SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Research Methods

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 1

The aim of the course is to provide students with the capacity to understand and apply the different methodologies available for applied research in the political economy of development. In addition, the course aims to provide an understanding of the principles of research design and strategy. Topics covered include methodological debates in social sciences including issues related to the choice of methodology, its philosophical underpinning and the role of different research methods in economic research. 

The second part of the course will look at conceptual and data measurement issues, looking at data quality debates in household survey, labour force surveys and the analysis of poverty.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • define and formulate a particular research problem;
  • understand the suitability of various research approaches and techniques to the investigation of specific research questions;
  •  ability to interpret evidence
  • ability to assess the methodological foundations of empirical findings

By the end of the course you should understand basic social research methods, and their applicability in different contexts of development research. This course is thus expected to equip you with basic capacities to apply research methods to real world problems and to evaluate others’ use of research methods.

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: 100% coursework (5000 words)


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