3 ECTS credits
90 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 6018290FNW for working students in the 1st and 2nd semester at a (F) Master - specialised level.

Semester
1st and 2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Impossible
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Yes
Taught in
English
Faculty
Faculty of Social Sciences & SolvayBusinessSchool
Department
Institute for European Studies
Educational team
Manuela ALFE (course titular)
Activities and contact hours
13 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
13 contact hours Independent or External Form of Study
Course Content

The Research methods Laboratory aims primarily at supporting EuroMaster students in the conception, design, drafting and completion of their thesis in a coordinated and structured manner.

This will be done by providing students with a conceptual framework for conceiving and drafting of their thesis; sharing knowledge on research methods and techniques in social sciences, including elements of public policy analysis and research integrity; guiding them towards a systematic and analytical way of thinking of research in the field of EU integration, with the help of practical exercises and group work; providing customized help during the process of writing, in cooperation with the thesis promoters.

The laboratory is thus designed as an essential and practical tool to acquaint students with the appropriate research techniques and methodologies in the canon of European Studies, and a variety of tools, approaches, methods of analysis, writing and research skills.

Course material
Digital course material (Recommended) : Optional Additional readings provided on the learning platform, Canvas
Digital course material (Required) : Research Methods: Required Weekly Readings
Digital course material (Recommended) : Research Methods: Lecture Notes, Lecture Notes
Digital course material (Recommended) : Research Methods: Seminar Handouts, Seminar Handouts
Digital course material (Recommended) : Research Methods: Course synopsis and slides, Course synopsis and slides provided by the course convenor
Additional info

Teaching method:

·         Interactive, lab-style classes (discussing important concepts rather than mere knowledge transmission in a “flipped classroom” mode, which involves posting relevant preparatory material (text, video, audio) via Canvas in advance)

·         Part of the course material (including readings, (narrated) presentations, videos, etc) and the related interaction (seminar part) to be delivered on an online platform

·         Reflective questions and assignments on the most important topics to be posted via the online platform.

 

I. Recommended Course Texts

Students are recommended to posses at least one of the following three texts:

·         Booth, W C., Colomb, G.G., Williams, J. M. (1995), The craft of research. Chicago, London: Chicago University Press 

·         Ragin, C.C. (1994), Constructing social research, Pine Forge Press

·         Walliman, N. (2005), Your research project, London: Sage – Chapter 1

 

Further Readings

To supplement their reading, students are recommended to obtain at least one of the following texts:

 

·         King, G., Keohane, R.O., Verba, S. ( 1996), Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research, Princeton University Press

·         O'Leary, Z. (2004) The essential guide to doing research , London: Sage –

Additional reading:

·                     Achen, C. (2005). “Two Cheers for Charles Ragin”, Studies in Comparative International Development

·                     Black, T R, (1999), Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences. London: Sage

·                     Bonnett, A. (2001), How to Argue, Harlow: Pearson

·                     Brady, H., Collier, D. eds. (2004), Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, shared Standards, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield

·                     Bryman, A. (2004), Social research methods (second edition), Oxford: Oxford University press – Chapter 3

·                     Flick, U. (2009), An introduction to qualitative research, London: Sage

·                     George, A.L., Bennett, A. (2005),Case Studies and Theory Development in the Social Science, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press –  Chapter 3

·                     Goertz, G. (2005), Social Science Concepts: A User’s Guide Princeton: Princeton University Press.

-                      Hart, C. (1998), Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination, Thousand Oaks: Sage

·                     Harvey, M. (2003), The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing, Indianapolis: Hackett

·                     Redman, P. (2001)Good Essay Writing: A Social Sciences Guide, Thousand Oaks: Sage

II. Research question Presentation

Students will make a 10 minutes presentation on the chosen Master Thesis topic (presentation of their master thesis plan), with a special focus on research methodology, as well as a clear explanation and analysis of their research question(s). Students should address these requirements in a one-page document which should be sent to the course convenor before the presentation and support the presentation with PPT slides.

The presentation will be assessed on the basis of the solidity of the research question(s) and demonstration of a clear grasp of research tools.

III. Progress report

The Progress report is a brief record of progress achieved in terms of thesis drafting by end of January. It will contain: a) the title of thesis (any major change of direction has to be motivated); b) account of work done (planned achievements and real ones, including explanation for deviations from the initial plan); c) overview of what remains to be done (including analysis of main difficulties encountered and timetable).. 

III Paper on Thesis structure and methodology

Students are required to write a 2500 words paper presenting the methodology of their Master thesis, as well as the overall thesis structure and references. The paper will be evaluated against solidity of the methodology, quality of references and overall coherence of the thesis structure.  The assessment will not cover the content-related aspects of the thesis plan, for which coordination with the thesis supervisor might be required.

Learning Outcomes

General Competences

On successful completion of Research methods Lab, students will be:

 

·         familiar with the various problems involved in designing and conducting a research project in the field of EU integration

·         familiar with the literature, theories, concepts and methods relevant to research in social sciences

·         familiar with a wide range of hard, soft and online sources of EU Information

·         able to independently describe, evaluate and apply different approaches involved in collecting, analyzing and presenting data

·         familiar with the conventions of academic writing (style, referencing, footnoting, bibliographies, etc.)

·         able to conceive and present a research plan and develop ideas in a coherent and scientifically sound manner

Grading

The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Written Exam determines 25% of the final mark.
LEC Presentation determines 25% of the final mark.
SELF Paper determines 50% of the final mark.

Within the Written Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Written Exam with a relative weight of 25 which comprises 25% of the final mark.

    Note: Written Exam (1st term): 25%

Within the LEC Presentation category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Research question presentation with a relative weight of 25 which comprises 25% of the final mark.

    Note: Research question presentation (1st term): 25%

Within the SELF Paper category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Research Paper with a relative weight of 50 which comprises 50% of the final mark.

    Note: Research Paper of 2500 words (excluding footnotes and bibliography), where students are required to outline the thesis structure, methodology and a tentative bibliography, and demonstrate the mastery of scientific referencing (2nd term): 50%

Additional info regarding evaluation
  • A research question presentation which determines 30% of the final mark.
  • A Progress report which determines 30% of the final mark.
  • A Resesarch Paper which determines 40% of the final mark.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Master of European Integration: Track 1_Economic Integration: European Economy - Migration and Europe
Master of European Integration: Track 2_Economic Integration: European Economy - European External Relations and Security Policy
Master of European Integration: Track 3_Economic Integration: European Economy - European Environmental Governance
Master of European Integration: Track 4_European Politics and Social Integration: Migration and Europe - European Environmental Governance
Master of European Integration: Track 5_European Politics and Social Integration: European External Relations and Security Policy - Migration and Europe
Master of European Integration: Track 6_European Politics and Social Integration: European Environmental Governance - European External Relations and Security Policy