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Research Methods: A Practical Guide to Peer and Community Research

Identify how to conduct your own research and develop your own ethical research project on this practical course.

8,200 enrolled on this course

Team of researchers collaborating around a plan on a table
  • Duration

    10 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Digital upgrade


Learn how to conduct research to initiate positive social change.

This practical, ten-week course from King’s College London provides an overview of all aspects of research, with the principle aim to support and empower people to conduct their own research to initiate positive social change.

Using an extensive range of research steps, practical exercises and links to a multitude of comprehensive resources, you’ll develop your own ethical research project, with the overall aim being to share your findings with those that really matter.

Plan, conduct, and disseminate good quality ethical research

You’ll cover the concepts of diversity and inclusion, as will see how to tie these in to research methods such as critical perspectives - or when research critically analyses empirical data without being emancipatory in nature.

You’ll then cover the subject of research ethics, the moral principles and actions guiding and shaping research from start to end.

Identify and choose research methods to address your question

You’ll then identify specific research questions in order to address your question, and will get an introduction on how to evaluate and analyse qualitative, survey or routinely-available data results.

You’ll then get to grips with how to look after yourself as a researcher, and will identify how best to share your findings via campaigning, presenting and publications.

Learn from research methods experts at King’s College London

You’ll be learning from research methods experts at King’s College London, and will also be getting advice from leading academics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience. The course itself will also be getting feedback from Black Thrive and Thrive LDN; two organisations striving to tackle mental health issues.

What topics will you cover?

  • Diversity and inclusion in research including critical perspectives
  • Research ethics
  • Identifying research questions
  • Choosing research methods to address your question
  • Introduction to evaluation
  • Introduction to analysing qualitative data
  • Introduction to analysing survey or routinely available data
  • Looking after yourself as a researcher
  • Sharing findings (including an introduction to publication, campaigning, presenting skills)

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explore different ways to do community research, and gain an understanding of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research.
  • Apply appropriate research methods to investigate research questions.
  • Develop skills to design your own community research project.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion in community-based research.
  • Reflect critically on power dynamics and your own position in research.

Who is the course for?

This course is targeted at people interested in becoming peer researchers, community researchers, service user or survivor researchers in fields such as psychology or social science.

It will also be useful to all researchers looking to use quantitative methods, presenting a step-by-step, structured and practical approach.

Who will you learn with?

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health at King's College London. You can read more about my work here: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/annahita-ehsan

I am a Lecturer in Society & Mental Health at the Centre for Society & Mental Health, King's College London. You can see more about my work at: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/people/charlotte-woodhead

Who developed the course?

King's College London

King’s College London, established in 1829 and a founding college of the University of London, is one of the world’s leading research and teaching universities, based in the very heart of London.

What's included?

King's College London are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

    Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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