POL42330 Research Design

Academic Year 2020/2021

This module is about how to answer research questions in the social and political sciences. The topics we cover include key social science research concepts (such as conceptualisation, operationalisation, measurement, causal inference and descriptive inference) and the logic of various types of quantitative and qualitative research designs. The module will be based on lectures, group discussions and small group exercises, with the goal to sharpen your sensitivities for the logic of research design.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students in this module will learn about core concepts of social science research design. Students will also learn to critically assess empirical social science research and to reflect on the logic, advantages and disadvantages of different designs for empirical research.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
a mix of online and in-class seminars; group work; critical writing; reflective learning; 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Individual writing assignment Unspecified n/a Graded No


Project: Individual research design project Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be provided to students within 20 working days of the deadline for the assignment in accordance with university policy.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 Mon 16:00 - 17:50
Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2 Mon 16:00 - 17:50
Seminar Offering 2 Week(s) - 10, 11 Mon 16:00 - 17:50