First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Economics and Political Science
Course unit
EPP8084213, A.A. 2018/19

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
EP2444, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2018/19
bring this page
with you
Degree course track Common track
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DATA ANALYSIS
Department of reference Department of Political Science, Law, and International Studies
E-Learning website
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

Teacher in charge MATTEO BASSOLI SPS/04

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses SPS/04 Polticial Science 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

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

Start of activities 01/10/2018
End of activities 18/01/2019
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of social science research methods.
Target skills and knowledge: Main objective of the course is to provide students with a set of conceptual and methodological tools to understand political and social science research. By the end of the course students will be able to:
1. analyse with a comparative approach the various aspects of social and political research
2. have a broad understanding of the techniques they can apply in their own research (e.g. degree thesis, master thesis)
3. contextually demonstrate awareness and knowledge of the main methodological ap-proaches to political and social science research and their contribution to the analysis of data, in particular (e.g. case study research, comparative research, process tracing, etc.).
4. be aware of the main problems related to qualitative vs. quantitative research
5. apply analytical skills in using theory and case studies to better understand contemporary politics and social phenomena
6. improve oral skills and the capacity of team-working
7. demonstrate an enhanced capacity to act successfully (with reliability, commitment, integrity, etc.) in a working environment
8. improve writing skills enhancing own chances of academic and professional success (i.e. do better in studies and achieve higher levels of satisfaction).
9. communicate their ideas in a well-organized, well-expressed manner appropriate to the discipline concerned.
Examination methods: To be defined
Assessment criteria: Writing assignments will be given and mainly conducted in class during ‘class simulation of applied methods’. Assignments will pertain to the readings and method for that week and, as a general rule, will ask students to provide illustrations of how they might apply the principles of research design and various methods discussed that week to political and/or social topic . Students will be expected to work either individually or in a group and should come to class prepared to discuss and critique the assignments/readings for that seminar.
Assignments may consist in short problem sets with practical exercises (e.g. solve a practical methodological exercise related to your own research-for example writing the contact-letter for interviews- explain the results and discuss ideas with the rest of the class). The required length of each assignment will vary and will be communicated each time by the instructor.
Course unit contents: This course will focus on social and political data analysis. The main important methods and techniques of data collection (and analysis) in social research will be addressed. Many important questions in political science cannot be addressed with quantitative methods. Often times, scholars cannot rely on suitable statistical data to answer their research questions. Moreover, the limited resources of individual researchers frequently preclude the collection of a sufficient number of empirical observations required for statistical analysis. Therefore, qualitative methods of data collection and analysis are an important part of everyday research in our field.
In the first part of the course the wider methodological background against which qualitative research needs to be judged is established. Then, the process of conducting a case study in practice is outlined and the concept and technique of ‘process tracing’ is illustrated. In the second part, the most important qualitative techniques of data collection are addressed (interviews, document and text analysis, frame analysis, etc). Social network analysis will be introduced and its application to relevant social and political science questions will be illustrated. The seminar concludes with a session on the triangulation of different methods.
Each session is based on key texts to be prepared by participants. The practical details of a given methodological tool will be demonstrated with the help of examples and exercises drawn from empirical research. Exercises will include (formal and informal) assignments given by the instructor and conducted in class (‘applied method class simulation’) to the students.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lecturing, class tests and discussion.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Course pack to be defined.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)