Research Design and Methods, 7.5 credits (733A48)

Research Design and Methods, 7.5 hp

Course description

The central themes of the course are: - an introduction to the philosophy of science; - research traditions in the social sciences; - the design of social and political research; - conceptual, procedural and ethical considerations in research; - advanced academic writing. Examination - Home examination, work shops and assignments - Writing and presenting of a thesis proposal

Main field of study

Political Science


Second cycle

Course type

Programme course


Elin Wihlborg

Course coordinator

Elin Wihlborg

Director of studies or equivalent

Mariana S Gustafsson


Görel Fornander, administratör

Kerstin Karlsson, International Exchange coordinator

Malin Gröndahl Maass, studievägledare

Course offered for Semester Weeks Language Campus VOF
F7MER International and European Relations, Master´s Programme 2 (Spring 2020) v202019-202023 English Linköping o

Main field of study

Political Science

Course level

Second cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Master´s Programme in International and European Relations

Entry requirements

Applicants must, by the closing date for application, hold a bachelor's degree/kandidatexamen (equivalent for example a professional degree) of at least 180 ECTS credits, including a 15 ECTS credit degree paper or equivalent. In-depth study of at least 90 ECTScredits (3 semesters of full-time study) in the major subject is required, including a paper corresponding to approximately 10 weeks of study (15 ECTS). The course provides advanced level studies for students of political science, economics, history, sociology, and other social sciences as well as for students with other disciplinary backgrounds who can demonstrate an ability to develop their potential in the topic.

Documented knowledge of English equivalent to Engelska B/Engelska 6.

Intended learning outcomes

After completion of the course the student should be able to:

  • recognize, understand and discuss contending positions on ontology and epistemology in the social sciences;
  • display a deeper understanding of research traditions with relevance for the study of International and European relations;
  • indentify and understand the various stages of the research process, in relation to actual examples of research in the relevant fields;
  • design and present an outline of an independent scientific investigation.

Course content

The central themes of the course are:

  • an introduction to the philosophy of science;
  • research traditions in the social sciences;
  • the design of social and political research;
  • conceptual, procedural and ethical considerations in research;
  • advanced academic writing.

Teaching and working methods

The course offers lectures which introduce and develop the content of the course. Lectures are complementary to the literature. Seminars and workshops are important aspects of the learning process and provide opportunities for mutual, critical discussions which develop attitudes and skills. Students are expected to be well prepared for lectures and to have completed assigned preparations for seminars. Students are expected to read and take in the literature independently and/or in self-organized reading groups. Language of instruction is English. Activities which constitute elements of examination are mandatory.


The course is examined through a combination of mandatory seminars and workshops, a home examination, and writing and presenting a thesis proposal. Detailed information about the examination can be found in the course’s study guide.

Students failing an exam covering either the entire course or part of the course twice are entitled to have a new examiner appointed for the reexamination.

Students who have passed an examination may not retake it in order to improve their grades.



Other information

Planning and implementation of a course must take its starting point in the wording of the syllabus. The course evaluation included in each course must therefore take up the question how well the course agrees with the syllabus. 

The course is carried out in such a way that both men´s and women´s experience and knowledge is made visible and developed.


Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling


Alvesson, Mats, Kärreman, Dan, (2011) Qualitative Research and Theory Development : Mystery As Method

ISBN: 9780857023247,9780857023230

Bryman, Alan, (2012) Social research methods 4. ed. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012

ISBN: 9780199588053,0199588058

or later edition

Della Porta, Donatella, Keating, Michael, (2008) Approaches and methodologies in the social sciences. a pluralist perspective Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, c2008.

ISBN: 9780521883221,0521883229,9780521709668,0521709660

Murray, Rowena., Murray, Rowena., (2006) How to write a thesis 2nd edition

ISBN: 9780335219681,0335219683


Additional articles.

EXAM Home Examination EC 4 credits
SEM1 Seminar 1 EC 0.5 credits
SEM2 Seminar 2 EC 0.5 credits
SHOP Workshop EC 1 credits
THPR Thesis proposal EC 1.5 credits

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