Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods for Research Students




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Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods for Research Students

Term I and II


Course Tutors

Dr Colin Provost (Term I) Phone: 020.7679.4903

Office: 3-06 School of Public Policy Fax: 020.7679.4969

Office Hours: Wednesday 14.00-16.00, and by appt. Email: c.provost@ucl.ac.uk


Dr Jennifer van Heerde (Term II) Phone: 020.7679.4781

Office: 3-03 School of Public Policy Fax: 020.7679.4969

Office Hours: Wednesday 15:00-17:00, and by appt. Email: j.heerde@ucl.ac.uk


Teaching Assistant

Ms Raluca Soreanu (Term I)

Email: r.soreanu@ucl.ac.uk


Introduction

This course is designed to introduce you to, and help you apply qualitative and quantitative methodologies used in social science research. The course assumes no prior training in research methods, is taught at an introductory level and emphasizes both theoretical and practical understanding of research methodology. The methods course has two primary aims: first, to introduce students to the many qualitative and quantitative methodologies that researchers use in answering social, political and economic questions, and to evaluate the use of these tools in understanding social phenomena, and second, to equip students to use one or more of the tools in their PhD thesis. By the end of the course students will be able to: understand the main philosophical and ethical issues involved in conducting and interpreting research; interpret and evaluate qualitative and quantitative research; and utilise research methods to your own work.


The first lecture takes place on 24 October (first seminar 30 October). Seminar content/discussions will trail the lecture by one week.


Course Format

This course employs a dual delivery approach of course material, primarily through traditional lecture sessions, and second, via UCL’s virtual learning environment platform ‘Moodle’. The URL for the course is: http://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=481. It is expected that students attend lecture and consult the website, which is an integral part of the course.

Lectures

The course offers weekly 2-hour lectures in addition to the online material and is the primary source for course material. Attendance at lectures is required. Dr Provost will deliver lectures in term I (Roberts Building room 106) and Dr van Heerde will deliver lectures in term II.


Seminars

Seminar sessions offer students the opportunity to revisit the material by engaging in smaller discussions with their colleagues and pose questions to the teaching assistant. Seminars for term I are held on Tuesdays from 10.00-12.00-2.00 in the Dept. of Political Science/School of Public Policy Committee Room; seminars for term II are held on Mondays from 12.00-14.00 in Anatomy B-09.


Reading

It is recommended that you purchase the following materials for the course as we will be using them extensively. Several copies of these texts have been ordered for the UCL/SPP library and are available for check out; however, given the large size of the class you may find it useful to purchase personal copies of these texts.1 It is expected that students have read the material prior to coming to lecture and/or reading the online material. Information about material available online and library holdings can be found here:

http://ls-tlss.ucl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/displaylist?module=07PUBLG004. Pieces designated as ‘Further Reading’ are not required for the course, however, they may be useful as you develop your dissertation proposals, or if you need or desire additional reading for the listed subject. Where applicable, a section entitled ‘In Practice’ is given to provide students with a concrete example of the method under study and ‘On the Web’ sections direct students to useful links. For example, the conceptual discussion of logistic regression is complimented by several articles which employ logit in their work so that students may examine and evaluate the use of various methods. We proceed with the assumption that you all have access or will acquire the four below mentioned texts; all other required materials are available in the UCL Library or online. Information about material available online and library holdings can be found here:

http://ls-tlss.ucl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/displaylist?module=07PUBLG004. The Berg and Yin texts are required for term I; Allison and Kerr in term II.


  • Allison, Paul D. 1999. Multiple Regression: A Primer. London: Pine Forge Press.

  • Berg, Bruce L. 2004. Qualitative Research Methods, 5th ed. London: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

  • Kerr, Alistair W., Howard K. Hall, and Stephen A. Kozub. 2003. Doing Statistics with SPSS. London: Sage Publications.

  • Yin, Robert K. 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Applied Social Research Methods Series, Vol. 5. London: Sage.


In addition to the above reference texts, students are encouraged to purchase a copy of SPSS for Windows version 14.0 from reception for £5.00. The software is available in both Windows and Mac platforms. Section 11 (9 January 2008) of the course will introduce students to SPSS statistical software and we will be using it throughout the remainder of the course.


Course Calendar: Term I


All lectures meet from Wednesdays, 10.00-12.00 in Roberts Building Room 106

Lecture

Date Lecture

Topic

1

24 Oct

Introduction to Research Methods: Content

2

31 Oct

Philosophy of Social Science

3

14 Nov

Research Design

4

21 Nov

Ethnography, Ethnomethodology

5

28 Nov

Content, Discourse Analysis

6

5 Dec

Case Study Methodology

7

12 Dec

Interviewing, Focus Groups and Survey Research


Seminar Meetings Tuesday 10.00-12.00 in Dept. of Political Science, Committee Room


Seminar Mtng.

Date

Topic

1

30 Oct

Introduction to Research Methods: Content

2

13 Nov

Philosophy of Social Science

3

20 Nov

Research Design

4

27 Nov

Ethnography, Ethnomethodology

5

4 Dec

Content, Discourse Analysis

6

11 Dec

Case Study Methodology/ Interviewing, Survey Research



Course Content—Assigned Readings

1. Introduction to Research Methods: Content


A. Topics

Theory and Social Science Research; Qualitative v. Quantitative Research; Experimental/Exploratory and Descriptive Research; Causality; Bias in the Research Process; Ethics; From Theory to Hypotheses


B. Required Reading

King, Gary C., Robert Keohane and Sidney Verba. 1994. Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton: Princeton University Press. (chs 1-3)


Ragin, Charles. 1994. Constructing Social Research: The Unity and Diversity of Method. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press. (chs 1-3)


C. Further Reading

Burton, D. ed. 2000. Research Training for Social Scientists: A Handbook for Postgraduate Researchers. London: Sage.


Crano, William D., and Marilynn B. Brewer. 2002. Principle of Methods of Social Research, 2nd ed. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.


Homan, R. 1992. The Ethics of Social Research. London: Longman.


Kimmel, Allan J. 1988. Ethics and Values in Applied Social Research. Newbury Park: Sage.


Mann, C. and F. Stewart. 2000. Internet Communication and Qualitative Research: A Handbook for Researching Online. London: Sage Publications.


Marsh, David, and Gerry Stoker, eds. 1995. Theory and Methods in Political Science. London: Macmillan Press.


Punch, Keith. 1998. Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. London: Sage.


Van Evra, Stephen. 1997. Guide to Methodology for Students of Political Science. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.


2. Philosophy of Social Science


A. Topics

What is Science; Science as Method; Paradigms; Induction & Deduction; Positivism


B. Required Reading

Williams, M., and T. May, eds. 1996. An Introduction to Philosophy of Social Research. London: UCL Press. (pgs 4-68)


Popper, Karl. 1963. “Science: Conjectures and Refutations.” In Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. New York: W.W. Norton and Co.. (pgs 3-9)


Kuhn, Thomas S. 1970. “Logic of Discovery or Psychology of Research?” In Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. (pgs 11-18)


Lakatos, Imre. 1973. “Science and Pseudoscience.” In Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. (pgs 20-26)


Kuhn, Thomas S. 1970. “The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolution.” In Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. New York: W.W. Norton and Co.(pgs 86-100)


Kuhn, Thomas S. 1977. “Objectivity, Value Judgment, and Theory Choice.” In Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. (pgs 102-119)


Popper, Karl. 1959. “The Problem of Induction.” In Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues. New York: W.W. Norton and Co. (pgs 426-431)


C. Further Reading

Hage, J., and B. Foley-Meeker. 1988. Social Causality. London: Unwin-Hyman.


Lakatos, Imre, and Alan Musgrave, eds. 1970. Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Lane, Ruth. 1996. “Positivism, Scientific Realism, and Political Science. “ Journal of Theoretical Politics 8: 361-82.


Martin, Michael, and Lee McIntyre, eds. 1994. Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science. Cambridge: MIT Press.


Rosenberg, A. 1988. Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford: Clarendon.


Searle, John. 1995. The Construction of Social Reality. New York: Free Press.


Stinchcombe, Arthur. 1991. The Conditions of Fruitfulness of Theorizing about Mechanisms in Social Science. “Philosophy of Social Science 21(3): 367-388.


Stinchcombe, Arthur. 1968. Constructing Social Theories. New York: Harcourt Brace.


Williams, M., and T. May. 1996. An Introduction to Philosophy of Social Research. London: UCL Press.


3. Research Design


A. Topics

Exploration/Description/Explanation; Units of Analysis; Cross-Sectional v. Longitudinal Designs; Conceptualization and Operationalization; Independent/Dependent Variables; Validity and Reliability; Propositions/Hypotheses; Common Mistakes in Research Design


B. Required Reading

Babbie, Earl. 2004. The Practice of Social Research. Belmont, CS: Thompson-Wadsworth. (ch 4,5)


Gerring, John. 2001. Social Science Methodology: A Critical Framework. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (ch 8)


Spector, Paul E. 1981. Research Designs. Series: Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences, 23. London: Sage. (pgs 7-27)


C. Further Reading

Adcock, Robert, and David Collier. 2001. ‘Measurement Validity: A Shared Standard for Qualitative and Quantitative Research.’ American Political Science Review 95(3): 529-546.


Bennett, Andrew and Alexander George.2 1997. “Research Design Tasks in Case Study Methods.” http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/bennetta/RESDES.htm


Brady, Henry, David Collier and Jason Seawright. 2004. Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. Lanham: Rowman-Littlefield.


Boniface, David R. 1994. Experiment Design and Statistical Methods for Behavioral and Social Research. London: Chapman and Hall.


Brinberg, David, and Joseph E. McGrath. 1985. Validity and the Research Process. London: Sage Publications.


Brown, Steven R., and Lawrence E. Melamed. 1990. Experimental Design and Analysis. Series: Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Campbell, Donald T., and M. Jean Russo. 2001. ‘Fifteen Validity Issues Affecting All Measures.’ In Social Experimentation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Collier, David and James Mahoney. 1996. “Insights and Pitfalls: Selection Bias in Qualitative Research. World Politics 49(1): 56-91. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/world_politics/v049/49.1collier.html.


Fearon, James. 1991. ‘Counterfactuals and Hypothesis Testing in Political Science.’ World Politics 43(2): 169-195.


Kirk, J., and M. Miller. 1986. Reliability and Validity in Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publications.


Lebow, Richard N. 2000. ‘What is so Different about Counterfactuals?’ World Politics 52(4): 550-585.


Marshall, Catherine, and Gretchen B. Rossman. 1995. Designing Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.


Miller, Delbert C., and Neil J. Salkind. 2002. Handbook of Research Design and Social Measurement. London: Sage.


Munck, Gerardo L. 1998. “Canons of Research Design in Qualitative Analysis.” Studies in Comparative International Development 33(3): 18-45.


Patton, Michael. 2002. ‘Enhancing the Quality and Credibility of Qualitative Analysis.’ In Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Punch, Keith. 2000. Developing Effective Research Proposals. London: Sage.


Ragin, Charles C. 2000. Fuzzy Set Social Science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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