Methodology seminar and introduction to master thesis

leusl2003  2020-2021  Louvain-la-Neuve

Methodology seminar and introduction to master thesis
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
4 credits
30.0 h
Q1 and Q2
Language
French
Prerequisites
None.
Main themes
The seminar will consist of two blocks of sessions over the year. It will provide support to students in completing their end-of-course assignments, from defining a research topic to drafting their thesis.  
 
The following issues will be addressed:
- general methodology of social science research; defining and tackling a research topic
- use of traditional and electronic resource materials
- introduction to European information and documentation
- techniques for writing academic papers.
Aims

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

This seminar has two objectives. Firstly, it aims to introduce students to the methodological aspects of completing a master's thesis. By the end of the seminar, students should be able to apply the skills necessary to define a research topic and to decide how to tackle this topic in their end of course assignment. Secondly, the seminar gives an introduction to the research and critical analysis of European information. It aims to provide specific know-how in researching the type of documentation needed for writing their thesis. This part of the seminar presents the main documentary sources for European affairs: the ECLAS catalogue, the European Union information and communication websites (Europa, EUR-LEX and Curia), Eurobarometer surveys, statistical data (Eurostat), specialist media, etc.
The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
 

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Content
Teaching in the seminar will address the main methodological requirements for writing a thesis: presentation of bibliographical references, defining the subject of the research and deciding how to tackle this subject, choice of a conceptual framework and reference methodology, etc. Practical advice will also be given on research strategies, relations with supervisors, and defending theses. The first block of sessions will include practical training on accessing and consulting European information and documentation.
Teaching methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

The first block will involve general presentation sessions, given by the professor (In French, with Denis Duez; in English with Clément Fontan), as well as 8 hours of practical training, in the form of workshop in IT room and online exercices, on how to access and consult European information and documentation (with Yves Conrad).
The second block will involve intensive sessions presenting and discussing draft theses, theoretical or conceptual issues, and the research strategies followed by the students. These sessions are intended to encourage interaction between students and teacher, but also among students. They aim to teach a critical and self-critical approach. Presentations and discussions will take place in French or English.
Evaluation methods

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information in this section is particularly likely to change.

For the first annual set of exams, students will be asked to write an initial 'research note' showing the work done on their end-of-course dissertation. The research note will be assessed by their dissertation supervisor who integrate to this evaluation the effective participation in the training sessions and the knowledge of accessing and consulting European information and documentation.
During the second annual exam session, students will only be assessed on their end-of-course dissertation. Assessment of the dissertation will include a 'defence' of the dissertation, with the dissertation supervisor and a rapporteur.
Other information
The first part of this course is divided into two distinct face-to-face lessons: in French (with Denis Duez) or in English (with Clément Fontan).The "Documentation Training" part is done in a single bilingual group with Yves Conrad.
Bibliography
Beaud, Michel, L'art de la thèse, Paris, La Découverte, Coll. Repères, 2006. Berthelot, Jean-Michel, L'emprise du vrai. Connaissance scientifique et modernité, Paris, PUF, 2008. Box-Steffensmeier, Janet M., Brady, Henry E., Collier, David (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Political Methodology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008. Bryman, Alan, Social Research Methods (fourth edition), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012. Coman, Tamona, et al., Méthodes de la science politique. De la question de départ à l'analyse des données, Bruxelles, De Boeck, 2016. Harrison, Lisa, Startin, Nicholas, Political Research: An Introduction, London, Routledge, 2001. Lenoble-Pinson, Michèle, La rédaction scientifique, Bruxelles, De Boeck et Larcier, 1996. Marsh, David, Stoker, Gerry Stoker (eds), Theory and Methods in Political Science, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Meyer, Bernard, Maîtriser l'argumentation, Paris, Armand Collin, 2004. Quivy, Raymond, Van Campenhoudt, Luc, Manuel de recherches en sciences sociales, Paris, Dunod, 2006. Rosamond, Ben, Theories of European Integration, Palgrave MacMillan, 2000. Saurugger, Sabine, Théories et concepts de l'intégration européenne, Paris, Presses de Science Po, 2009. Van Campenhoudt, Luc, Introduction à l'analyse des phénomènes sociaux, Paris, Dunod, 2007. Kellstedt, Paul M., Whitten, Guy D., The fundamentals of political science research, Second edition, Cambridge, Cambridge university press, 2013. Burnham, Peter (et al.), Research methods in politics, Second edition, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 2008.
Teaching materials
  • Site Moodle
Faculty or entity


Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Sigle
Credits
Prerequisites
Aims
Master [120] en études européennes