Research Methodology

Academic year
Subject Area
Research Methods
Language of Instruction
Other Languages of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
3rd Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites

Not applicable.

Teaching Methods

The course is mainly based on tutorial type lectures, where discussion on the program topics is supported by PowerPoint slides (available to students in the course Internet site). In parallel, some working visits are performed to research centers of FCTUC.

The student is supervised by a faculty member to provide scientific guidance to his own dissertation project.

Learning Outcomes

This curricular unit aims at supporting the students in their preparation of a their MSc dissertation project: the student should be able to select his own research area and advisor, acquire comprehensive and up-to-date knowledge of the literature related to his research area, select and understand appropriate research methodologies, be able to perform critical analyses, and develop a framework to guide his analysis. The student should also understand the knowledge dissemination process, including the nature of the dissertation, research articles and the peer review process, and research talks. Additionally, the student will learn about research funding and grantsmanship.

Parallel to these strategic objectives, the student should get a strong human background and the skills that will enable him to do autonomous as well as collaborative research in full compliance with ethic and societal issues.

Work Placement(s)



1 – Research Objectives

2 – Initial Steps

3 – Starting Research

4 – Literature Review

5 – Research Strategy

6 – Personal balance during research

7 – Dissertation

8 – The viva

9 – Dissemination

10 – Research proposal (prior to each new research)

11 – Ethical considerations.

Head Lecturer(s)

Luís Adriano Alves de Sousa Oliveira

Assessment Methods

Active participation in class: 10.0%
1st Report and oral presentation: 40.0%
Dissertation project and respective defense: 50.0%


- CHAPMAN, D. (Editor), (1988), How to do Research At the MIT AI Lab. AI Working Paper 316.

- ELLIOTT, D. & STERN, J. E. (Editors) (1997), Research Ethics: A Reader. University Press of New England.

- MARSHAL, S. & GREEN, N. (2010), Your PhD Companion, 3rd Edition. Howtobooks.

- NAS – NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (1995), On Being a Scientist: Responsible Conduct in Research - (2.ª ed.). National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

- NAS – NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (2009), Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.

- NAS, NAE, IOM – NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING, INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (1992), Responsible Science: Ensuring the Integrity of the Research Process (Volume I). National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.