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Introduction to SPC Methodology

Introduction to SPC Methodology

6 ECTS credits
150 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 1020440AER for all students in the 2nd semester at a (A) Bachelor - preliminary level.

Information about this course is applicable on academic year 2017-2018.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method

Grading (scale from 0 to 20)

Can retake in second session
Taught in
Partnership agreement
  • Under interuniversity agreement for degree program
Faculty of Economic & Social Sciences & Solvay BS
Communication Sciences
Educational Team:
  • Gino VERLEYE (course titular)
    External partner(s)
    Universiteit Gent
    Activities and contact hours
    • 23 contact hours Lecture
    • 22 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
    Course content

    Social science methodology enjoys renewed attention of social scientists and practitioners. Faced with the need to solve complex social issues and confronted with the enlargement of the scope and the extent of social enquiry asked for by policy makers and stakeholders, the defiency of traditional models and research techniques has been defined to most pressing issue to be tackled in the near future. As a result, the necessity of combined research techniques and an interdisciplinary methodological framework has been advanced by scholars and practitioners as a means to overcome the current research problems. Based on the book by Anol Bhattacherjee, students will be given a short overview of the actual state of affairs in social science research. After an introduction on what research in social sciences means, different research designs will be analyzed.  Both data collection methods and analysis techniques will be shown using dedicated software. Through abundant references to specific research situations and case studies, the students will be acquainted with the vast array of methods and techniques that prevails in the field and gain a basic understanding of the strenghts /weaknesses each of these methodological paradigms offer.

    Course material
    • Handbook (Required): Social sciences research: principles, methods and practices, Anol Bhattacherjee, University of South Florida Open access collections, 2012
    Additional info


    • Sayer, A. (2010). Method in social sicence: a realist approach. Routledge: London.
    • Field, A. (2012). How to design and report experiments. London: Sage.
    • Atkinson, P. (2001). Handbook of ethnography. Los Angeles: Sage.
    • Scott. G. & Garner, R. (2013). Doing Qualitative Research: designs, methods, and techniques. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.
    Programme Objectives

    General Competences

    LO3: recognises the cross-sections, the intersections and the cross-fertilisations that are noticeable amongst the different social sciences.
    LO4: is able to apply social theories and concepts on a well-delineated, socially and scientifically relevant research topic that relates to the European Union or other (international) institutions.
    LO6: can formulate a valid scientific research question on a topic that relates to the social sciences.
    LO7: can identify, gather and critically process the relevant sources and literature on a specific social sciences research topic.
    LO8: knows how to set up a scientific and methodologically correct research design.
    LO9: possesses the methodological knowledge and skills of data selection and data processing that prevail within the domains of the social sciences.
    LO10: masters the techniques of good and accurate research reporting in oral and written form.
    LO11: has an investigative, problem-oriented and critical attitude towards social, political and media-related phenomena and scientific research results with regard thereof.
    LO12: recognises the multilayered and complex character of social, political and media- related facts and phenomena.
    LO13: reflects and evaluates his or her learning process and results critically.
    LO14: acts in a professional and responsible manner.
    LO15: is able to perform teamwork, he or she possesses good communicative skills and is solution-oriented.
    LO16: prioritises scientific integrity and honesty in his or her scientific research activities.

    Demonstrate insight in the ontological and epistemological foundations of social science research methodology, in political science, communication science, and sociology in a European context.
    Acquire knowledge on the key methods in social science, their dynamics, and applications, as well as how they connect to specific research questions in political science, communication science, and sociology.
    Being able to develop a research plan in political science, communication science, and sociology, while critically assess its strengths, limitations and ethics with regards to the initial research question.


    The final grade is composed based on the following categories:

    • Written Exam determines 100% of the final mark.

    Within the Written Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

    Written Exam with a relative weight of 100 which comprises 100% of the final mark.

    Additional info with regard to grading

    Formative assessment:

    • Oral feed back, feed up and feed forward follow-up sessions
    • Co- and peer-assessment

    Summative assessment:

    • written evaluation (open and closed questions)