Research Methods Training I - POLI9640

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Canterbury
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Guillermo Reyes Pascual checkmark-circle

Overview

This module introduces the research design and methods used in the study of Politics and International Relations. The aim of the module is twofold: (1) to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to understand, compare and evaluate the design of, and methods used in, research in the field of politics and IR, and (2) to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to design your own research project and to make informed choices with regards to the methods of research.
The module focuses on the logic behind various types of research design and the key features of different methods used in research in the field of politics and IR. It gives you the necessary tools, methods and approaches in order to succeed in your essays and your dissertation. It covers the key steps you need in order to write successful postgraduate essays and a successful MA dissertation. The lectures and workshops provide you with the tools to do so, and you will, in the parallel seminars, address a series of topics which are necessary to help you write your first term papers.

The topics which are covered include description and explanation, concept analysis and typologies, the role of theories and theoretical frameworks, delineating a topic and formulating a research question, formulating an argument, the comparative method, case studies and case selection, and historical and ethnographic research.

Details

Contact hours

Private Study: 178
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 200

Availability

Compulsory to the following courses:
• All MA courses in the School of Politics and International Relations

This module will be followed by POLI9990 Research Methods 2, and then the thesis module POLI9650

For MA Peace and Conflict Studies students, this module will be followed by POLI9660

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Critical Literature Review, 2500 words (40%)
Research Proposal, 2500 words (60%)

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Understand the role of theories and theoretical frameworks and be able to apply them to their own research.
2. Understand and reflect on the difference between description and explanation in research.
3. Understand and be able to design their own research project and to make informed choices with regards to the methods of research.
4. Identify, summarise and critically assess some of the most important approaches and methods employed in the study of politics and international relations.
5. Discuss the theoretical and methodological issues at stake in relation to both their own research and that of others.
6. Understand and be able to formulate and apply to research questions the basic principles of research design in politics and IR.

Progression

This module will be followed by POLI9990 Research Methods 2, and then the thesis module POLI9650

For MA Peace and Conflict Studies students, this module will be followed by POLI9660

Notes

  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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