731383 Principles of empirical research methods in the social sciences

Lecture and seminar
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Klingler, Michael
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction


The course will focus around practical problems of research design and research techniques. A main issue will be survey research, questionnaire design and measuring of social concepts.

Topics covered include:

* Foundations of scientific research: Characteristics of good research; guidelines for conducting scientific research, types of reasoning, and requirements of scientific writing.

* Guidelines for developing good survey research: Problem statement, literature review, objectives, model specification, method of analysis, collecting and assembling data, interpreting results, summary and conclusions, presentation and communication of results.

* Interviewing, questionnaire design and attitude measurement: Attitude assessment, scale construction, interview techniques.

* Data analysis: Practical course work using data sets which reflect research questions from different disciplines, introduction to the use of SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) and basic types of data analyses.

Presentation and discussion of coursework (questionnaire design or research proposal).


Previous knowledge expected


Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

In this course, students will be expected to develop a research design: a coherent viewpoint about the purpose of research, the approaches and methods of conducting research, and the criteria by which research methodologies and results are evaluated. Students shall become familiar with the procedures typically used in applied social science research: problem identification, development of research objectives and hypotheses, model specification, data collection, analysis, presentation and interpretation of results, and the development of conclusions. Students are expected to develop skills in practical data management using SPSS.

You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.