Research design is a core component of every good research paper, irrespective of is theoretical approach or type of empirical evidence (quantitative or qualitative) to be collected and analysed. Its importance derives from its features: provides a structure to the analysis, makes data collection systematic, guides readers through the logic of the research enterprise, and increases the reliability and transparency of the research endeavour. This course aims at providing an overview of available types of research design for empirical studies in social sciences so that students can make an informed decision about what matches best their theoretical approach and methodological needs. By using a hands-on approach, the course will show how theories can be tested through different research designs with different types of data, will investigate the implications and suitability of research designs, and will reveal how these designs can be best presented to broader audiences.
At the end of this course, students will be able: to compare and contrast the advantages and limitations of different research designs, to identify and understand how different methods of data-gathering and analysis (qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods) match various theoretical frameworks, to demonstrate the application of ethical guidelines in planning the design of an empirical study, and to develop the ability to present their research designs in papers and presentations. In addition to using examples from across the social science disciplines to illustrate the usefulness of research designs, participants will also have the possibility to discuss specific problems that they encountered in their research with issues related to designs. The course is designed for first year PhD students who have not yet started collecting their data for analysis.
Delivered by Dr Sergiu Gherghina, University of Glasgow