SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Research Methods

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 1

This course aims to acquaint students with various issues bearing on research in the social sciences in general, and political economy of development, in particular. It introduces a range of approaches to research and seeks to help students understand the strengths and weaknesses of different methods for various research objectives. The objective of the course is to equip students with the basic tools to undertake independent research and to evaluate the methods through which the results of development research are generated. As such, the course introduces issues of an epistemological nature; explores general issues of research strategies; and examines more detailed matters related to procedures or methods of data collection and analysis. 

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  1. to define and formulate a research problem;
  2. to understand the suitability of various research approaches and techniques to the investigation of specific research questions;
  3. to be aware of various ontological and epistemological assumptions guiding research;
  4. to be able to interpret evidence;
  5. to be able to assess the methodological foundations of empirical findings;
  6. to have a critical awareness of ethical prerequisites of research.

This course is expected to equip you with basic capacities to apply research methods to real world problems and to evaluate others’ use of research methods.


Teaching takes place through a weekly 1 hour lecture and 1 hour workshop

Method of assessment

Assessment weighting: 100% coursework (5000 words). Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules