Full course description
Research is “creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge […]”. This goal can be achieved in a wide variety of ways. We can count “things”, add them up, calculate statistics about them, and get a reliable overview of “things”. We can also describe those “things” in great detail and question why they are the “things” that they are, and what that means in the context of those “things”. Which approach is better? The answer is that this depends on what you want to learn about those ‘’things”. In other words, if we want to “increase the stock of knowledge”, it partly depends on which knowledge you are interested in increasing (your “puzzle’’ and specific questions), and partly also on what you consider “knowledge” to be in the first place. In Research Methods I, we will address these issues in great detail, and we will go into how a research project can be set up in alignment with the answers to these questions.
Research Methods I (SKI1004), Research Methods II (SKI1005), and the Research Project (PRO1012) form one coherent semester-long block of courses in which you will start from scratch and end with your own finished research project. Along the way, we will discuss a wide variety of research approaches frequently used in the humanities, social sciences, and the sciences. Another goal of this sequence of courses is for UCM as an academic community to further develop its multi/interdisciplinary character, and for students to be able to reflect and comment on each other’s work, no matter how diverse that may become in the course of the next three years.
The Research Project is the conclusion of your research methods training, and an opportunity to put everything you learned in to practice. We will build on the foundation laid out in Research Methods I, and on the practical skills learned in Research Methods II. You ended Research Methods II with a final research proposal, which forms the starting point for the Research Project. Assuming that this final proposal was indeed fully ready for execution, you can start gathering data and/or analyzing your data from day one of the Research Project. You will finish with an extended paper that presents your findings.
After doing the Research Project, you will know about:
- Conducting a well-designed research project from start to finish.
- Academic writing in the context of empirical research.
- Presenting empirical research outcomes.
SKI1004 Research Methods I and SKI1005 Research Methods II.
- Gray, D. E. (2014). Doing Research in the Real World (Third ed.). London: Sage Publications.