Basic Research Methods


Syllabus for students

Course Code:
IM140L revision 6
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
18 November 2015
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
18 January 2021

Entry requirements

The equivalent of English course B in Swedish secondary school, and completed course IM101E or IM101L – International Migration and Ethnic Relations I or other courses equal to 30 higher education credits in social science.

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is not part of a main field of study.


The course aims to give students basic knowledge and skills required for conducting applied research in the field of international migration and ethnic relations.


The course combines theoretical studies and discussions with practical hands on investigations. It builds on comparative approaches and critical discussions of different research designs and methods, on actual investigations in small groups, and on oral and written presentations. Students are encouraged and expected to actively participate in all the learning activities.

Learning outcomes

After finishing the course, the student should have the following skills at a basic level. The student will therefore be able to:

  • Define and apply key methodological concepts in the social sciences.
  • Describe and compare different research designs and methods related to the study of international migration and ethnic relations.
  • Explain and assess how research design, method and results affect one another.
  • Select appropriate research methods to address different research questions.
  • Carry out small research projects in close collaboration with other students.
  • Assess the academic, social and ethical implications of his/her work.
  • Present and critically discuss research results in both oral and written form.

Learning activities

Lectures, seminar discussions, independent research conducted in small groups, oral presentations, and an individually performed written assignment. The course material consists of books and articles that are mandatory reading, in combination with the material and data that students select and use in their research projects. Students have access to the university’s computer rooms and library.


The course is assessed through:

1) Seminar activities in which students present and discuss small research projects. Students who fail to attend or to pass these examinations are required to hand in written assignments instead.
2) One individually written home assignment. Students who do not pass this examination are offered two re-examinations each semester.

The two forms of assessment (1 and 2) are equally important for the course grade.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Cresswell, John W. 2009. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches.Thousand Oaks: SAGE. 260 pp.

May, Tim. 2001. Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process. Buckingham: Open University Press. 250pp.

+Articles (circa 500 pp)

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students will be offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes.

Other Information

The Language of Instruction is English


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the Department of Global Political Studies.

Further information

GPSstudent - Malmö universitet,
Christian Fernandez, Course Coordinator
Phone: 040-6657351


18 January 2021 - 28 March 2021 Day-time 100% Malmö This course is offered as part of a program

Tuition fees

for non-EU students only

First instalment: 20000 SEK
Full tuition Fee: 20000 SEK

17 January 2022 - 27 March 2022 Day-time 100% Malmö This course is offered as part of a program