Applying mixed methods

Course content

This course gives students an opportunity to practice mixed methods research in interdisciplinary groups. The course emphasizes qualitative and quantitative methods commonly used in the social sciences. Students will experience the difficulties, trade-offs, limitations and possible benefits of applying mixed methods in real world situations.

The main objective of this course is for students to gain experience of the research process in its entirety: from identifying and formulating a research question; preparing a research design; planning and implementing data collection, analyzing data and writing an academic report. The course gives students the possibility to appreciate how different approaches to data collection affect the findings obtained, and to reflect upon the material gained (or not gained) from the specific methods used. Additionally, an important aim is to create awareness of research ethics.

The course includes preparing a (small scale) research project and two weeks of field research in a context of relevance to themes of global development. With point of departure in a specific field site and logistical setup, students work in groups refining their research design  and applying relevant mixed methods in order to collect the data necessary to answer their research questions. Based on the field work, the groups write a report on the findings of their research, which form part of the exam along with an individual essay reflecting on the methods used and empirical findings.

Learning outcome

The learning outcomes of the course relate both to design and implementation of research in a complex and messy field situation and to knowledge and reflection upon social science methods and ethics.

Knowledge
• identify, define and justify a set of research questions 
• describe and define central concepts of relevance to social science data collection and interpretation

Skills
• design a research plan for field study, incorporating relevant mixed methods
• collect, process and analyze relevant data during and after fieldwork
• communicate research findings in an academic report format

Competencies
• critically discuss the different kinds of data and forms of knowledge obtained by alternative data collection and analytical methods, including how these methods shape research findings
• reflect on ethical concerns in relation to empirical research

The course will be undertaken on a full-time basis over 8 weeks. This will involve 3 weeks of preparation with methods training and research preparation, including the formulation of a research design; 2 weeks of field work; and 3 weeks of report writing and a final evaluation. Throughout the course, students work in groups to design, undertake and report on their own piece of field research. The groups are formed by the teachers at the start of the course and each group is assigned a field location for their empirical work. The location of the fieldwork will vary. Locations will be chosen to represent the breath of the scope of the overall education. Where possible, field courses will be carried out in collaboration with partner universities and external stakeholders in each location

ECTS
15 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, -
Portfolio exam
The exam comprises two components that will be evaluated together. These are:
• A research report that must be handed in at the termination of the course. The research report is written in groups and must be kept within a word limit as defined by the teachers. It must include a 2-page summary of research findings that must be targeted people who gave information for the research.
• An individual 12 hour reflection essay on the methods used and the resulting data material. The essay must respond to a specific task/question and must be kept within a word limit as defined by the teachers.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Se learning outcomes

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 40
  • Seminar
  • 20
  • Field Work
  • 100
  • Exam Preparation
  • 120
  • Preparation
  • 120
  • Exam
  • 20
  • English
  • 420