0622 Introduction to Empirical Social Research
Dr. Georg Kanitsar, Univ.Prof. Dr. Thomas Plümper
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/06/22 to 09/25/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 10/06/22 12:15 PM - 03:15 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 10/13/22 12:15 PM - 03:15 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 10/20/22 12:15 PM - 03:15 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 10/27/22 12:15 PM - 03:15 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/03/22 04:00 PM - 06:30 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/10/22 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/17/22 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/24/22 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 12/01/22 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit

This course offers the applied part to the lecture “Introduction to Empirical Social Research”. The course is designed to assist students in deepening their knowledge and skills acquired in the lecture.

In this course, students will learn the essentials of social research and discuss a selection of both qualitative and quantitative methods frequently used in empirical social research. Several strengths and weaknesses of these quantitative and qualitative research technologies will be discussed. Inter alia, the course will answer the following questions: How can we measure (unobservable) social phenomena? Which method can be applied best to which settings? When does a method (not) allow for valid inferences? What is the relationship between theory and empirical research?

Learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to impart basic knowledge of empirical social research. During the course, students carry out many small activities, which help to understand the essentials of empirical social research.

After successfully participating at this course, students will have an overview of different empirical research methods in social sciences and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. This course also aims to foster critical thinking such that students learn to evaluate empirical research and their validity. After passing the course, students will have gained the necessary skills to act both as informed “consumers” of empirical articles and as “producers” of small-scale research projects.

Students will acquire the skills needed to

  • distinguish different empirical research methods used in social research,
  • understand the scope of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and
  • evaluate the methodological approach of contemporary research articles.  
Attendance requirements

Students are required to attend the first constitutive session of the seminar. Students are allowed to miss at most one of the six sessions of the applied part.

Teaching/learning method(s)

In the practical part of the course, students will go through the first steps of a research process. To that purpose, they will design their own small-scale research project.

Each session, students will report on the progress of their research project and receive feedback from their peers as well as the lecturer.


Overall course performance will be evaluated based on two components:

- Several brief written assignments such as reflection tasks or readings comprehensions (60 %), and

- A written essay at the end of the semester (40 %).


Grading / Notenschlüssel:

0-50%: Insufficient; 50.1-62.5% Sufficient; 62.6-75% Satisfactory; 75.1-87.5% Good; 87.6-100% Excellent

In order to pass the course, students need to receive a positive evaluation (i.e. more than half of the points) on each of

Last edited: 2022-04-11