential ethical issues relating to your own research

Who is the course for?

This course is useful for learners undertaking research with people using social research methods such as questionnaires, interviews etc.

The course is essential for undergraduate students completing research for their final year project but it is also suitable for postgraduates and academic researchers.

The course is part of the academic skills courses portfolio at the University of Leeds aiming to improve skills required for academic study.

Who will you learn with?

Natasha McKeever

I am a Lecturer and Digital Learning Specialist at the IDEA Centre, University of Leeds, and Programme Director for the MA in Applied and Professional Ethics and MA in Biomedical and Healthcare Ethics

Who developed the course?

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

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  • Access to this course for 4 weeks
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes


  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime