Checking date: 10/07/2020

Course: 2020/2021

Social research methods
Study: Bachelor in Political Science (205)

Coordinating teacher: AGULLO TOMAS, MARIA SILVERIA

Department assigned to the subject: Department of Social Analysis

Type: Compulsory
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Branch of knowledge: Social Sciences and Law

Competences and skills that will be acquired and learning results. Further information on this link
GENERAL COMPETENCES: - Raising awareness about the standards of scientific rigor and requirements that guide the process of social science research - Knowledge of various tools and techniques for gathering information in the field of social research, and the criteria to select them according to the research objectives and the target to which we direct. - Guidelines for the preparation of proposals and research projects, questionnaires and discussion scripts and other tools for collecting information - Learning processes field: interviews, monitoring mechanisms, filtering and encoding - Knowledge of the processes of exploitation and analysis of information: recording, tabulation, reading tables, reporting and drawing conclusions. SPECIFIC COMPETENCES: - To get an overview of the development process of social research through all stages. - Understand their requirements of rigor, its scientific face and other links between them. - Training for the correct selection of the most appropriate design, quantification and distribution. - To gain an overview of the methods of analysis and decision-making process in social sciences.
Description of contents: programme
1. Scientific character of Social Science and its differences with the Natural Sciences. What makes the social sciences can be considered as such science? 2. Determination of the basic objectives of the research: what is the problem to be solved, the (s) decide (s) to adopt. 3. Prior knowledge search, detection and treatment of secondary sources. 4. Identification of information needs: What data is needed, what to learn to make decisions based enough. 5. Determination of indicators: how to measure what we want to find out. 6. Determination of the subjects (targets, target audiences) to whom they should consult. 7. Criteria for identifying research tools, from the theoretical point of view and from the practical point of view (how is it easier to ask to diferent audiences) 8. Determination of sample sizes and their distributions: how to obtain an optimal representation of the whole and the main potential diversity (socio - demographic, territorial, functional, attitudinal ...) 9. To create tools for gathering information: patterns of development of questionnaires and interview guidelines or group discussion. 10. Field work: instructions to interviewers, selection of sampling points, collection and call for discussion groups. Monitoring and debugging processes and their interaction, reaching the sample and its distribution, analysis of reliability and consistency of the information collected. 11. Encoding and burning. 12. Tabulation of results: the analysis plan. 13. Analysis and interpretation of results, reading tables, process of identifying relevant information, process a report. 14. Drawing conclusions and its translation into specific suggestions or decisions.
Learning activities and methodology
The training activities will combine lectures, class practices, teamwork and readings The theoretical content presented through lectures are actively working through lectures, class discussions and material support. The theoretical lessons are discussed through examples, case studies and practical exercises by which students become familiar with the effective use of research techniques. Among other exercises, along the course students have to develop a proposal and they will prepare a questionnaire. Also, to contact with the programme SPSS. A) Practice Group (2 or 3): - To develop a research proposal: objectives and methodology (generally, two topics to choose one of them) - To write a questionnaire regarding the topic they choose in their proposal in the previous practice B) Individual Practice: - Debate on the scientific nature of the social sciences and sociology in particular (in classroom) - Search the data demographics in the website of INE to design a sample and the sample design (distribution by province / habitat assessments of sex / age) - Visit to a telephone survey platform: making contact with the talk show, with menus for monitoring, listening and monitoring of live interviews, interviews may test (applied the questionnaire to each other), making contact the program coding - Making contact with SPSS: downloading files from the CIS Web, elementary tab of the file (frequency distribution, cross basic as obtaining basic statistical means and deviations).
Assessment System
  • % end-of-term-examination 50
  • % of continuous assessment (assigments, laboratory, practicals...) 50
Basic Bibliography
  • CEA D'ANCONA, M.A (1998). Metodología cuantitativa. Estrategias y técnicas de investigación.. Madrid: Síntesis..
  • GARCÍA FERRANDO, M.; IBÁÑEZ, J. Y ALVIRA, F (1989 y varias ediciones). El Análisis de la Realidad Social. Métodos y Técnicas de Investigación.. Madrid: Alianza.
  • VALLES, M. (1997). Técnicas cualitativas de investigación social. Madrid: Síntesis.
Additional Bibliography
  • ALVIRA, F. (2014),. La Encuesta: Una Perspectiva General Metodológica (Cuadernos Metodológicos). . Madrid: CIS..
  • ANDER EGG, E. (1990). Técnicas de Investigación Social. México: El Ateneo..
  • AZOFRA, M.J. (1999),. Cuestionarios (Cuadernos Metodológicos).. Madrid: CIS..
  • CEA D'ANCONA, M.A. (2004). Métodos de encuesta. Teoría y práctica, errores y mejora.. Madrid: Síntesis.
  • SIERRA BRAVO, R. (1985). Técnicas de Investigación Social. Teoría y ejercicios.. Madrid: Paraninfo.
  • VISAUTA, B. (1989). Técnicas de Investigación Social.. Barcelona: PPU.

The course syllabus and the academic weekly planning may change due academic events or other reasons.