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Research Design (Earth, Energy & Sustainability)




Admissions requirements

  • Successful completion of Statistics and Mathematical Modelling/Mathematical Reasoning;

  • Successful completion of Quantitative Research Methods;

  • Successful completion of Academic Writing;

  • Successful completion of two of the following three courses: Environmental Science, Earth System Science; Energy and Resource Management


How do you identify gaps in the current literature? And how do you translate this into a good research question? What methods should you use to answer that research question? And what is the difference between a meta-analysis, a literature review and original research during your capstone?

These are some of the topics which will be discussed in this course, and which will provide you a solid foundation for your capstone. We will focus on how to conduct a good literature review, how to make a research project outline, and how to turn this outline into a research proposal.

Next, we will explore the various research methods used in the EES major, ranging from quantitative to qualitative methods, and from field to lab work. Finally, students will learn key skills which will help during their capstone, including the use of reference software, the optimal use of word, and the most effective ways to present data.

Course objectives

After completion of this course students are able to:

  • Discuss philosophy, theories and concepts in research design;

  • Formulate research questions in their chosen field, relating these to the relevant theories and methods;

  • Critically evaluate research designs;

  • Write a research proposal.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

This will be a hands-on class. Preferably, the first session of the week there will be an interactive discussion about the topic of the week. Subsequently, students will conduct a homework assignment, which will be the foundation of the second seminar, in which we apply the content to a case-study.


  • Individual assignment: 25%

  • Oral presentation: 17.5%

  • Group project: 17.5%

  • Research proposal: 40%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

A reading list will be made available prior to the start of the course.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Brid Walsh:
Dr. Thijs Bosker: