Preparing your project for ethical review
This course aims to assist participants in preparing a social science project for ethical review. The primary focus is UK university-based ethical review, with some discussion of processes for NHS and prison research. However, much of what will be covered will be relevant to most systems of ethical review.
The course will explore the nature and processes of ethical review bodies, the consent process and vulnerability, risks and risk mitigation and broader frameworks of responsible research and innovation. Participants will be encouraged to take a broad and imaginative approach to risk assessment and research ethics, stepping beyond a “tick box” approach to ethical review and situating ethics as an ongoing part of the research process.
The course is primarily designed for researchers with an understanding of social science research who intend to submit a research project for ethical review and who wish to gain a wider understanding of ethical social science. The course leader is an experienced social researcher who will draw on her own research and experience of ethical review as a reviewer and applicant, as well as established practice within the social sciences.
Taught on campus in a small group setting, the sessions will include examination of research case studies, and will be interspersed with practical exercises to apply insights to your own research. The course leader will also be happy to address specific queries raised by course participants either during the sessions or in the breaks.
- To understand the nature of ethical review for social research
- To understand the application of ethical concepts to processes of sampling, recruitment, consent, data collection and data management
- To apply this understanding to the preparation of documentation for ethical review
- To understand the broader contexts of research ethics beyond ethical review, as an ongoing part of the research process and beyond.
- The nature and processes of ethical review
- Ethical issues in sampling and recruitment
- Consent: capacity and vulnerability
- What does good participant information look like?
- Ethical and secure data handling
- Risk assessment and risk mitigation
- Responsible research and innovation
- Ethical research practice beyond ethical review
- Final reflections, troubleshooting and ongoing sources of support.
Learning and teaching methods
Presentations, discussions, guided exercises, independent group exercises.
Christine Hine has over 30 years’ experience in social research and teaching social research methods. Her research interests are in qualitative and ethnographic approaches to digital technologies. She is a former Chair of the University Ethics Committee at Surrey and has experience as applicant to both University and NHS ethics review bodies. Christine is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Surrey.
A basic understanding of social research methods is required. Participants will gain most from the course if they have a social research project that they are currently in the early stages of preparing for ethical review.
Fees and funding
Price per person:
£155Education and charitable sector applicants
£220Government and commercial sector applicants
What these fees include
Course materials, lunch voucher and refreshments.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations and our terms and conditions. You are also confirming you have read and understood the University's prospective student privacy notice.
Further details of our terms and conditions will follow.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read the full disclaimer.