Methodology and Research Designs (UE)

Course numberM3.0607.10.060
Course code
Semester of degree program Semester 1
Mode of delivery Presencecourse
ECTS credits3,0
Language of instruction German

Students can develop research designs for Social Work and know which possibilities there are to validate relevant information.
They know the methodical procedure of central classical and recent empirical studies, which are discussed in Social Work. A specialised understanding about their methodical procedures is developed. Basic questions about relevance, the power of interpretation, the interest of cognition and valorisation can be answered confidently. Diverse designs can be allocated with respective questions, effort and usefulness can be estimated, explorative, nomological, hermeneutic, descriptive and transformational research approaches (Citizen Science) can be judged and applied to the concept of community studies in a differentiated way. Individual analysis of secondary data, field investigations, data collections and applications for Master's thesis and project papers can be designed realistically. Additionally, students know about sophisticated search strategies for data sources and first-hand information.

See description of module

Questions about the relevance and the exploitation interest of studies are exemplarily imparted through current texts. For this purpose, the range of the design basis between an official statistic, contract research and investigative studies is illustrated using current specialised literature and removed from the tiresome "quali-quanti difference" and compared with current participative designs such as: community based participatory action research (CBPR); community based research (CBR) and participatory rural appraisal (PRA), and discussed. For the practical work there are exercises set against this background in order to advance to the "important" questions and to search for the "correct" data for project work and evaluation, respectively to find appropriate ways of analysis, which can be nomological, hermeneutic and reflexive. At the end of the semester, some study designs have to be defended in the plenary assembly. For this at least one article (from a relevant journal) has to be used as a basis and the research-ethical conditions have to be explicated.

Basic texts and example studies have to be up to date and therefore are provided at the beginning of the course.

Further and exemplary literature:
Fricke, Werner (2012). Beitrag der Aktionsforschung zur Demokratisierung der Arbeit. In: Fricke, Werner & Wagner, Hilde (Hrsg.), Demokratisierung der Arbeit. Hamburg: VSA, 39-52.
Minkler, Merediht & Wallerstein, Nina (Hrsg.) (2009). Community-Based Participatory Research for Health. From Process to Outcomes (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey Bass Wiley.
Mukherjee, Amitava (Hrsg.) (2004). Participatory Rural Appraisal. Methods and Applications in rural planning (2nd edition). Studies in rural participation-5. New Delhi: Concept.
Stoecker, Randy (2012). Research Methods for Community Change Project-Based Approach (2nd edition). Los Angeleses et al.: Sage.

Individual and joint Tutorial, literature work

Reports, study design