YRM-20806 Research Design & Research Methods


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. G Dik
Lecturer(s)dr. G Dik
Examiner(s)dr. JK Kampen

Language of instruction:



This course is specifically intended for students with a background in the social sciences. The final goal of the course is that students learn to develop a research design for different types of research projects. Starting from a practical problem that needs to be solved, the students first learn to formulate a research objective and appropriate research questions. Then they learn to set up the research project according to the following research designs: the experiment, the cross-sectional design and the case study. By the end of the course the students will be able to hand in a complete and detailed research plan.
This course will deal not only with research designs, but we will also pay attention to research methods. This includes a discussion of methods of random and non-random sampling (including case selection), methods of data collection (using questionnaires/interviews, observations and content analysis) and methods of quantitative as well as qualitative data analysis. In explaining the research designs and related methods, examples will be taken from the social sciences.

Learning outcomes:

At the end of the course students know:
- the difference between a conceptual and a technical research design;
- the importance of formulating a research objective and a research issue;
- the experimental, cross-sectional and case study research designs;
- the strategies for random and non-random sampling;
- data collection by means of questionnaires/interviews, observation and content analysis;
- the basics of data analysis in quantitative and qualitative research.
At the end of the course students are able to:
- formulate an adequate research objective and an adequate set of research questions;
- formulate a proper technical research design for an experimental study, a cross-sectional study and a case study;
- make an operationalisation for one-dimensional and multi-dimensional concepts.


- workshops in which both lecturing and interactive learning take place in small groups;
- writing a research plan.


The course will be examined by both a written exam (multiple choice) and the developed research proposal. The final mark for this course will be based on the written examination score (50%) and the score for the research plan (50%). Both the written exam and the research plan will have to be valued at least a 5.5.


de Vaus, D. (2001). Research Design in Social Research. London, Thousand Oaks, New Dehli: Sage Publications.
Additional literature to be announced.

Compulsory for: MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScD: Management, Innovation and Life Sciences1AF, 2MO
MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc2MO
MFQFood Quality ManagementMSc1AF, 2MO
Restricted Optional for: MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScB: Consumer Studies1AF, 2MO
MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScA: Management Studies1AF, 2MO
MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScE: Health and Society1AF
MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScC: Economics, Environment and Policy1AF, 2MO
MIDInternational Development StudiesMScA: Sociology of Development1AF, 2MO
MIDInternational Development StudiesMScB: Economics of Development1AF, 2MO
MIDInternational Development StudiesMScC: Communication, Technology and Policy1AF, 2MO
MCHCommunication, Health and Life SciencesMSc1AF, 2MO