Research Methods 2 - POLI9990

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 4 (2) Andrea den Boer checkmark-circle
Spring Term 7 4 (2) Andrea den Boer checkmark-circle


To provide students with an understanding of academic research and an ability to identify and utilise appropriate strategies and techniques for the purpose of individual investigation, research and practice within a subject specific area of their course route. This module will prepare students to undertake the dissertation module in Stage 2 of their course.


Contact hours

40 hours to include workshops, directed independent learning, and the preparation of a research proposal under supervision from an academic within the subject area of their degree route.


Non-contributory on all Politics postgraduate taught courses

Method of assessment

Participation and engagement – no formal assessment.

Indicative reading

• Biggam,J. 2011. Succeeding with your Master's Dissertation: a Step by Step Handbook, Open University Press, (2nd edition).
• Burnham, P, Karin Gilland, Wyn Grant, and Zig Layton-Henry. 2008. Research Methods in Politics. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 (2nd edition).
• Creswell, J., W., 2018. Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. 5th. ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
• Leopold, D., & Stears, M. 2008. Political theory: methods and approaches. Oxford University Press.
• Stella Cottrell, Dissertation and Project Reports: a Step by Step Guide, Palgrave 2014
• Jonathan Biggam, Succeeding with your Master's Dissertation: a Step by Step Handbook, Open University Press, 2011 (2nd edition)
• Mark. J. Smith, Social Science in Question, London: Sage, 2003
• Alan Bryman, Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press, 2012 (4th edition)
• David Marsh and Gerry Stoker, Theory and Methods in Political Science, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010 (3rd edition)
• Peter Burnham, Karin Gilland, Wyn Grant, and Zig Layton-Henry, Research Methods in Politics, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 (2nd edition)
• Gary King, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba, Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994
• Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research, Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 2008 (3rd edition)
• Kjell Erik Rudestam and Rae R. Newton, Surviving Your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process, London: Sage, 2007 (3rd edition)
• Gina Wisker, The Postgraduate Research Handbook: Succeed with your MA, MPhil, EdD and PhD, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2007 (2nd edition)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Have a good understanding of the issues involved in formulating a meaningful and feasible research question, as well as of the ways of dealing with these issues.
8.2 Understand how to work methodically and systematically in their studies, and to adopt a critical perspective in their use of work done by other political and social scientists
8.3 Be able to apply their knowledge and skills to a research project that they have developed on their own.
8.4 Be able to conduct an advanced academic research project, present the findings, and write-up in a concise and coherent manner.
8.5 Have a good familiarity with learning resources in politics and international relations, including primary and secondary sources, and different forms of data and other empirical materials.
8.6 Critically engage with political phenomena, including the vocabulary, concepts, theories and methods of political debate
8.7 Examine and evaluate different interpretations of political issues and events and solutions to political problems.
8.8 Describe, evaluate and apply different intellectual approaches in collecting, analysing and presenting political information.


  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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