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2013/2014  BA-2IRM  Introduction to Research Methods

English Title
Introduction to Research Methods

Course information

Language English
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
Course coordinator
  • Bella Marckmann - Department of Business and Politics (DBP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Methodology
Last updated on 07-01-2014
Learning objectives
Learning Objectives
On successful completion of the course, the student should be confident with basic academic working methods for identifying research problems and selecting theory, methods and data for analysis.
More specifically, the student should be able to:
  • formulate a limited and precise quantitative research problem,
  • operationalise a research problem, including developing models and hypotheses,
  • be familiar with the basics of survey research and be able to produce their own data by carrying out a short survey
  • discuss strengths and weaknesses of the applied empirical methods, drawing on relevant methods resources, and
  • be able to report results according to academic standards.
Course prerequisites
The courses 2IOS, 2PS, 2IRM, and 2QNM have one intergrated exam. The exam is 30 ECTS. You can only participate in 2IRM if you also register for the other courses: 2ios, 2PS, and 2QNM.
First year project on organisational sociology and research design:
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 30 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
30 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Summer Term
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure
See the guidelines at e-campus

Learning objectives for the exam
The student should demonstrate ability to:
  • formulate, delimit and analyse an academic problem,
  • apply and discuss the theories and methods relevant to the project, in particular the concepts and theories relevant to organisational sociology,
  • select and apply fundamental quantitative methods, and relate these to theoretical positions presented in the syllabi of the courses ’Philosophy of Science’ and ’Introduction to Organisational Sociology’,
  • structure the layout and present the material in a clearly formulated and accessible way in terms of both language and content,
  • discuss how the knowledge acquired in the second semester courses ‘Philosophy of Science’, ‘Introduction to Research Methods’, and ‘Quantitative Methods I’ is reflected throughout the project, and
  • reflect upon his/her own ways of applying data.

    The aims of the 1st year project are:

  • To facilitate and reinforce the learning of the subjects taught during the second semester by encouraging students to work independently and in a focused way with selected theories.
  • To develop analytical skills needed to undertake problem-oriented project work. The problem-solving process during project work is shaped by the systematic, professional and scientific demands of academic knowledge production.
Course content and structure
Course Content
The aim of the course is to introduce students to academic research methods in general and survey research specifically. The students will be introduced to the research process through reading and practical exercises.
The focus in the course is on the beginning and end of the research process – the production of data and the reporting of results. The middle part of the process (quantitative analysis) is in focus in 2QNM.  

Teaching methods
Teaching Methods
The course consists of four three-hour workshops. Each workshop will be based on a combination of lectures, group work and classroom discussions. Students are expected to participate actively in the sessions and to do preparatory work in between sessions in addition to reading the course material. This will mainly, but not exclusively, be work related to the 1st year project. Students are expected to work in groups.
Expected literature
Course Materials
You are expected to buy the following:
David de Vaus:                            Surveys in Social Research. Routledge 2001. (also used in 2QNM)
Available through Academic Books.
The other prescribed readings are collected in a compendium which will be available from the campus bookstore.
Last updated on 07-01-2014