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With indispensable advice for students from all social science backgrounds, this handbook provides the core conceptual and practical skills to embark on succesful research. The organization of the book reflects the knowledge that is required in order to become a competent and effective researcher. It follows the life-cycle of the research project: it begins with a discussion of ethical and philosphical issues; presents guides to both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis; provides help on using computers in research; and includes advice on how to write up and present a research project. Based on the UK Economic and Social Research Council advice on the training which students should undertake in preparation for postgraduate research, this book will be invaluable for all beginning researchers.