IEU524 Modern Research Methods

Code IEU524
Name Modern Research Methods
Status Compulsory/Courses of Limited Choice
Level and type Post-graduate Studies, Academic
Field of study Social Science
Academic staff Karine Oganisjana, Nataļja Lāce
Credit points 4.0 (6.0 ECTS)
Parts 2
Annotation The program prepares its participants for understanding research in social sciences, including research methodology, tools, logic, methods, design, validity, reliability and other aspects of qualitative and quantitative research. The participants are supposed to learn to conduct research by realizing a research project passing through all its stages starting from the creation of an interview/survey form and its piloting, qualitative and quantitative data collection till the data analysis, interpretation of the results and writing of a report. The programme provides also the analysis of the importance of understanding cultural peculiarities and differences while conducting research with the participation of people who represent different cultures. There is a special emphasis on the importance of the mixed methods research vs. only qualitative or quantitative research. Having passed the programme, the participants become able to understand the internal logical interconnection among the components of research via identifying the research problem, formulating appropriate research questions, setting research goals and corresponding research objectives. The participants learn, analyse and compare different research methods (survey, interview, focus group discussion, expert panel, Delphi, case study, etc.) systemize them, their advantages and disadvantages acquiring clear understanding in which cases they are applicable for conducting research and in which cases they are not appropriate. In the course of the programme the participants also get an insight into how thought is developed while conducting research starting with inductive reasoning for carrying out literature analysis and putting forward hypothesis and using deductive reasoning for validating the hypothesis in the empirical part of the research. .
Goals and objectives
of the course in terms
of competences and skills
To promote participants’: 1) understanding of the matter of research in social sciences, the main characteristics and components, and internal logic of connections among them, 2) understanding of the principles of the research, its organization and stages, the ability to process data and interpret the results, thus preparing students for the forthcoming elaboration of the Master's thesis, 3) ability to elaborate research methodology, identifying a research problem in different field of economics, formulating research questions, setting up the research goal and objectives, deciding which are the most appropriate research methods to be applied, putting forward hypothesis, 4) mastery in c
Learning outcomes
and assessment
1. Participants know different research methods used in social sciences, their advantages and disadvantages depending on the case of the research. They are able to independently acquire and critically analyze new qualitative and quantitative research methods and their use in practice. - 1. Individual work on other research methods (which were not considered in classes). 2. Presentation and discussion of the work. 3. Teamwork to decide in what situations which of the methods should work.
2. Participants can compare different cultures using criteria of cultural dimensions by Geert Hofstede and House and are able to apply this knowledge in the understanding and interpretation of the research results. - 1. Discussion. 2. Analysis of stories and videos on various manifestations of cultural dimensions and their impact on research results.
3. The participants are able to critically evaluate the studies carried out by other researchers and find and correct gaps if there are some. - 1. Playing and creating research games. 2. Discussion on what has been acquired within the programme.
4. Participants understand the matter of research in social sciences and are able to elaborate research methodology, identify the research problem, formulate research questions, research goal and objectives, put forward hypothesis and provide research validity and reliability. - 1. Discussion. 2. Individual or group projects with the presentation of results in class. 3. Examination.
5. Participants are able to put forward ideas, plan, structure and realize research projects and write report on them using scientific language, participate in scientific discussions, formulating the findings and elaborating recommendations. - 1. Creation of a common database. 2. Content analysis of scientific literature. 3.Individual research project. 4. Presentation of project results and defense in the examination.
Course prerequisites Knowledge acquired at the level of Bachelor studies in social sciences and skills in problem solving and creative, critical, logical and analytical thinking.

[Extended course information PDF]