Applied Research Methods

Course content

Applied Research Methods (ARMS) familiarises students with a selection of qualitative and quantitative research methods that are of relevance for cross-disciplinary research. By the end of the course, students are expected to have acquired in-depth knowledge of at least one methodology and to be able to apply it. The course is built around a case study to be conducted by the students on a topic of relevance for global development, applying the techniques learnt during the course. Group work on the case study will be crucial to increase students’ methodological skills and analytical capacities.


MSc programme in Global Development

Learning outcome

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


  • Describe central concepts in qualitative and quantitative data gathering and discuss their strengths and limitations.
  • Describe central concepts in qualitative and quantitative data analysis and discuss their strengths and limitations.


  • Perform statistical analyses of quantitative data, using appropriate statistical software
  • Plan and perform participant observation and qualitative interviews.
  • Perform qualitative analyses.                    
  • Write integrated report of main research findings.


  • Select relevant methods for data gathering and analysis.
  • Ability to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries.

The course is based on a combination of lectures and seminars drawing on relevant academic literature. Students develop their practical skills through exercises and a case study combining different research methods. The seminars are designed to substantiate the knowledge gained during the lectures. This will be achieved by carrying out exercises that will require the application of theoretical concepts and the use of statistical software. Students will be subdivided in smaller groups of students who are expected to work together throughout the course in a manner approaching professional collaboration.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
The exam assignment is a written group-report based on the case study.
Formal requirements for written assignments and exams are described in section 6.8 in Curricula’s Common Part.

Type of assessment details: The report has a page limit of 10 normal pages including maps, plots, and tables. Transcribed interviews indicating names of interviewers should be attached as appendices.
The report must contain:
1. A short introduction (the background, what methods have been used and how)
2. Results of the quantitative survey (tables and figures, with good comments)
3. Short narrative presentation of results from qualitative interviews and participant observation.
4. An integrated analysis of results.
The report must be presented to the class. To ensure that individual contributions to the report are acknowledged, the report must include a brief clarification specifying each member’s precise contribution to the report. Groups consists of up to six students.
Exam registration requirements

Participation in no less than 80% of the seminar groups is a mandatory prerequisite for taking the final exam. Each group is expected to present a paper during the course and participation in the group presentation is required. Furthermore, each student is expected to individually complete and pass a quantitative data assignment prepared by the course responsible prior to the exam registration deadline.

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.

If you need to sign up for a re-examination use the self service.

Criteria for exam assessment

See 'Learning Outcome'

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 24
  • Preparation
  • 96
  • Practical exercises
  • 50
  • Seminar
  • 24
  • Exam
  • 16
  • English
  • 210


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 1
See weekplan
Study Board for Global Development
Contracting department
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Law
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
  • Department of Economics
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Henrik Hansen   (13-6a6770746b6d306a63707567704267657170306d7730666d)
Saved on the 15-05-2024

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