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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Research Methodology
Module Code LG528A
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Alex Baturo
Semester 2: Maura Conway
Autumn: Alex Baturo
Module TeachersAlex Baturo
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The aim of this module is to prepare you for the dissertation that you are required to complete as part of your MA programme. Research in international relations and political science can be done well and it can be done poorly. This course is about how to do good research, which would entail identifying interesting puzzles, formulating good and doable questions, gathering the right data in the right way, carefully defining and measuring concepts and variables, constructing and developing arguments, and structuring your thesis in a coherent manner. In all likelihood, if you focus on a specific and narrow topic of your choice and study it in depth, you will know more about this topic that anybody else, including your supervisor. However, it is research design that usually makes a difference between a good and bad dissertation, and your final mark will primarily be based on how you do your research rather than on what. Your dissertation counts for one-third of your total marks for the programme and it is extremely important to design your thesis well. The aim of this class is to help you meet the general requirements for a good thesis and to offer a menu of techniques which may be relevant for some theses.

Learning Outcomes

1. identify research puzzles, formulate good and `doable' research questions and transform them into a sophisticated research design.
2. produce research proposal for MA dissertation
3. be able to incorporate research design in her research papers throughout the year

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Lecture and student presentations
Independent Study226No Description
Total Workload: 250

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

Establishing a Dissertation timetable

Writing the thesis proposal

Research skills
internet, databases, CD ROMs, OPACs

Using theory and models in empirical research

First steps in producing a literature review


Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Presentationpresentation of MA dissertation proposal100%
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

  • Robson, Colin: 2002, Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner-researchers, 2nd ed. Oxford, UK.,
  • See Course Outline on Loop for further readings: 0,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MIRMA in International Relations
MISCMA in International Security & Conflict
Date of Last Revision21-DEC-11

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