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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2019 - 2020

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module provides an overview of basic research skills for students engaging in empirical research in the area of politics broadly understood. This includes thinking about research questions, the purpose of the literature review, theory building, and strategies for empirical investigation.

Learning Outcomes

1. You should finish the semester with a firm grasp of research design in politics, public policy, and international relations.
2. You should be able to critically assess research undertaken by scholars in your field.
3. You will develop further the skills to identify the strengths and weaknesses in, and opportunities and challenges that arise from, existing research.
4. You will be able to present and defend an empirical research design in politics, public policy, or international relations.
5. You will be able to critically analyze any claim that research points public policy in a particular direction.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture12Please see content
Seminars12Please see content
Independent Study226Please see content
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

Staff-led seminars
Research Design in Empirical Social Research, Broad Methodological Traditions in Political Research, Quantitative Research, The Statistics-Inspired Approach to Qualitative Research, The Independent Qualitative Tradition, Is There a Constructivist Methodology or Methodologies?

Student-led Seminars
Critiques of Research Articles, Student Research Designs

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • William Trochim and James P. Donnelly.: 2007, The Research Methods Knowledge Base,
  • Gary King, Robert Keohane, Sidney Verba: 0, Designing Social Inquiry,
  • W Phillips Shively: 0, The Craft of Political Research,
  • Henry Brady and David Collier: 0, Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes