First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Economics and Political Science
Course unit
EPP3050092, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
EP1980, Degree course structure A.Y. 2013/14, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODS
Department of reference Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit


ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses SECS-S/05 Social Statistics 6.0

Mode of delivery (when and how)
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Organisation of didactics
Type of hours Credits Hours of
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 45 105.0 No turn

Start of activities 25/09/2017
End of activities 19/01/2018

Prerequisites: none
Target skills and knowledge: The course aims at introducing students to some methods and techniques for social research, with particular reference to: organization of surveys, research sources, and data analysis.
At the end of the course the student should be able to:
- recognize limitations and advantages of different approaches to social research;
- read critically the results of a survey;
- manage different research sources and official statistics.
Examination methods: Attending students:
1) A written test based on open-ended questions.
2) A written report based on quantitative and qualitative analyses of a corpus of documents (students' seminar and discussion during classes).
3) A paper based on the analysis of an international survey.

Non-attending students:
A written essay based on open-ended questions (cfr. compulsory readings)
Assessment criteria: Attending students:
The final grade is the mean value of the grades obtained in written exam, report and paper.

Non-attending students:
The final grade is the grade obtained in the written essay.
Course unit contents: The course in Social Research Methods is an advanced course in Social Statistics that provides a critical introduction to the methods used to collect and process data in the social sciences.
The course covers data collection problems with particular reference to international Official Sources and data processing methods for both textual data (corpora) and matrices of data (observations per variables). The students will be involved in practical research activities to achieve statistical reasoning and develop problem solving skills.

Main contents:
- Methods and techniques for social research (introduction)
- Research sources
- Official statistics
- Social indicators
- Organization of a survey
- Interview and questionnaire
- Collection of text corpora
- Content analysis and statistical analysis of textual data (short notes)
- Software packages for the analysis of textual data
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures
Students' seminars.
Computer lab tutorials for (textual) data analysis.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Readings
(useful readings for both attending and non-attending students, non compulsory readings for attending students):
- Corbetta P. (2003), Social Research: Theory, Methods and Techniques. London: SAGE.
- Giuliano L. (2014), The value of words. Automatic text analysis tools in web 2.0. Rome: Data Science (
- Gobo G., Mauceri S. (2014), Constructing survey data: an interactional approach. Los Angeles: SAGE.
- Lebart L., Salem A., Berry L. (1998), Exploring textual data. Dordrecht: Kluwer ac.
- Krippendorff K. (2004), Content analysis: an introduction to its methodology. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
- Pelosi M.K., Sandifer T.M. (2003). Elementary statistics: From discovery to decision. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
- Pelosi M.K., Sandifer T.M. (2006), Doing statistics for business with Excel: data, inference and decision making. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Compulsory readings for non-attending students:
1) Metsämuuronenm J. (2017), Essentials of Research Methods in Human Sciences - Vol.1 Elementary basics, London: SAGE.
2) Corbetta P. (2003), Social Research: Theory, Methods and Techniques. London: SAGE.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Jari Metsamuuronen, Essentials of Research Methods in Human Sciences. London: SAGE, 2017. Vol. 1 Elementary Basics
  • Corbetta, Piergiorgio, Social Research: Theory, Methods and Techniques. London: Sage, 2003. Cerca nel catalogo