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POL8038 : Doing Political Research (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Emily Clough
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


1.       To enable students to further develop and practice qualitative and quantitative research skills by using those skills to conduct an original research project in Politics of the student’s choice.
2.       To develop an advanced understanding of the different stages of the research process from formulating a research question through research design, data collection and data analysis to writing up a research paper.
3.       To examine how a range of qualitative and quantitative methods can be used to answer research questions in political science.
4.       To critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different research methods.

The MA Politics (Research) is designed to produce high quality researchers with generic social science skills and specific political science skills. This module gives students the opportunity to develop and apply their research skills to a particular topic in political science.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Formulating a research question and developing a hypothesis
2.       Research design: theories, approaches and methods
3.       Data collection
4.       Statistical inference
5.       Data analysis: univariate, bivariate, multivariate
6.       Structuring and writing an academic paper

Under the guidance of the module leader, students will formulate a research question, critically evaluate alternative research methods that might be used to answer their question, design their research project, collect and analyse data, and write their paper. Students will be encouraged throughout the module to reflect critically on their own skills as researchers.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Nine hours of online lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1169:00169:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will introduce concepts before each seminar. The seminars will then be used to discuss the application of the concepts to research in politics, and to discuss each stage of the research process with the module leader and with the other members of the class. This will enable the module leader to support students through the development of an independent, collaborative research project.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M1004000 word research paper, using data analysis
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment tests the ability of the students to conduct an independent research project: formulating a question, collecting data, generating original statistical analysis, and drawing conclusions.

Reading Lists