This course is designed as an introduction to acedemic research.
The skills and attitudes will be acquired by the students in
- weekly essays using the recommended references related to the corresponding topic of the syllabus
- group presentations made in class on specific topics of the syllabus
- participartion in class debates organized in class seminars.
The skills will be further developed individually between teaching staff and students in interviews to determine the topic of the final essay, supervision of the essay-report and a formal oral defense of the essay with the professor.
The course has established the following schedule: Students will receive a reading list with basic and complementary readings for each topic. Students are required to had in weekly essays to evaluate their reading progress, the comprehension of the lectures attended, and how well they have understood the presentations and debates in class. The essays are to be handed in according to the time schedule established and handed out the first day of class.
The six ECTS credits are broken down into two credits for the classes which are to be assisted, one credit for written essays handed in, two credits for the preparation and the oral defense of the final essay-report and one credit for the debates and group presentations made in class.
The aim of the lecture given by the professor is to provide an introduction to each topic, which will summarize the most important concepts and ideas, and present the most important theories and models which are applied to the topic being treated. The theoretical problems presented by the professor, together with the obligatory readings and the individual work by each student using complementary material recommended and adquired in addition to this will be the basis for the debates to be held in class.
The presentations given in class are designed to develop the abilities of synthesis and public speech, helping students to express themselves in a concise and clear manner. They are also conceived to promote their capacities to answer questions raised about the topic they have prepared. The in-depth comprehension of theory is reinforced by the readings, group work, class debates and their application in the final essays.
The weekly essays will not be exhaustive summaries, more so outlines limited to two pages. They are focused on the main question under debate, and aimed at summarizing the main points and conclusions contained in the obligatory readings.
The final essay should contribute information and new evidence to the debate and should not be limited to summarizing the existing literature. Essay which compare events of the past with the present will be encouraged. Examples: A fundamented criticism of an existing study, a contrast of an existing theory of model with new data, the analysis of an experiment.