SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Research Methods in International Development

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 1

This course aims to acquaint students with the role of research design in social sciences. It introduces a range of approaches to research design, to help students understand the strengths and weaknesses of different options for various research objectives. The objective of this course is to equip you 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.  

This course will delivered alongside the parallel course Research Methods II, worth 18 CATS credits. Students will have the opportunity to attend all lectures and tutorial, but the examinable component will be approximately  85% of the 18 CATS credits syllabus. The following topics will not be part of the examinable component of this course: Week 10 10. Measurement and Conceptual Issues in Poverty Research

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

1. define and formulate a particular research problem;
2. understand the suitability of various research approaches and techniques to the investigation of specific research questions;
3. ability to interpret evidence
4. 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.


Teaching takes place through a weekly 2 hour lecture and 1 hour tutorial

Method of assessment

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


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules