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Introduction to Research in Political Science

année académique
La crise sanitaire liée à la propagation du Covid-19 constitue un motif de force majeure conduisant l'Université à devoir adapter dans certains cas les modalités d'organisation des évaluations des unités d'enseignement; ces nouvelles modalités seront communiquées aux étudiants via les circuits d'information usuels pour le 4 décembre 2020.

Titulaire(s) du cours

Emilie VAN HAUTE (Coordonnateur)

Crédits ECTS


Langue(s) d'enseignement


Contenu du cours

The course is organized in seminar groups. The course questions what political science research is. Each class is dedicated to a step in the process of scientific reasoning, which is explained, illustrated with examples, and then applied by the students. The exercises aim at applying the political science research process.

Objectifs (et/ou acquis d'apprentissages spécifiques)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the terminology, concepts, theoretical approaches and research methods in political science. The course intends to teach students how to develop scientific research designs. The course prepares students to the writing of papers throughout their studies, up to the Master thesis / Final dissertation.


Intended Student Learning Outcome

  • To be able to find, read, understand and interpret most research published in political science journals
  • To understand the major theoretical approaches to political science research
  • To be familiar with various research methods in political science
  • To be able to identify and apply these approaches and methods in a research paper
  • To be able to develop a research design
  • To sharpen critical thinking
  • To develop writing skills
  • To learn to read a scientific contribution and identify the authors’ research design
  • To acquire skills that will be used in all future papers and the Master thesis/Final dissertation

Méthodes d'enseignement et activités d'apprentissages

The course is organized as a seminar, with regular assignments and presentations by the students. Each class consists of an explanation of a step in the research process (with illustrations), and an active application of the step in the research process by students (via practical exercises and development of their own research design). Overall, the course rests on an active participation by the students.

Contribution au profil d'enseignement

The course prepares students to the writing of papers throughout their studies, up to the Master thesis / Final dissertation.

Références, bibliographie et lectures recommandées

List of references available on the UV

Support(s) de cours

  • Université virtuelle
  • Podcast

Autres renseignements


· Emilie van Haute (Professor): Mondays 9:30-11:30

Contact: S building - Office S.11.125; Email: evhaute@ulb.ac.be

· David Talukder: (Teaching assistant) Mondays 13:15-13:55 (before the class); 16:05-16:50 (after the class).

Contact: S Building - Office S.11.127; Email: david.talukder@ulb.ac.be




Méthode(s) d'évaluation

  • Examen écrit
  • Travail de groupe

· Students performances will be assessed as follows:

- Final exam: 50% (10 points out of 20)

- Exercises: 50% (10 points out of 20)

- Students have to get a grade for both parts of the course. As long as they haven’t, they will be marked ABSENT.

Construction de la note (en ce compris, la pondération des notes partielles)

· Exercises: the final mark is based on:

- Sum of all the group work grades marked on 10. A group work that is not submitted is marked as ABSENT, which is applied as the mark for the exercises as a whole.

- Students have to attend classes. If you are not able to attend, you have to notify your teacher and justify the missed class. Any unjustified missed class will be penalized (-2/10 per missed class).

Important :

Group assignments are given an identical mark for the entire group. The papers are submitted under the responsibility of the entire group. In case of plagiarism, the sanction will be applied to the entire group. Late registrations are not allowed. Students who are not registered for the exercises before November 1st are not allowed to take the course during the academic year.

· Final exam: the final mark is based on:

- Written exam (January session and retake session in August-September)

- 2 questions based on applying the course content

· Retake session:

- Students decide at their own risk whether they want to retake the paper, the exam, or both

- Students who decide to retake the paper have to present it as an individual paper, based on a single paper that includes all the steps. The paper has to be handed over before the date of the exam.

Langue(s) d'évaluation

  • anglais