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Undergraduate Research Methods Teaching in Political Science: A Comparative Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  used to categorize courses as quantitative methods, research methods, and theses, dissertations or research projects. Quantitative Methods: The U.K. Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s (QAA) benchmarking statements for economics (QAA 2007) provides the most comprehensive listing of requirements for quantitative methods of all the social sciences in the U.K. These statements provide the basis for a working list of content with which to identify quantitative methods courses, which would include:  Mathematical and Statistical Techniques.  Graphical, Mathematical and Econometric Representation of Ideas and Analyses  Manipulation, Treatment and Interpretation of Statistical Data  Numeracy and Quantitative Skills, Including Data Analysis, Interpretation and Extrapolation  Survey design and analysis Any modules that include these topics in their titles or descriptions are classified as quantitative methods. Research Methods: This classification covers a broad range of topics covering any research methods not defined as quantitative. These topics include epistemology, methods, and research design. The courses define what research is, categorise the different types and the different ways it can be carried out, and explain different methodologies used to conduct it. Typically, the courses included are just named ‘research methods’, ‘scope and methods’, or ‘research design’. One common approach is to split a module and have half quantitative methods and half scope and methods. In cases where half the 6

Authors: Parker, Jonathan.
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used to categorize courses as quantitative methods, research methods, and theses,
dissertations or research projects.
Quantitative Methods:
The U.K. Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education’s (QAA) benchmarking
statements for economics (QAA 2007) provides the most comprehensive listing of
requirements for quantitative methods of all the social sciences in the U.K. These
statements provide the basis for a working list of content with which to identify
quantitative methods courses, which would include:
Mathematical and Statistical Techniques.
Graphical, Mathematical and Econometric Representation of Ideas and
Analyses
Manipulation, Treatment and Interpretation of Statistical Data
Numeracy and Quantitative Skills, Including Data Analysis, Interpretation and
Extrapolation
Survey design and analysis
Any modules that include these topics in their titles or descriptions are classified as
quantitative methods.
Research Methods:
This classification covers a broad range of topics covering any research methods
not defined as quantitative. These topics include epistemology, methods, and research
design. The courses define what research is, categorise the different types and the
different ways it can be carried out, and explain different methodologies used to
conduct it. Typically, the courses included are just named ‘research methods’, ‘scope
and methods’, or ‘research design’. One common approach is to split a module and
have half quantitative methods and half scope and methods. In cases where half the
6


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