SDC-21306 Methods, Techniques and Data Analysis for Field Research


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ED Rasch
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. MM van den Berg
dr. ED Rasch
M Chen
M van Lidth de Jeude
MSc CJ Stam
M Treurniet
ME Dominguez Viera
A Kujundzic
Examiner(s)dr. ED Rasch
dr. ir. MM van den Berg
M Treurniet

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

YRM-10306 Research Methods in the Social Sciences; YSS-10906 Analysis of a Problem Situation and DEC-20306 Rural Households and Livelihood Strategies.

Continuation courses:

SDC-22306 Field Research Practical.


This course offers students the opportunity to become acquainted with different qualitative and quantitative methods for exploratory field research. The focus is on issues of development and change. Practical problems of doing research in a situation outside one's own society will be stressed.
Major attention is given to:
- relation between theory and methodology;
- designing a research proposal;
- different methods for data collection (literature study, interviews, questionnaires, participant observation, etc.);
- choice of appropriate samples; informants and other research participants
- reflexivity and ethnographic writing;
- the ethics and practicalities of doing field research;
- making and coding fieldnotes;
- different procedures for data analysis and processing;
- different methods for presentation of field results.
Practical exercises are scheduled to facilitate an active learning process. The organization of the course will stimulate critical reflection on various approaches for data collection and analysis, and on the relationship between specific research problems and related methods. Students have a computer practical in which they become acquainted with qualitative data analysis, univariate analysis and bivariate analysis

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to design, carry out and analyse information derived from primary field research. This entails that students are expected to be able to:
- summarize the foundations and basics of quantitative and qualitative research approaches;
- explain the research process and the relation between theory and research question;
- formulate and operationalise a research question based on own observations;
- choose and defend the appropriate methods for conducting field research and define appropriate units of analysis, samples and research participants relevant for research;
- employ and reflect upon different research techniques (observations, informal interviews, (semi-) structured questionnaires, experiments);
- apply the basics of ethnographic and reflexive writing;
- record, code and analyse data, using quantitative and qualitative modes of analysis.


The course makes use of different types of learning activities:
- problem-oriented case studies. Concrete research problems are used to illustrate how different research methods could be used;
- practical exercises and assignments on research techniques: observations, informal interviews, semi-structured interviews;
- analysis of primary research data, using multiple modes of analysis;
- computer analysis of secondary sets of data.


- written exam with five open essay questions (55%);
- period Project assignment and participation in workshops (30%);
- participation in computer practicals and other assignments (15%);
Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.50 to pass.


Course guide and literature at beginning of course.

Compulsory for: BINInternational Development StudiesBSc6WD