Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC2083: The Research Toolkit for Politics and International Relations

This module descriptor refers to the 2016/7 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 5
Credits 30 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Cristiana Olcese (Lecturer)

Available via distance learning


The module will involve theoretical and practical training in research methods (secondary data analysis, questionnaires/surveys, document analysis, participant observation, experiments and case studies) and the execution of a research project. In the first term, you will select a policy brief from a local political organisation and work to produce a literature review that helps define and scope out a consultancy-style research project. In the second term, you will learn about the key methodological approach in politics and international relations. In addition to standard lectures and seminars, you will have the opportunity to listen to recorded interviews with key political science methodologists talking frankly about their research designs. You will also watch video recorded talks by end-users of political science research – including politicians, NGO staff and journalists – in which the speakers describe the importance of political science research in the workplace. You will be assessed in Term 1 through an individual literature review and group scoping report (Term 1). In Term 2 you will be assessed through  your preparation for seminars (assessed through short in-class multiple choice tests),critical reviews of academics’ research methods, producing a group policy brief, and through preparation and execution of a group presentation in which you will report your substantive findings to the end-users. The module is useful for all students hoping to produce a robust piece of work for their final year dissertations, and for those seeking to boost their employability.

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students. The module is suitable for students on interdisciplinary pathways. 

Module created


Last revised