Research Methodology

Academic year
Subject Area
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

The course is  based on the principle of "learning by doing", therefore it is intended that the lessons have a strong practical component, in which theoretical exposure is complemented whenever possible with the participation of students through practical exercises and discussions.

Students will select a theme of collective work for the construction of a research project that will serve as a reference to the exercises in class and individual assessment.

Learning Outcomes

Overall objectives

Discuss epistemological issues in social sciences research and identify the phases of the research process.

Specific Objectives

Highlight the importance of the analytical model, with special attention to hypothesis formulation and operationalization of concepts.

Present the techniques for gathering and analyzing data.

Familiarize students with the procedures for the submission of projects and reporting.

Generic competencies

Ability to enunciate the epistemological issues relating to the various stages of research.

Ability to analyze and define a research project in social sciences.

Ability to articulate theory and operational procedures of research.

Specific competencies

Ability to develop the tasks necessary in different stages of a research.

Ability to operationalize theoretical knowledge, constructing hypotheses and operationalizing concepts.

Ability to identify the methods and research techniques appropriate to the development of a research project.

Work Placement(s)



1. Science and other knowledge(s)

2. Epistemology, methodology, methods and techniques

3. Social reality and scientific knowledge

3.1. Nature of the social and conceptual construction of objects

3.2. Epistemological obstacles and familiarity of the social

3.3. The epistemological rupture

4. The logic of research

4.1. Elements of research: theory, data, methods and techniques

4.2. From the stages of the research process to the research spiral 

5. The definition of a research project

5.1. Selection of a work theme

5.2. Research question

5.3. Exploratory work

5.4. Research problematic

6. The analytical model

6.1. Formulation of hypotheses

6.2. Operationalization of concepts

6.3. Construction of variables

7. Observation

7.1. Observe what and whom?

7.2. Observe how?

8. Analysis of the information

8.1. Statistical analysis and content analysis

9. The presentation of results

9.1. How to do a report

Head Lecturer(s)

Maria Paula Abreu Pereira da Silva

Assessment Methods

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Continuous Assessment
Participation in class: 25.0%
Definition of a research project on the theme set by the class : 75.0%


BELL, Judith - Como realizar um projecto de investigação : um guia para a pesquisa em ciências sociais e da educação. 3ª ed.. Lisboa : Gradiva, 2004.
BURGESS, Robert G. - A pesquisa de terreno : uma introdução. Oeiras : Celta Editora, 1997.
LAKATOS, Eva Maria. ; MARCONI, Marina de Andrade - Metodologia científica. 2ª ed. rev. e ampl.. S. Paulo : Atlas, 1992.
LEWINS, Frank - Social science methodology : a brief but critical introduction. Crows Nest : Macmillan Education Australia, 1992.
PRÁTICAS e métodos de investigacão em ciências sociais. Luc Albarello [et al.]. Lisboa : Gradiva, 1997.
QUIVY, Raymond ; CAMPENHOUDT, Luc van - Manual de investigação em ciências sociais. 4ª ed. rev. e aument.. Lisboa : Gradiva, 2005.
SANTOS, Boaventura de Sousa - Um discurso sobre as ciências. Porto : Edições Afrontamento, 1987.
SOCIOLOGICAL research methods : an introduction. Ed. Martin Bulmer. 2nd ed.. Basingstoke : Macmillan Press, 1994