Research design and skills

lspol1125  2022-2023  Louvain-la-Neuve

Research design and skills
5.00 credits
30.0 h
Main themes
Part 1: (for all Bachelors' courses) 15 hours of lectures (15h x 5 lecturers = 75h) - Presentation of information sources (written, oral, visual, figures) … - Introduction to research tools (library, web, etc.) - Definition of the rules of critical analysis and how to apply them - Formalisation of methods of scientific reasoning Part 2 : 15 hours of presentations in large groups (15h x 10 teachers and supervisors = 150h) - Application of these principles and methods to a subject of general interest chosen by degree course (eg.: globalisation, immigration, work and unemployment, European construction) - Presentation of the stages involved in a piece of research - Definition of the subject, the objectives, the methods, relevant information sources - Data compilation and handling - Analysis Part 3 : 15 hours (illustration through practical work) These general topics are divided into a number of specific sub-topics (1 topic per sub-group of 30 students) and lead to practical project work supervised by assistants (+ groups of 30 students) - Choice of an individual sub-topic - Delimitation of the object of study - Primary Analysis and explanation - Development of a critical approach and the capacity to formalize reasoning - Communication of results Completion of a piece of personal work related to students' degree course, using an approach specific to the subject area chosen.
Learning outcomes

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

1 The aim of this seminar is to equip students with study skills for university, using concrete questions within a subject of their own choosing. Students will come to master the basic skills they need for their university work: using bibliographic references, drawing up critical summaries, using reference conventions, writing skills etc. At the same time, the aim is to make students aware of the concrete issues involved in research, again working within a subject domain of their own choosing. The seminar is conducted in a spirit of openness and will help students to identify the research tools used within their own subject area, in relation to methods used in other subjects taught within the Faculty.
The lecture introduces the tools and methods for conducting research. We will approach these notions through concrete questions of interest to students. During this course, students will learn how to: acquire the tools necessary for the elaboration of an academic research, but also the method to apply a scientific approach. The aim of this course is to enable students to carry out research, read and communicate in an academic manner, develop a critical attitude towards different sources of information, collect data on the phenomenon they wish to study, and analyze these data in order to extract relevant information.
Teaching methods
The course takes place during the first semester and is divided into lectures, question and answer sessions and individual assignments. The course is structured in two main parts: the first part focuses on the acquisition of the tools necessary to collect, select and save data and bibliographic resources. Particular attention is paid to plagiarism and access to so-called "royalty-free" resources. The second part of the course focuses on the acquisition of the scientific method and approach, beginning with an introduction to the 'critical' reading of scientific literature. The course then addresses the different elements of a research design (research question, theoretical framework, data and methods...). In each of these two parts, several modules are organized to allow the student to acquire the different skills through individual exercises.
Evaluation methods
The grade is the arithmetical sum of the different works requested. Please note that for some works in several parts, the mark is only given if all the parts of the work are done.
Teaching materials
  • Toutes les ressources nécessaires sont fournis sur le site moodle du cours.
Faculty or entity

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

Title of the programme
Learning outcomes
Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics

Bachelor in Political Sciences: General