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Research Methods in Political Science



This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of social scientific research, specifically in political science. Students become familiar with the core concepts and basic principles of political science research. Among the topics covered in this course are what constitutes a good scientific theory and empirical reasoning, the development of testable and verifiable research questions, and the operationalization and measurement of key concepts and terms. The advantages and weaknesses of common quantitative and qualitative approaches and techniques for data collection are discussed in terms of their validity and reliability.

Course Objectives

Objective 1: To provide an introduction to the theory and practice of social science research methods and the key assumptions, concepts, and principles of political science research.
Objective 2: To introduce common data collection techniques and the criteria to evaluate the quality of empirical data.

Mode of Instruction


Study material

Sandra Halperin & Oliver Heath. 2017. Political Research: Methods and Practical Skills. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Additional literature available via Blackboard.

Assessment Method

A final exam at the end of the course will cover material from the literature and the lectures. There will be an opportunity to retake the final exam. Additional details about the final exam will be announced later.

The time and location of inspection and debriefing of the exam will be announced via Blackboard no later than the publication of the grades.


See general information on tab 'Year 2'

Timetable courses and exams