IR5001 - Applied Research Methods

What will I learn on this module?

In this module I will learn how to design and carry out a political research project. My learning will build on year one to further examine how political scientists undertake research. I will be introduced to a number of research methods used within the discipline of International Relations and Politics and have the opportunity to apply key research skills. I will have the opportunity to practice the various stages of a research project and learn how to relate the findings to key issues and debates within international relations and political science.

This module adds practical depth to the theoretical frameworks developed in my first year of study and is the foundation for undertaking the systematic investigation required for the Dissertation module in my final year. However, I recognise that in many ways everything about the study of international relations and politics is ‘research’ and this module will bring together the theory and practice of political research which underpins everything I am studying. I realise that learning about the process of undertaking a piece of political research has the potential to transform my understanding of and engagement with everything I learn here at university.

How will I learn on this module?

I will learn on this module by attending two workshops each week where I will be presented with information on the various stages of the research process, an overview of the different approaches to political research and some of the key methods and techniques used to collect and analyse evidence. The workshops will also provide me with the opportunity to practice the various stages and key research skills. I will be expected to engage in reading and further practice outside the classroom and be prepared to reflect and feedback on my learning and discuss any issues arising with my peers and module tutor.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

My academic development will be facilitated through my engagement with both the theory and the practice of carrying out political research by listening, discussing and practicing the examples set by the module tutor(s). During the module I will have the opportunity to contribute to discussion forums and engage in activities to support my learning such as interview practice and designing a survey.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Have a critical understanding of the different methodologies and methods used by International Relations and Politics
2. Of a specific body of literature and an understanding of the theoretical/methodological significance of the academic debate

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. How to plan and manage a research project
4. To use research skills to collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. The ability to work independently and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of different research approaches

How will I be assessed?

Formative tasks around planning a research project and practicing research methods. I will have the opportunity to present and discuss my work during workshops and will receive formative feedback from my lecturer.

A summative assessment which involves writing a literature review based on a research area and question and a research report through which I will demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of the various stages of the research process.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code L2L2

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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