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2022/2023  BA-BSOCO1822U  Research Design and Quantitative Methods I

English Title
Research Design and Quantitative Methods I

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 15 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Business Administration and Sociology
Course coordinator
  • 1st year project
    Christoph Houman Ellersgaard - Department of Organization (IOA)
  • Jan Stuckatz - Department of International Economics, Goverment and Business (EGB)
Main academic disciplines
  • Methodology and philosophy of science
  • Sociology
  • Statistics and quantitative methods
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 26-08-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
On successful completion of the course, students should be able to:
  • Use the statistical programming language R to collect, clean, manage, visualize, and analyse quantitative data
  • Use theory introduced during the first or second semesters, as specified by the first-year project coordinator, to formulate a research question relevant to organisations and society that can be answered with quantitative methods
  • Discuss and argue for the relevance of the methods, data, and research design used in the project
  • Critically reflect upon the chosen research question, methods, data, sampling, and data-generating process, and how their limitations affect conclusions and implications of the project
  • Structure a research paper and present the material meeting standards of academic writing, particularly correct citations, referencing of literature, and formatting of tables and figures
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 2
Compulsory home assignments
2 out of 3 compulsory written assignments (1-3 pages) must be approved for the student to be able to attend the ordinary exam in the 1st year project. More info on the assignments will follow in class.
1st Year Project in Research Design and Quantitative Methods I:
Exam ECTS 15
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, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 3-5
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
However, the following supplementary rules apply:

1) For projects where some of the group members have been awarded the grade 00 or below at the oral examination, the students who failed receive a request from the examiners to which they individually have to submit a response of 2-3 pages before a set deadline.

2) For projects where all members are awarded the grade 00 or below at the oral examination, the overall project is deemed unacceptable. Before the re-take, the project must be revised and improved. For improving the project, the internal examiner will give a brief written critique of the project within eight working days after the ordinary oral examination.

3) If the group has not submitted a project, a new project must be handed in with a substantially changed problem formulation. The supervisor has to confirm that it is different from the one which has been worked on so far.
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

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 and methods for analysing and visualizing quantitative data.


Included in the course is the 1st year project. Drawing on learnings from the course, student will be asked to formulate a research question, operationalize theoretical concepts from the 1st year Bsc Soc syllabus, select appropriate data, apply relevant quantitative methods and reflect critically on their findings.


Students will be introduced to the research process and quantitative data analysis through reading and practical exercises. The first part of the course focuses on how to develop a research question and develop and an appropriate quantitative research design to answer the question. Students are also introduced to the basics of the R statistical language and how to use R to collect, clean, reshape, and aggregate data, and describe relationships between variables.

In the second part of the course, students will (1) obtain understanding of basic statistical methods, (2) learn how to use quantitative research designs to evaluate economic and social processes in organisations and society, and (3) be enabled to apply quantitative research methods for their own research projects.  

The topics that we will cover in this course include selecting research questions and appropriate quantitative research designs, the data-generating process and its implications for analyses, implications, and answering the research question, Moreover, the course will cover operationalisation of concepts, measurement, sampling and probability distributions, descriptive statistics, measures of central tendency, uncertainty, hypothesis testing and inference, bivariate and multivariate linear regression analysis , how to differentiate correlation from causation, and sampling bias.


The approach throughout the course is hands-on and data driven. Students learn how analyse data using practical exercises with real-world data in R, the statistical programming language which will be used for exercises and assignments. Finally, the course will also provide students with guidance on how to document research process and code, and report results from quantitative analysis in an accessible and transparent manner.

Description of the teaching methods
The course consists of a series of lectures, workshops 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.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback during the course is provided both during lectures, workshop classes, and exercises.
- During the lectures students work on small exercises which are afterwards discussed during the lecture, where the teacher provides feedback on student inputs.
- Feedback will also be given in relation to questions asked during lectures.
- During the workshops the students work either individually or in groups on prepared exercises. During workshops students receive either one-to-one or group-based feedback on specific problems they face.
- During the exercise classes there is a higher level of student-teacher interaction and students receive feedback from their peers and the teacher.
- Finally, students are encouraged to use office hours for feedback.
Student workload
Lectures 32 hours
Exercises 20 hours
Workshops 24 hours
Lecture preparation (2.5h per 1h lecture) 80 hours
Preparation of workshops and exercises 110 hours
Project work 140 hours
div 6 hours
Expected literature




Last updated on 26-08-2022