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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Research Design and Methods
Module Code LG250
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Roman-Gabriel Olar
Semester 2: Eoin O'Malley
Autumn: Eoin O'Malley
Module TeachersEoin O'Malley
Roman-Gabriel Olar
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This module will introduce students to the basics of research design and methods in social science. The module will begin by developing students' ability to use literature effectively in identifying knowledge gaps, empirical puzzles and findings, and formulate research questions based on these. This will be followed by introducing students to the basic concepts and methods in answering substantive research questions from a scientific perspective. Students will focus on developing their understanding of the evolution and development of the scientific process that aims to answer substantive research questions. Overall, students will be introduced to the importance of research puzzles, the use of falsification as a scientific method, hypothesis development and testing, the basics of concept measurement and a number of different research designs.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify research gaps, puzzles and questions in academic sources and literature
2. Develop research questions and theoretically driven hypotheses using the scientific method
3. Define and measure concepts of interests in social science and politics
4. Develop a research methodology appropriate for answering a substantive research question
5. Combine basic quantitative and qualitative methods in answering a research question

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Total Workload: 0

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Recommended books
Clark, W. R., Golder, M., & Golder, S. N. (2017). Principles of comparative politics. CQ Press. Kellstedt, P. M., & Whitten, G. D. (2018). The fundamentals of political science research. Cambridge University Press. Halperin, Sandra and Heath, Oliver (2020) Political research: methods and practical skills. 3rd edition. Oxford University Press. SAGE Research Methods collection: https://methods-sagepub-com.dcu.idm.oclc.org

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentStudents will write an 1000 words essay in which they identify a research question they aim to answer in a research project. The research question needs to identify a puzzle from the real world (some variation) they aim to explain. This puzzle needs to clearly explain why the variation is puzzling/worthy of investigation and then propose a clear research question that could be answered in clarifying the puzzle. The discussion needs to also include a discussion of existing knowledge (from academic sources) on the chosen topic.30%n/a
Report(s)Students need to write an 1800 research proposal containing the following elements: • A statement of the research question • Puzzle or brief justification for choosing that question • The location of the project in the existing literature • Short theory and hypotheses to be tested • Outline of research design – e.g. variables, case and/or method selection • Research methods - including sources70%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    EPLBA in Economics, Politics and Law
    IRBA in International Relations

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