RESEARCH METHODS - 2021/2
Module code: POL2028
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/course-changes. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional specific information relating to your chosen programme.
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In this module we apply your knowledge of research theories introduced in POL2027 and engage with empirical research analysis. We will learn how quantitative and qualitative methodologies employed in political science can make use of database programs to store and handle both qualitative and quantitative information. We will also learn how statistics can be used selectively to mislead readers.
We will practice statistical skills, using R to test data, and design solid research projects that will require application of statistical analysis to test specific empirical hypotheses.
NEZI Spyridoula (Politics)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 5
JACs code: X210
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
POL2027 Approaches to Research
Indicative content includes:
- Review of research methodologies employed in the study of politics
- Review of research question and hypotheses construction
- Hypothesis testing – descriptive and causal
- Variable operationalization and measurement
- The structure of a solid research project
- Introduction to empirical analysis databases: Excel, SPSS / R
- Descriptive statistical analysis (mean, mode, median, crosstabulations
- Mean comparisons, ANOVA analysis
- Linear regression (simple and multiple)
- Interpretation of results presented in graph or table format
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||R RESEARCH PROJECT||50|
|Examination||2 HOUR EXAMINATION||50|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate
The ability to select appropriate tests to explore a research question
An engagement with the literature in their area of interest
The ability to interpret statistics from published research and suggest alternatives
An awareness of methodological suitability and potential weaknesses in their research design
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
· R research project – 2000 words, 50% week 11
· Exam – 2 hours, 4 questions to be selected from 8, 50%, exam period
Formative assessment and feedback
Verbal feedback in seminars, drop-in sessions for research projects, seminar tasks
Describe how students will receive feedback on their performance during the module such as verbal feedback in tutorials or a small assignment which informs the final summative assessment.
- Properly specify a research question related to a political puzzle;
- Link research questions to theoretical and societal debates demonstrating their contribution;
- Integrate theoretical literature to a research proposal;
- Propose testable hypotheses
- Think in terms of relationships between variables, including possible causal relationships;
- Gain competence in descriptive statistics and fundamental distributions
- Use statistical tools to conduct empirical analysis employing measures of association, mean comparisons, and linear regression
- Produce written work that satisfies the criteria required in scientific publications, including proper citation and bibliographical references.
- Interpret and generate Tables, Charts, Graphs, to document empirical relationships are expected to participate and discuss the main concepts and studies from each section's readings.
|001||Engage in empirical research by gathering, organising and deploying evidence, data and information from secondary and primary sources.||KCPT|
|002||Identify, investigate, analyse, formulate and suggest solutions to empirical political science problems.||KCPT|
|003||Produce a rigorous research paper that contains statistical analysis of a political research question.||KCPT|
|004||Produce and interpret tables, graphs and charts of empirical data using R||PT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 128
Lecture Hours: 11
Seminar Hours: 11
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Provide students with statistical expertise and the ability to apply it to examining research questions
Encourage students to make their own choices in the employment of appropriate statistical tests
Enable students to choose a topic of their own interest, formulate a research question and test it
Introduce students to the expectations of statistical formatting
Encourage students to think creatively around a research problem
The learning and teaching methods include:
- Lectures, including interactive R sessions – 11 hours
- Seminars, using computer labs to practice R – 11 hours
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Reading list for RESEARCH METHODS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/pol2028
Programmes this module appears in
|International Relations BSc (Hons)||2||Compulsory||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Politics BSc (Hons)||2||Compulsory||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
|Public Affairs MPA||2||Compulsory||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.