Research Design in Political Science
This information is for the 2016/17 session.
Dr Kai Spiekermann CON.517 and Dr Joachim Wehner
This course is compulsory on the MRes Political Science. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
The aim of this course is to help PhD students develop a research design. Students will learn how to find their research questions, choose a feasible data collection or modelling strategy, and match data collection and analytic methods to the aims of the PhD project. We also consider the relation of political theory and political science and explore research methodologies in normative theory. This course is therefore designed to be a primer in asking the right questions, exploring the options available to us and understanding the consequences of the design decisions that we make. Accordingly, this course is ultimately about turning good research questions into systematic projects that deliver interesting and worthwhile results. We also debate issues in research ethics and provide advice on publication strategies
20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT. 6 hours of seminars in the ST.
Weeks 6 and 17 are reading and feedback weeks.
This is a PhD level Research Design course – we do not intend to have additional essays. Students will give presentations and receive extensive feedback on their work in progress. These are part of formative rather than summative assessment and are an important part of professional development. The main learning outcomes are to help the PhD students develop professional research designs.
King, G., R. Keohane & S. Verba (1994) Designing Social Inquiry. Princeton UP.
Box-Steffensmeier, J., H. Brady & D. Collier (eds) (2008) The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology. OUP.
Dunning, T. (2012) Natural Experiments in the Social Sciences: A Design-Based Approach. CUP.
Dryzek, J., B. Honig & A. Phillips (eds.) (2008) The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory. OUP.
Essay (20%, 2500 words), essay (20%, 2500 words) and research project (60%) in the ST.
Total students 2015/16: 16
Average class size 2015/16: 16
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Problem solving