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Бакалаврская программа «Социология и социальная информатика»

Methodology and Methods for Sociological Research

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс обязательный
Когда читается:
1-й курс, 2, 3 модуль


Course Syllabus


The course introduces students to the basics of research methodology in social sciences, and gives a brief overview of the most relevant research methods. Reading and discussion of some widely known studies is combined with practical exercises on development of research design and specific tools.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course covers the following general topics: - Research design - Quantitative methodology - Qualitative methodology - Online studies - Research ethics
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Know the main stages of a research
  • Be able to formulate research question and choose appropriate methodology
  • Understand the basic idea and the differences between main research methods: survey, anthropological/ biographical study, online research etc
  • Know the ethical requirements and limitations for different research methods
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Theory and Research
    The topic reveals the core role of theory in sociological research. Different types of theories and theoretical reasoning will be discussed.
  • The nature and process of social research
    In the topic following Bryman's chapter "The nature and process of social research" we will discuss what is meant by ‘social research, why do social research, the context of social research methods, and its elements.
  • Research question
    We will discuss what is a research question, how to distinguish a good research question from a bad one, and learn where research questions come from.
  • Research Problem
    In the topic, we will discuss how a research problem is found and stated as well as work with some examples of sociological research problems.
  • Research hypothesis
    We will talk about how to develop a research hypothesis, define different types of research hypotheses, and how to tell whether your hypothesis is a feasible one
  • Quantitative vs. Qualitative methods
    In the topic, we will explore the great battle of qualitative vs. quantitative methods and learn what are the differences between them and when we should use one or another
  • Methods of data collection
    The topic will cover the differences in methods of data collection in quantitative and qualitative research, major approaches to information gathering. Collecting data using primary sources vs. using secondary sources.
  • Three Purposes of Research, Units of Analysis
    We will discuss exploration, description, and explanation as three purposes of research. We will talk about possible units of analysis in sociological research.
  • Measurement
    We will talk about how to move from social reality to measurement using conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement techniques.
  • Reliability
    In the topic, we will learn how to tell whether your measurement is reliable and discuss different types of reliability.
  • Validity
    In the topic, we will learn how to tell whether your measurement is valid and discuss different types of validity.
  • Research designs
    We will talk about five research designs: – experimental design; – cross-sectional design; – longitudinal design; – case study design; – comparative design.
  • Experiments
    The topic discusses the features of experimental design. We will talk about pros and cons of applying experiments in social science.
  • Quantitative samples
    The topic discusses the major types of samples in quantitative studies.
  • Qualitative samples
    The topic discusses the major types of samples in qualitative studies.
  • Research Ethics
    The topic discusses the basic principles of ethics, the rights of research participants, the concepts of anonymity and confidentiality. An overview of the main provisions of ethical codes.
  • Mixed methods
    We will discuss how to mix quantitative and qualitative methods together and what are the general strategies of such mixing.
  • E-Research
    The topic discusses the main features of working with big data, the possibilities of working with Internet data sources, typical research questions solved using data from the Internet.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Activities in class
  • non-blocking Home tasks
    In case of the lack of class participation during the class, additional essays may be assigned in order to test the understanding of the topic. The grade for the essay will be included into home tasks grade.
  • non-blocking Tests
  • non-blocking Exam 1 year
    As your exam, you'll receive a set of 3-5 questions. You need to answer two of them in a written form. Each question will raise a methodological problem. We expect you to express your own ideas and attitudes, that should be supported by examples and concepts from the course. Each submission will be checked for plagiarism. If any traces of plagiarism will be found, the submission will be graded with 0. If you are using ideas from other sources, you need to put a proper reference. Since there are two questions, you can get 5 points for each.
  • non-blocking Midterm exam
  • non-blocking Written summaries of the assigned readings
    You need to submit a written summary of each reading assignment. The summary should include all the definitions and classifications presented in the reading. The summary must not contain plagiarism
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.3 * Activities in class + 0.2 * Exam 1 year + 0.1 * Home tasks + 0.1 * Midterm exam + 0.2 * Tests + 0.1 * Written summaries of the assigned readings


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hegde, D. S. (2015). Essays on Research Methodology. New Delhi: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1001250
  • Maruyama, G., & Ryan, C. S. (2014). Research Methods in Social Relations (Vol. 8th ed). Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=798826

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Kothari, C. R. (2004). Research Methodology : Methods & Techniques (Vol. 2nd rev. ed). New Delhi: New Age International. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=277465
  • Rugg, G., & Petre, M. (2007). A Gentle Guide to Research Methods. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=234246