Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

University of Leeds

Introduction to Research Ethics: Working with People

University of Leeds via FutureLearn


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.

This course has been ranked as one of the best online courses of all time by online course aggregator class central.

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.


  • Working with people
    • Welcome
    • Research ethics: why it matters
    • What are the ethical considerations when recruiting people to your research?
    • Additional considerations for vulnerable participants
    • Summary
  • Responsibilities towards participants and their data
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • Could your research cause harm?
    • How can you protect your participants personal data?
    • What are the ethical issues from researching in archives and online
    • Summary

Taught by

Natasha McKeever


4.8 rating, based on 44 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 115 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Research Ethics: Working with People

  • Anonymous
    It is a good introduction to ethics challenges on general research. Straight to the point with examples. I think adding original articles from some of the cases seen would be valuable.
  • Anonymous
    This course was extremely helpful. Quite simple and straight to the point. I'll certainly recommend it to others
  • Maria Luisa A. Valdez
    The course underscored some of the historical backgrounds of research ethics such as the experiments on people in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, The Nuremberg Code, and the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, which I found very interesting.…
  • Anonymous
    I think this is a very nice and valuable topics. Its quite rare and maybe thats why not so many of them are interested in the class. But I found so many new valuable things that I should have know but never apply when I am doing research, so this c…
  • Anonymous
    Thank you. The course was informative. I have gained a lot of knowledge and I will use every bid of the details acquired. I would recommend it to my friends.
  • Anonymous
    This course was very thought-provoking. A variety of important issues were covered, which may not be given such in-depth consideration in more general preparation for undertaking research, including the history and reasons why ethical behaviour is essential.
  • Anonymous
    It's ok. A pretty basic introduction which covers a lot of ground.

    The course dwells a good deal on ghastly experiements conducted by the Nazis, along with Milgram, Tuskegee etc, which yes make for good headlines but these kinds of examples don't relate very well to small-scale social science projects i.e. the kinds of projects students mostly do in HE.

    Some useful ideas around anonymising data and consent for under 18s which is relevant though.

    Decent-enough starting point for raising issues around research in a general way.
  • Anonymous
    This was a good online course, there were sufficient different modes of delivery to keep it interesting. I hadn't understood the historical events leading to the introduction of research ethics before now, but now realise and accept the importance of research ethics in all research projects, which was a tick-the-box exercise for me until now. The examples used to illustrate risk assessment and safeguarding of data were memorable and highlight why these issues are a critical consideration for anyone involved in research of any kind.
  • Anonymous
    This course is a MUST for all researchers engaged in research activities/projects using human participants. It reminded me of the professional ethics that we need to observe in the performance of our duties and responsibilities.

    Thank you very much, University of Leeds!
  • Profile image for M M
    M M
    I really enjoyed the course. Though I am not researcher, but as my job is monitoring Research Ethics for my institution, this course helped me a lot in understanding ethics principles. This will also help me in review and upgrading policies for my institution.
    Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    I appreciated learning about some opt forgotten steps in the research process, particularly the role ethics plays.
  • Anonymous
    This course helped me become aware of many ethical issues that researchers need to address before, during, and after pursuing their respective investigations. Taking this course helps researchers increase their level of professionalism in their work.
  • Anonymous
    A brilliant course for anyone with an interest in conducting their own research. Essential concepts were discussed and explained really well with a mix of case studies, articles, videos and further resources. I especially liked the interactive content and quizzes used to check your knowledge from the learning material. Overall an enjoyable and interesting course which has proved extremely useful in my own professional goals.
  • Anonymous
    This course was very helpful, in understanding the importance of ethics when working with people. Excellent case scenarios, with ethical considerations.
  • Anonymous
    This course provided a good introduction to research ethics. It covered the basics that researchers need to keep in mind while approaching participants for research studies. It also provided sample framework that could help researchers to create their own Participant Information Sheets.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent Course. It is quite informative, easy to access and understand. It is up to date and easy to navigate.

    If the speaker is hard/difficult/challenging to understand then there is transcript and translation.

    I just don't know how to generate my free certificate
  • Anonymous
    This course was very detailed and informative. It has helped expand my knowledge regarding ethical issues that researchers must take into consideration when conducting their study. I will use the information gained and appropriately apply them to my own research.
  • Anonymous
    This course is very informative, I learned a lot and it will help me in my future studies and research, knowing all the proper procedures and all the ethical ways and rules that I should consider before starting one.
  • Anonymous
    This course was very helpful for me! Now, I feel more confident to continue my research work! Hopefully, the lecturers of this course keep updating the materials with the newest issue in conducting a proper research
  • Anonymous
    Very well structured course. Also, a very practical approach with all the exercises proposed.

    Covered both clinical and social research studies.

    It has definitively improved my knowledge.

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.