AGDK14001U Advanced Research Methods

Volume 2015/2016

MSc programme in Global Development


This course will introduce students to three major types of social science related research methods:

1)      Quantitative methods (survey statistics)

2)      Spatial analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

3)      Qualitative methods (interviews, participant observation, PRA)


Students will be given a general introduction to research methods, interdisciplinary collaboration and research planning. Subsequently, each method will be presented in separate sub-modules. It is anticipated that students may already have knowledge in one or more of the three methods. Therefore, the course will focus on methods that are of relevance for cross-disciplinary analysis and research. An important aim is to gain insight into what makes a good empirical study within the social sciences and highlight where methods may be combined and complement each other (mixed methods approaches).


Learning Outcome

After completing the course, the student should be able to:



• Describe central concepts in qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis and GIS methods

• Understand what makes a good empirical study within the different social sciences

• Argue for advantages and potential disadvantages of using mixed methods



• Select relevant methods for data gathering and analysis

• Critically examine and evaluate the choice of research method in scientific and scholarly work

• Critically evaluate study designs in a spatial perspective



• Perform statistical surveys in the form of formulating survey questionnaires and selecting survey participants by random selection procedures

• Implement statistical survey analysis, in particular presentation of population estimates based on survey data and analytical survey statistics, using appropriate statistical software

• Construct and analyze geo-data using appropriate GIS software

• Develop a qualitative research design, perform participant observation and ethnographic interviews, hereunder selection of informants, and analyze qualitative data.

• Implement tools from Participatory Rural Appraisal and Participatory Action and Learning used for identifying needs, planning, monitoring or evaluating development projects.

The course will be based on a combination of lectures and interactive seminars drawing on relevant academic literature. Students will develop their practical skills through exercises and an extensive empirical case study combining and integrating the research methods.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 20
  • Field Work
  • 20
  • Lectures
  • 26
  • Preparation
  • 104
  • Seminar
  • 40
  • Total
  • 210
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Written synopsis composed of two report assignments and a final proposal for a research design using the methods taught in the course
All aids allowed
Marking scale
passed/not passed
Censorship form
No external censorship

If you fail an examination, you will be allowed two more attempts to pass the relevant course. The first re-examination will typically be scheduled immediately following the semester (February/August). The second re-examination will typically be scheduled in the following exam period.

In order to contact to sign up for the re-exam please contact Ulla Andersen, You must sign up no later than 14 days before the re-exam date.

Criteria for exam assesment

See 'Learning Outcome'