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PhD Course: Applied Methodology

Applied Methodology for Doctoral Students

Course Overview - Spring 2024

This course is available to doctoral students at the Department of Political Science, Lund University. The overall aim of this course is to provide a deepened understanding of a particular research method of the students’ own choosing by applying it. The chosen method can be linked to the doctoral thesis but does not have to be. The research method itself should be the focus of inquiry, not the social scientific issue investigated.

Course Teachers

Roxanna Sjöstedt

  • Email: roxanna [dot] sjostedt [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se (roxanna[dot]sjostedt[at]svet[dot]lu[dot]se)
  • Phone: +46 46 222 46 01

Hanna Bäck 

  • Email: hanna [dot] back [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se (hanna[dot]back[at]svet[dot]lu[dot]se)
  • Phone: +46 46 222 01 61


Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course, the student shall demonstrate

  • an ability to apply and critically assess research methods for the study of research issues in the Social Sciences,
  • a deepened understanding of a self-selected research method,
  • an ability to design an investigation in order to evaluate the usefulness of the chosen research method,
  • an ability to communicate methodological insights orally and in writing

Teaching and Assessment

The aim of the course is to provide a deepened understanding of a particular research method of the students’ own choosing, selected after consultation with the teacher/s. The method could be either qualitative or quantitative or, for students who are exclusively interested in purely theoretical research questions, a methodological approach suitable for political theory or political philosophy. 

Regardless of approach, the course papers must address a well-defined methodological problem and apply the selected method to a chosen material. The research method itself should thus be the focus of inquiry, not the scientific issue investigated. The final paper should be approximately 6000 words, including references. Since the course period is relatively short, it is important to come up with a topic before the course starts. A one-page idea paper should be emailed to the course conveners at the latest on 30th of April

Course teaching consists of group supervision at three mandatory seminars where active student participation in terms of presenting different paper parts and discussing the work of others is required. Paper comments and feedback will thus be continuously provided from the course teachers and participants. The course literature is project-specific to fit the chosen research method and is selected by the student and approved after consultation with the course teacher/s. The readings should constitute a minimum of 1000 pages.

 The course papers are examined at the PhD student annual methods retreat in Political Science, which is hosted by Umeå University this year. The grades awarded are Pass or Fail. To be awarded a Pass the student must fulfil the learning outcomes specified. The student must also demonstrate an independent, ref1ective, and highly knowledgeable to the methodology applied in the course and should actively participate in the seminars and the methods retreat.

Schedule 2024

Date, timeRoomType of seminarContentDeadlines for papers
May 2, 10-12TBACourse 
Discussion of idea

April 30, 12 noon


May 16, 10-12TBAGroup tutorialDiscussion of paper parts

May 14, 12 noon


May 30, 10-12TBAGroup tutorialDiscussion of paper partsMay 28, 12 noon
June 17–18Hotell Lappland, Lycksele



Methods retreatTBA