Fundamentals of scientific social research (231B – Social work)

Type: Normative

Department: social pedagogy and social work




SemesterAmount of hoursLecturerGroup(s)
332Stoliaryk Olha


SemesterAmount of hoursGroupTeacher(s)
332Pyrih Uliana

Course description

The discipline “Fundamentals of scientific social research” is a normative discipline from the specialty 231 Social work for the educational program “Social pedagogy”, which is taught in the _3 semester in the amount of ___4___ credits (according to the ECTS European Credit Transfer System).

The purpose of the normative educational discipline “Fundamentals of scientific social research” is to form students’ theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the general principles and methodology of scientific research, understanding of research paradigms in social work, methodological principles and approaches to the organization and conduct of scientific research, practical skills and the ability to work independently to solve scientific tasks, skills and abilities in the field of theory and practice of scientific research, which allow to ensure proper preparation, writing and defense of course (qualification) and other types of scientific papers.

Course tasks:

  • to form knowledge and understanding of general principles, approaches and methodology of scientific research, an idea of the scientific direction, scientific topic, methodology and research questions in social work, understanding of the specifics of existing research paradigms in social work;
  • to arm with theoretical and practical knowledge about the peculiarities of the research process in social work: its stages, sampling and general scientific and specific scientific methods (tools), their typology and application features;
  • learn about multi-method (mixed) research in social work and innovative research methods: narrative research, photovoice methodology, use of grounded theory, action research, research with participation (“participatory research”), ethnographic studies in social work;
  • to develop students’ reflexivity as future researchers, understanding of the ethical principles of research in social work and the participatory (“participatory”) nature of research;
  • develop an understanding of the logic of scientific research, its scientific apparatus and form the skills of conducting it using the example of coursework: choosing a topic and justifying its relevance, formulating the scientific apparatus of research (object, subject, goal, task, hypotheses, scientific novelty and practical value), office research, selection of a research paradigm, design and methods (tools), sample formation, processing, analysis, presentation of results, formulation of conclusions, design of the source database;
    equip with the skills of working with scientific literature, scientific/library repositories and scientific-metric databases.

Scope of the course:

120 hours of classroom lessons. Classroom work: 32 hours of lectures, 32 hours of practical classes and 56 hours of independent work (for full-time students).

120 hours. Auditory work: 8 hours of lectures, 8 hours of practical classes and 104 hours of independent work (for correspondence students).

Acquired competencies and program learning outcomes:

Integral competence (IC):

IC. The ability to solve complex specialized tasks and practical problems in the field of professional activity or in the learning process, which involves the application of certain theories and methods of social work and is characterized by the complexity and uncertainty of conditions.

General competences

GC1. The ability to realize one’s rights and responsibilities as a member of society, to realize the values of a civil (free democratic) society and the need for its sustainable development, the rule of law, the rights and freedoms of a citizen in Ukraine.

GC7. Ability to communicate in the national language both orally and in writing.

Professional competences

PC4. The ability to analyze socio-psychological phenomena, processes of formation, development and socialization of an individual, development of a social group and community.

PC8. Ability to apply modern experimental methods of working with social objects in field and laboratory conditions.

Program learning outcomes

PLO5. Theoretically argue ways to overcome problems and difficult life circumstances, choose effective methods of solving them, predict consequences.

PLO9. Use relevant scientific research and apply research professional skills in the course of providing social assistance.

PLO20. Identify ethical dilemmas and contradictions in professional activity and apply supervision tools to resolve them.

PLO23. Construct the process and result of social work within the limits of the assigned tasks, use quantitative and qualitative indicators, adjust the work plan in accordance with the assessment results.

Key words: science, research in social work, research paradigms in social work, scientific apparatus, multimethod research, research methods, tools, research design, office research


To study the course, students need basic knowledge of the disciplines “Introduction to the specialty”, “Theories of social work”, “Deontology of social work”.

Educational methods and techniques that will be used during the teaching of the course:

Explanatory and illustrative, research, search (heuristic), problem presentation of educational material, interactive and methods of stimulating learning (conversation, brainstorming, discussion, work in pairs/groups, etc.), visual (presentations, demonstration of video materials), design (creating projects) , work with literature.

Academic Integrity: The independent work assignments for each topic completed by graduate students are expected to be their original thinking. Failure to cite used sources, fabrication of sources, plagiarism, interference with the work of other applicants are, but are not limited to, examples of possible academic dishonesty. The discovery of signs of academic dishonesty in the applicant’s written work is a reason for the teacher not to credit it, regardless of the scale of plagiarism or deception.

Attending classes is an important component of learning. In any case, students of higher education are obliged to comply with all the deadlines for completing the planned types of educational work and two colloquiums.

Literature. All literature that students cannot find on their own will be provided by the teacher for educational purposes only, without the right to transfer it to third parties. Students are also encouraged to use other literature and sources that are not among the recommended ones.

Scoring policy. The assimilation of theoretical material from the academic discipline by students of higher education is checked through an oral survey, ongoing programmed control of knowledge, assessment of the ability to analyze problem situations by solving practical tasks. At the same time, the following must be taken into account: attendance at classes and activity of the student of higher education during the seminar class; using a mobile phone, tablet or other mobile devices during class for non-educational purposes; plagiarism and plagiarism; untimely performance of the assigned task. The final semester grade is defined as the sum of points from all planned types of study work and the exam.

Any form of breach of academic integrity will not be tolerated.

Recommended Literature

Basic educational literature

Antonyuk, V. S., Polonskyi, L. G., Averchenkov, V. I., & Malakhov, Yu. A. (2015). Methodology of scientific research.
Beves, H. M. (2019). Formation of public opinion on reforms by the method of “participatory research”. Collection of scientific works “Bulletin of postgraduate education”. Series “Social and behavioral sciences” K.: Issue, 8, 37.
Vazhynskyi S.E., Shcherbak T.I. (2016). Methodology and organization of scientific research: Teaching. manual S. E. Vazhynskyi, T. I. Shcherbak. Sumy: Sumy DPU named after A. S. Makarenko, 260 p.
Galchenko, S. I., & Silka, O. Z. (2015). Basics of scientific research: teaching method. manual
Yeroshenko, K. M., & Semigina, T. V. (2018). Research in action in social work: the role of the researcher. Collection of scientific works of the Khmelnytskyi Institute of Social Technologies of the University of Ukraine, (1), 123-126.
Kabachenko, N., & Boyko, O. (2020). Narrative method in professional training of social workers. Social work and social education, (5), 150-158.
Karagodina, O., & Semigina, T. (2020). Developmental potential of research in social work. Development potential of modern social work: methodology and technologies, 13-14.
Povidajchyk, O. S. (2019). Theory and practice of professional training of future social workers for research activities (Doctoral dissertation).
Seiko, N., & Andriychuk, N. (2020). Qualitative and quantitative research methods in the course “Scientific Research Methodology” for future social workers. New learning technologies, (94), 299-305.
Semigina T.V. (2020). Social work clients as co-researchers. Interdisciplinary disputes: dynamics and development of modern scientific research: materials of the international scientific conference T.2. (c. 33-35). Vinnytsia: MCND.
Semigina, T. (2019). New global ethical principles of social work. Bulletin of the Academy of Labor, Social Relations and Tourism, (1), 70-85.
Semigina, T. (2020). Do Numbers Always Matter: A Review of Research Paradigms in Social Work. Traektoriâ Nauki= Path of Science, 6(7), 3001-3011.
Semigina, T. (2021). Research in social work: Anthology [cf. T. Semighina]. Kyiv: Academy of Labor, Social Relations and Tourism, 2021. 203 p.
Semigina, T. (2021). Critical research paradigm in modern social work. Scholarly disputes in philosophy, sociology, political science, and history amid globalization and digitalization: conference proceedings (pp. 96-99). Riga: Baltija Publishing,
Semigina, T. (2022). Photovoice methodology in social work research. Social Work and Education, Vol. 9, No. 3.pp. 210-225.
Semigina, T. V., Karagodina, O. G., & Dvoryak, S. V. (2020). The digital format of research in social work: reflections of practical experience.
Sinchuk, O. M., Beridze, T. M., Baranovska, M. L., Danilin, O. V., & Kalmus, D. O. (2022). Basics of the scientific research.
Sobochan, A. M., Teresa, B., & Strom-Gottfried, K. (2019). Ethical considerations in social work research. Bulletin of the Academy of Labor, Social Relations and Tourism, (1), 86-101.
Tverezovska, N. T., & Viktorova, L. V. (2017). Fundamentals of scientific research: a study guide.
Yaroshenko, A. A., & Semigina, T. V. (2019). Recognizing Inequality: A Gender Analysis of Educational Materials in Social Work. Collection of scientific works of Kamianets-Podilskyi National University named after Ivan Ohienko. Series: Social and pedagogical, (32), 183-198.

Supporting literature and information resources

Becker, S., Bryman, A., & Ferguson, H. (Eds.). (2012). Understanding research for social policy and social work: themes, methods and approaches. political press.
Dąbal, J., & Linda-Grycza, K. (2018). Interdisciplinary ethno-archaeological field school in Łeba, Poland. Teaching of understanding the past. In 11th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation. IATED Academy.
Engel, R. J., & Schutt, R. K. (2014). Fundamentals of social work research. Sage Publications.
Engel, R. J., & Schutt, R. K. (2016). The practice of research in social work. Sage Publications.
Grinnell Jr, R. M., & Unrau, Y. (2005). Social work research and evaluation: Quantitative and qualitative approaches. Cengage Learning.
Jarldorn, M. (2018). Photovoice handbook for social workers: Method, practicalities and possibilities for social change.
Karagodina, O., & Semigina, T. (2022). The first dissertation studies on social work in Ukraine: a critical assessment. Social work and education, 9(1), 44-55.
Kaur, R., & Nagaich, S. (2019). Understanding feminist research methodology in social sciences. Available at SSRN 3392500.
Kaushik, V., & Walsh, C. A. (2019). Pragmatism as a research paradigm and its implications for social work research. Social sciences, 8(9), 255.
Labra, O., Castro, C., Wright, R., & Chamblas, I. (2020). Thematic analysis in social work: A case study. Global Social Work-Cutting Edge Issues and Critical Reflections, 10(6), 1-20.

Lauve-Moon, K. R., Enman, S., & Hentz, V. (2020). Mainstreaming gender: An examination of feminist methodology in social work research. Social Work, 65(4), 317-324.
McGlade, A., Killick, C., & Taylor, B.J. (2015). Understanding and using research in social work. Understanding and Using Research in Social Work, 1-192.
Mohajan, H. K. (2018). Qualitative research methodology in social sciences and related subjects. Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, 7(1), 23-48.
Mooney, J. (2020). Using biographical narrative interviewing methodology to research adults’ experiences of disclosing childhood sexual abuse. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 22(1), 64-82.

Internet resources:


Lecture notes, plans for seminars and practical classes are protected by intellectual property copyright. The materials are available in the Moodle e-course. To access the materials, you must contact the author of the course directly.


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