The goal of the Master Class is to prepare students for the writing of their thesis. Although Master students typically have heterogeneous backgrounds and interests, every thesis shares some building blocks. These building blocks are central to the Master Class, and students are required to shape and connect these during a series of assignments during the course. Thus, the Master Class results in an elaborated framework for the thesis. In addition to the materials covered by the Master Class, you should also use the Guide to Methodology Readings and other tools provided by the Canvas-Site.|
The course consists of seminars. Attendance and active participation are required. Students are required to first select a thesis topic and a supervisor. Course participation without either a thesis topic or a supervisor is not possible. The first week of the course may be used for the selection of topic and supervisor.
The seminars and their requirements are:
- Introduction, Course outline. Basic research question, types of research, role of ‘Theory’ and literature Assignment 1: search and describe literature.
- Formulating a research question. The process, sub questions, types of questions, types of research projects. Use ‘Theory’. Variables, units setting. Assignment 2: formulate your research questions.
- Specific types of thesis projects, Descriptive and explanatory, policy research, legal research. Implications for design of the data collection.
- Research design, conceptualisation and operationalisation,. From concepts to procedures for data collection. Including looking for available data. Assignment 3: develop design, conceptualisation and operationalisation.
- Data collection and measuring variables. Quantitative and qualitative data and how to measure your variables using them. Scales, indexes and coding using text (words). Assignment 4: develop a plan for using your data (data analysis or coding of text).
- The research proposal. How to integrate all this into a research proposal. Assignment 5: write a draft research proposal.
- Feedback and finalization, no session meeting. Students get feedback Assignment 6: write the final version of your research proposal.