Not available in 2016/17
Empirical Research in Government
This information is for the 2016/17 session.
Prof Edward Page
This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and International Relations and BSc in Politics and Philosophy. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.
This course is capped at one group. The deadline for receipt of applications is Friday 2 October 2015.
The course introduces a variety of techniques and issues in the empirical study of political science and applies them to a practical research project in which students participate throughout the year. The focus of the course will be the practical research project. For 2015/16 the proposed research project will probably explore the question of blame attribution, though this is subject to change. At the theoretical level the course will cover questions relating to the utilization of policy research, forms of research design, sampling, questionnaire construction, coding and converting non-quantitative to quantitative indicators, response rates, elite interviewing and research ethics. As the practical research project progresses classes will cover the development of practical skills such as, principles of research report writing and, where appropriate for the project, use of text processing programmes, and SPSS.
20 hours of seminars and 2 hours of workshops in the MT. 20 hours of seminars and 2 hours of workshops in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.
The workshops will take place in the reading weeks (week 6 of MT and LT) and will consist of additional teaching activities to extend students' familiarity with the course content.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.
Sandra Halperin and Oliver Heath, Political Research. Methods and Political Skills (2012); Floyd J. Fowler Survey Research Methods, 5th edn (2013); Alan Buckingham and Peter Saunders, The Survey Methods Workbook (2004); Tim May, Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, 3rd edn, (2001); Claus Moser and Graham Kalton, Survey Methods in Social Investigation, 2nd edn, (1985); Melanie Mauthner et al (eds), Ethics in Qualitative Research, (2002).
Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) and research project (25%).
Total students 2015/16: 14
Average class size 2015/16: 15
Capped 2015/16: Yes (15)
Value: One Unit
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Specialist skills