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Doctoral course: Research Methodologies

Spring Term, 2024 (28 February–29 April) Course credits: 15

Department of Political Science, Lund University.

Course providers*:

Jens Bartelson, Hanna Bäck, Martin Hall, Julie Hassing Nielsen, Catarina KinnvallRoxanna SjöstedtTed Svensson

*Course director: julie [dot] hassing_nielsen [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se (Julie Hassing Nielsen)

Course description

This is a PhD level methods course offering an advanced introduction to theory of knowledge, research design and applied methods in the social sciences, with a special focus on political science. Topics covered include the relationship between political theory and political science, conceptualization and measurement, research design, fieldwork, qualitative/quantitative interviewing, discourse and narrative analyses, archival work, case studies, statistics and mixed methods. The course is structured around an open and flexible lecture/seminar format that requires active engagement by all course participants. Two PhD dissertations, later published as books, will be drawn upon as examples during the concluding part of the course.


The course is given as a 15 ECTS credits (‘högskolepoäng’) course running over 9 weeks.


The course will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, giving priority to:

  1. Doctoral students from the Political Science Department in Lund
  2. Doctoral students from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Lund University
  3. Doctoral students from other faculties at Lund University
  4. External Doctoral students

The maximum number of participants is 10. To be eligible for the course, students must have been admitted to a PhD level program and have passed some course in introductory qualitative and quantitative methods for the social sciences. Doctoral students from other faculties than the Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University as well as external doctoral students need to pay a course fee – 10,000 SEK for a 15 ECTS credits course, and submit a special permission form.


 In advance of each lecture/seminar – except the introduction – students are expected to, individually, hand in a 2-page reflection paper and 2 questions that they would like to discuss during the lecture/seminar. 

Since the course is based on active engagement by the participants, attendance is mandatory. Failure to attend a seminar should be compensated by a 4-page reflection paper on the topic of that seminar. 

The sessions on statistics will be examined through problem sets that are handed in for the computer labs. Two PhD dissertations, later published as books, are drawn upon as examples during the concluding part of the course.

 The course is successfully completed if the students have completed all tasks above, including handling in compensation papers in case of missed seminars. The students should have been physically present in at least 15 out of the 19 course sessions to pass the course.

Venue: The large conference room, Ed367, at the Department of political science.

How to apply

Please first discuss your potential participation in the course with your supervisor, as well as with your Director of studies, before applying! To apply, please 

  • send an e-mail to the course organiser Julie Hassing Nielsen
    julie [dot] hassing_nielsen [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se (julie[dot]hassing_nielsen[at]svet[dot]lu[dot]se)  before 30th January 2024 at the latest. 
  • Applicants from outside the Department of political science in Lund, need to Include a letter of recommendation  from their supervisor. 
  • Students from universities other the Lund are also required to download and complete this Special Permission form and submit it with your application.

Note that, successful applicants from other faculties and universities, including other universities in Sweden, are required to pay a course fee. The current fee is 10,000 SEK for a 15 ECTS credits course. 

What happens next?

Applications close around four weeks before each course starts. If the number of applicants exceeds available places, applicants are prioritised as follows:

  1. Doctoral students from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Lund University
  2. Doctoral students from other faculties at Lund University
  3. External doctoral students

An email containing admissions result will be sent to you shortly after the application closes.

This email, if you are admitted to a course, will include a welcome letter with information about the introductory course meeting, schedule, reading list and syllabus, as well as any other information or tasks that the teacher wishes to include. 

If you are placed on a reserve list, you will be notified of this as well.

Please inform us as soon as possible if you are no longer planning on taking a course as there might be other students on the reserve list.