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Methods I: Research Seminar on Fieldwork


Admission requirements

Advanced level in Spanish (C1-C2).
Students with an advanced knowledge of Brazilian Portuguese and a passive knowledge (reading and oral comprehension) of Spanish will be accepted.


This methodological and practical course focuses on the design and implementation of research. The course is focused on the specific context of Latin America and the practice of fieldwork in the region. The aim is to develop a research focus within the acceptable boundaries of scientific investigation in the humanities. The first block of the course will be shared with the course Methods 1: Cultural Analysis. In this part of the course the student will start his/her research by defining a problem and by establishing the scope of the project. The emphasis is on defining a theoretical framework, as well as identifying a problem, an objective, a research question and a hypothesis. The second block will focus on the practical elements of designing and carrying out the fieldwork by introducing students to the principal methods and techniques of social research as well as the technical elements involved in carrying out this research. We will look at the different methods available, such as oral history, ethnography and focus groups, paying attention to issues such as memory, power and gender within these methods. Ultimately we design an appropriate method for each student’s project.

Course objectives

  1. Exploring methodologies and techniques that are necessary for conducting a qualitative research project.
    1. Identifying methodological tools for carrying out fieldwork within a framework of social studies.
    2. Giving academic presentations
    3. Developing the ability to explain the individual investigation.
    4. Choose the appropriate methodologies in relation to the object of analysis and acquiring the ability to interpret and formulate suitable research questions with relation to Latin America.
    5. To learn how to select and define a concrete research question and object.



Mode of instruction

Students will be working in small groups. Later on in the course each students individually will be expected to prepare a research proposal which will form the basis for the investigation that the student will conduct in the second year.

Course Load

10 EC = 280 hours in total.

  • Hours in class: 28 hours

  • Hours of reading mandatory bibliography: 80 hours

  • Hours of making assignments and preparing classes: 80 hours

  • Hours for writing paper (including reading and investigation): 92 hours

Assessment method

This course will have four assessment moments:

  • Two assignments in which the student demonstrate their knowledge of two methodologies (40%)

  • Presentation (20%)

  • Research proposal (40%)
    The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average, in order to pass the course students must obtain at least a 6.0 for the research proposal.

The resit will be an improved version of the research proposal.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • providing study materials

Reading list

To be announced on blackboard


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For questions about the content of the course, you can contact the teacher:
Dr. M.F. Carmody

Coordinator of Studies: M.A.G. van Leeuwen MA

Administrations Office: van Wijkplaats


Compulsory presence at lectures. Students can be absent for no more than three classes. In case of excessive absences the teacher is authorized to impose extra assignments.