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2014/2015  BA-BSOCO1687U  Introduction to Research Design and Quantitative Methods I

English Title
Introduction to Research Design and Quantitative Methods I

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
Course coordinator
  • Mogens Kamp Justesen - Department of Business and Politics (DBP)
Main academic disciplines
  • Methodology
Last updated on 12-08-2014
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. Furthermore, the student should be able to use different quantitative methods and analytical strategies commonly used within organisational sociology and business administration. 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 simple survey
  • plan a basic statistic analysis,
  • analyse data and present the relevant findings in tables and figures,
  • account for which impact the level of measurement has on the analyses,
  • discuss strengths and weaknesses in a data set in relation to a given problem, and
  • analyse data using a statistical software package
  • be able to report results in accordance with academic standards
The course shares exams with
Course content and structure
This course is the first in our multi-course research methods sequence for undergraduate students. The aim of the course is to introduce students to research design, survey data and quantitative methods with a focus constructing and analyzing survey data. Students will be introduced to the research process and the process of analyzing quantitative data through reading and practical exercises. The first part of the course focuses on the beginning of the research process – the choice of research design and the production of survey data, enabling students to construct their own survey. The second part of the course moves from production of data to analysis of data. Here, students will (1) get an understanding of some of the key concepts behind statistical analysis, (2) obtain knowledge of basic statistical methods, (3) learn/review some rudimentary math skills that are frequently employed in the social sciences and (4) develop their ability to apply quantitative methods to do their own quantitative analysis. While this part will to a large extent use micro (individual) level data, students will also be introduced to the use of macro level data (e.g. at the country level). 
The topics that we will cover in this course include selecting research questions and appropriate designs for analysing particular question, sampling and survey construction, operationalization of concepts, probability distributions, basic descriptive statistics, sampling distributions, point and interval estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis for continuous and limited dependent variables. We will also introduce you to STATA, the computer program we will be using for exercises and assignments. Finally, the course will also provide students with guidance on how to report results from quantitative analysis in an accessible and transparent manner.

The course is planned to support the other courses in the 2nd semester (Introduction to Organisational Sociology and Philosphy of Science) in order that the students may be equipped to write the 1st year project using insights from all three courses. Students are expected to be able to draw upon the theories and methods they learn in the other courses in order to formulate research questions etc. in this course. Students will be encouraged to begin writing early about their work early in the semester.
Teaching methods
The course consists of a series of lectures and exercise sessions. 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
The following material is required readings which you are expected to obtain:
David de Vaus (2013): Surveys in Social Research, 6th edition. Routledge.
Agresti, Alan and Barbara Finlay.  2008.  Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences.  Pearson Education International
Kellstedt & Whitten (2013). Fundamentals of Political Science Research, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press.You also use this book in Quantitative Methods I. The books are available @ Academic Books.
The other prescribed readings will be available on Learn.
Last updated on 12-08-2014