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Bachelor 2019/2020

Research Seminar

Type: Compulsory course (Political Science and World Politics)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 4 year, 1-3 module
Mode of studies: Full time
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The course is devoted to the basics of research activity, methodology and methods in political science. Its goal is twofold. Firstly, the seminar assists the students to prepare their final thesis to be submitted and defended by the end of the undergraduate programme. Secondly, the seminar pictures what it means to be a researcher in the modern academic world, how contemporary political science looks like and why skills in doing research can be useful not just for future researchers, but for those who are going to continue their careers in very different professional fields.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Assisting the students to prepare their final thesis to be submitted and defended by the end of the undergraduate programme
  • Picturing what it means to be a researcher in the modern academic world
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is capable of posing research problems relevant to the study of political phenomena and political processes; setting particular research tasks; and putting together a research design
  • Student is capable of choosing research methods appropriate for resolving the professional tasks
  • Student is capable of retrieving, collecting, processing and analyzing information relevant for achieving goals in the professional field
  • Student is capable of executing applied analysis of the political phenomena and political processes - by using political science methods - and in support of practical decision making process
  • Student is capable of reporting the results of the information retrieval and analysis, academic or applied research she/he has conducted: - in various genres (including reviews, policy papers, reports and publications pertaining to socio-political subject matter); - and depending on the target audience
  • Able to identify scientific subject
  • Able to solve professional problems based on synthesis and analysis
  • Able to outlines the need for resources and plan its using for solving professional problems
  • Work with information: find, define and use the information from different sources which required for solving of research and professional problems (including the system approach)
  • Able to do research, including the problem analysis, setting goals and objectives, defining the research subject, selecting research methods including its quality contro
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction
  • Particularities and Constraints of Social Sciences
    Criteria of scientific knowledge, the potential of scientific realism, positivism and interpretivism as approaches to the study of the social phenomena.The methods of induction and deduction, criticism of positivism. Research problem, research question, purpose of the research.
  • Guidelines for a Good Research Design
    Is it possible to plan and conduct research without a research question? What types of research questions do exist? What is the role of literature review and how questions are formulated? What is theory? Hypothesis. How are basic concepts operationalized?Research designs‟ structure. Case selection. Research methods. Conceptualization and operationalization of concepts. Data and how it should be collected and analyzed.
  • Research Strategies, Methodologies and Methods
    Comparative research. How surveys should be conducted. Particularities of interview designs.Ethnographic research. Methods of text analysis. Quantitative research.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class activity
  • non-blocking Research proposal
    Each research proposal is to include all the major elements of the research design discussed in the classroom. The research proposal is to be submitted to the instructor by November 17, 2019 via LMS. The student has to write a short research proposal of her or his final thesis. The paper should be submitted to LMS by the end of the 4th week of the 2nd module. If the paper is not submitted at time, the instructor decreases her or his grade for the paper (one point for each day after the deadline). The length of the research proposal is 5 pages (Times New Romen, 12, single line spacing), excluding bibliography. The paper includes the following elements of the research design: 1. literature review; 2. research problem, research question and the goal of the research; 3. research tasks; 4. theoretical frameworks and hypothesis; 5. research strategy; 6. research methods. All of these elements should be highlighted in bold in the text of the research project. If an evidence of plagiarism is found in the paper, the instructor must grade “0” for the research proposal.
  • non-blocking Exam
    It is a multiple-choice test which consists of three parts. Part one is a simple one correct answer quiz. Part two is a French-system MCQ with the number of correct answers from null to all. Part three consists of open questions where students can demonstrate their deeper knowledge of the subject.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.2 * Class activity + 0.4 * Exam + 0.4 * Research proposal
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Geddes, B. (DE-588)171415787, (DE-576)132211866. (2003). Paradigms and sand castles : theory building and research design in comparative politics / Barbara Geddes. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.104638176
  • Rethinking social inquiry : diverse tools, shared standards / ed. by Henry E. Brady . (2010). Lanham, Md. [u.a.]: Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.33152886X

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Bernard, H. R. (2017). Research Methods in Anthropology : Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches (Vol. Sixth Edition). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1621755
  • Ragin, C. C. (2013). The Comparative Method : Moving Beyond Qualitative and Quantitative Strategies. Oakland, California: University of California Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=784602
  • Saris, W. E. (2014). Design, Evaluation, and Analysis of Questionnaires for Survey Research (Vol. Second Edition). Hoboken: Wiley. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=691292