Methodology of Scientific Research in Education

Academic year
Subject Area
Education Sciences
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

Knowledge previously acquired in Curricular Units of the 1st cycle of studies is important, for example in Applied Statistics to Education; Methodology of Educational Research I; Methodology of Educational Research II.

Teaching Methods

Teaching based on theory and practice (TP),focusing on exercises to be conducted by the use of specific software of data analyses,either envolving statistical analyses of data(S. Package for the Social Sciences software)or semantic analyses(content analyses) of the information(MaxQDA software),previously accompanied by a theoretical explanation justifying its importance and clarifying what can be sought in the data and the feasibility of interpretations. The exercises can de done either individually or in groups in classes and require the discussion of contents and the integration of know

Learning Outcomes

- To understand and apply autonomously the main concepts involved in the construction of scientific knowledge in the field of Social and Human Sciences. 

- To understand the complexity of the scientific process in the study of human and social phenomena.

-To be able to plan a scientific research in education either linked to quantitative methodologies, or more connected to qualitative methodologies or even making use of mixed-methods designs.

- To be able to autonomously develop a scientific research in education, respecting all its stages, discerning about their implications for intervention, and methodological limitations and open issues for future studies.

- To be able to read and critically interpret scientific researches already published.

- To be able to write a scientific report, either a Master thesis, or a scientific article.

- To be aware and learn to reflect on the ethical principles that should guide science.

Work Placement(s)



1 The quantitative process of scientific research: revision of fundamental steps

1.1. Main characteristics of scientific knowledge and ethical issues

1.2. Problem formulation and scientific hypotheses

1.3. General characteristics of quantitative research designs 

1.4. The choice of the sample and the different sampling techniques

1.5. Quantitative techniques of data collection

1.6. Internal and external validity in a scientific research

1.7. The stucture of a scientific report of a quantitative nature

2. Clarification of theoretical concepts in the context of statistical data analysis

2.1. Descriptive statistics and inferential statistics

2.2. Assumptions for sellecting adequate statistic tests of data analyses

3. The qualitative research process

3.1. Criteria for evaluating scientific credibility of knowledge

3.2. Possible qualitative designs

3.3. Qualitative techniques of data collection

3.4. Analysis and interpretation of qualitative data

3.5. Main rules for scientific writting

Head Lecturer(s)

Maria da Piedade Simões Santana Pessoa Vaz Rebelo

Assessment Methods

Final assessment
Exam: 100.0%

Continuous assessment
Laboratory work or Field work: 40.0%
Synthesis work: 60.0%


Amado, A. (Org.) (2013). Manual de investigação qualitativa em educação. Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade.

Ary, D. et al. (1990). Introduction to research in education. Forth Worth: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in education (7th Ed.). London: Routledge.

Coutinho, C. P. (2011). Metodologia de investigação em Ciências Sociais e Humanas: Teoria e Prática. Coimbra: Almedina.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.) (1994). Handbook of qualitative research. 2nd ed., Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Field, A. ( 2005). Discovering statistics using SPSS (2nd ed). London: SAGE.

Tabachnick, B., & Fidel, L. (2001). Using multivariate statistics. Needham Heights, MA: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

Vieira, C. C. (1999). A credibilidade da investigação científica de natureza qualitativa: questões relativas à sua fidelidade e validade. Revista Portuguesa de Pedagogia, XXXIII, 2, 89-116.