Advanced Methods in the Social Sciences

Equips with the skills required to understand and engage with empirical research.

Building upon the two prior courses in the curriculum that introduces students to qualitative (Seeing Like a Social Scientist) and quantitative (Statistics for Social Science) methods, this course, offered in the fourth semester, aims to equip them with the skills required to understand and engage with empirical research. This course is also positioned in the curriculum such that it prepares students to undertake research projects in subsequent semesters, especially those intending to choose the thesis option for Honours in the fourth year. There are three main aspects to the course: one focuses on statistical data; the second, looks at the production and analysis of geospatial data; and the third puts the first two modes of data-work in the social sciences into conversation with qualitative and interpretive methods, including from the humanities. Accordingly, the course will go deeper into survey designing, focussing on sampling techniques and questionnaire design; introduce techniques and application of GIS in the social sciences; and invite student engagements with mixed method approaches in social science research. Here, students will be exposed to means and frameworks by which numerical, statistical, verbal, visual, and other forms of data can be brought together effectively to nuance each other, leading to more illuminative and comprehensive epistemic outcomes in social science research.