Empirical Research in Government
This information is for the 2021/22 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, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, 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 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. No prior knowledge of statistics or research methods is required. The focus of the course will be the practical research project. 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 basic routines in the widely-used Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), such as those used for compiling crosstabulations.
This course is delivered through a combination of seminars and workshops totalling a minimum of 40 hours across the Michaelmas, Lent and Summer Terms. Some or all of this teaching may be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus sessions. There will be reading weeks in Week 6 of MT and LT.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.
Sandra Halperin and Oliver Heath, Political Research. Methods and Political Skills 2nd edn (2016); Sage Research Methods database (online accessible through LSE Library); Floyd J. Fowler Survey Research Methods, 5th edn (2013); 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 summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2500 words) in the LT.
Research paper (25%) in the ST.
Each student completes a 2500 word essay (25%) in the Lent Term and writes up a 3300 word report on the research project (25%) in the Summer Term. The mark for the research project report includes a small peer review element. There will also be a 2 hour exam (50%) in the Summer exam period.
Course selection videos
Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.
Total students 2020/21: Unavailable
Average class size 2020/21: Unavailable
Capped 2020/21: No
Value: One Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
- Application of numeracy skills
- Specialist skills