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Semester 1

Research Design in Politics and International Relations (PLIT10106)







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Visiting students must have completed 4 Politics courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses, and we cannot consider interdisciplinary courses or courses without sufficient Politics/Government/International Relations focus. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission, and priority will be given to students studying on exchange within the Politics department. **Please note that all Politics courses are very high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

Research Design in Politics and International Relations will equip students with the skills necessary to understand, critically assess and undertake the research design process relevant to their PIR degree. Students will gain a good grasp of the behavioural assumptions in social science research, knowledge of a range of data collection methods (and how to assess the appropriateness of each), as well as the steps within a successful research project design. More specifically students will learn how to choose a topic, formulate a research question and hypotheses, select cases, navigate measurement issues, and undertake a range of data collection methods.

Course Description

The course will cover research design issues, including methodology and methods, for those addressing both empirical and more normative topics around Politics and International Relations. The course builds on courses offered in second year - Introduction to Political Data Analysis (IPDA) and Comparative Politics, which concentrate on methods of analysing evidence. This course focuses on how to structure your research project and how to collect your own evidence in response to your own research question. Beyond that it covers a range of issues which will be of use to political researchers: writing literature reviews, evaluating methodological choices, and ethical issues around political research.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 85%, Practical Exam 15%

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All course information obtained from this visiting student course finder should be regarded as provisional. We cannot guarantee that places will be available for any particular course. For more information, please see the visiting student disclaimer:

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