YRM-20806 Research Design & Research Methods


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work3
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. R Zaalberg
Lecturer(s)dr. R Zaalberg
Examiner(s)dr. R Zaalberg

Language of instruction:



This course is specifically intended for students with an interest 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.

Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with YRM 21806 Data Analysis for Health and Society.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- recognize the difference between a conceptual and a technical research design;
- explain the importance of formulating a research objective and a research issue;
- compare the experimental, cross-sectional and case study research designs;
- apply the strategies for random and non-random sampling;
- infer data collection by means of questionnaires/interviews, observation and content analysis;
- identify the basics of data analysis in quantitative and qualitative research.
- 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;
- develop an operationalization for one-dimensional and multi-dimensional concepts.


- tutorials 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 5.50.


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

Verplicht voor: MMEManagement, Economics and Consumer StudiesMScD: Spec. D - Management in Life Sciences1AF, 2MO
MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc2MO