• Offered by Policy and Governance Program
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest International Relations, Political Sciences
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Yusaku Horiuchi
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2015
    See Future Offerings
“If you could learn only one thing in graduate school, it should be how to do scholarly research” (Garry King)
POGO 8196 is a graduate-level introduction to empirical research in political science. Designed for PhD students who are beginning their dissertation projects, the aim of the course is to give students the tools to pose focused research questions, develop answers with theoretical frameworks, formulate and re?ne concepts, construct valid and reliable measures, and ?nally, to gather data. While other methodology courses teach students how to analyse data, POGO 8196 emphasizes the process of developing research questions and gathering high quality data for answering them.
More so, this course focuses more narrowly on the issues, problems, and strategies related to “small-n” qualitative research, for the most part setting aside the techniques of large-N statistical analysis, which are best taught in a separate course (including the positivist research design segment by Professor Horiuchi in July).
The course commences on Monday 23 February and concludes on Monday 30 March, when the final assessment is due. Lectures are from 9am to 4pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, beginning on Monday 23 February and concluding on Friday 6 March. There will be one more full day in mid-late March, during which students will present an initial research design for comment, prior to submitting a full research design paper as the final assessment at the end of March.
1. This course is offered as part of the Postgraduate Training in Politics and Policy (PTPP) Program jointly organized by the Crawford School of Public Policy (CAP) and the School of Politics and International Relations (CASS). The program, however, is open to any postgraduate student in the social sciences.
2. POGO8196 is comprised of two different sections. The first is in February/March, as described below. The second is in June/July, run by Professor Yusaku Horiuchi. The second section covers positivist quantitative research, including experiments, natural experiments and synthetic design. More details regarding section two will be available in the first quarter of 2015.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. formulate their own research question and choose an appropriate research design to examine the question
  2. assess conditions under which one can properly apply tools for measurement, and systematic ways to make inference and interpret data
  3. undertake critical evaluations of methodological issues and problems in existing empirical research
  4. understand various philosophical issues underlying different research approaches
  5. consider a variety of approaches to research in social sciences and locate their own research within these approaches.


In addition the class will also cover several more practical elements, enabling students to:

  1. think about the challenges of field work, including the ethical review process at ANU
  2. develop, refine and present a draft research proposal for their own original research
  3. develop awareness of resources for PhD study develop the academic and research skills for success in the proposal, and the PhD generally.

Other Information

If you are not studying in a program at the Crawford School of Public Policy, please seek permission to enrol from the course convenor.  If you intend to undertake major research, you are encouraged to take POGO8096 in Semester 1.

Delivery mode:

On Campus.  5 days of intensive lectures. All lecture notes (PowerPoint slides) and audio recordings will be uploaded to Wattle after each lecture.

In addition, students are required to attend academic and research skills workshops, group discussion sessions, and end-of-semester presentation sessions.

Indicative Assessment

The course is graded as a Pass/Non-pass. The following grade distribution gives an indication of how the decision will be made regarding pass or non-pass.

Participation                                                    35%                

Assignment #1                                                5%

Assignment #2                                                5%

Assignment #3                                                5%

Assignment #4                                                5%

Research Design Paper                                 45%

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The POGO 8196 course is designed as an intensive learning experience. Each day of the taught course will feature introductory lectures, but you will learn primarily by reading and then discussing that material with your instructor, tutor and classmates. Accordingly, there is a lot of reading for this course. It is expected that you do these readings on the course free days/weekends so that you can discuss the content in class/tutorial the next day. If possible, it is advisable to allocate the week prior to lectures to read. Small assignments are due throughout the two weeks of lectures. These are targeted to reinforce the course content and link it closely to the research proposal. The aim is that by the end of the course you will have the major building blocks for a first draft thesis proposal for oral presentation and subsequent submission for assessment.

Prescribed Texts

There is no official textbook for the class; instead we will draw on different readings for each lecture. Most of these are drawn from books that are placed on reserve in the library. That said I would encourage you to consider purchasing the following  books as permanent resource for your ongoing PhD research. The Goertz and Mahoney book is the unofficial textbook for the course, and therefore I strongly encourage you to purchase this book.

·         Goertz, G & Mahoney, J 2012, A Tale of Two Cultures. Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences, Princeton University Press, Princeton.

·         Brady, HE & Collier, D (eds) 2010, Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards (2nd edition), Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, Maryland.

·         Gerring, J 2012, Social Science Methodology. A Unified Framework (2nd edition), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

·         King, G, Keohane, RO & Verba, S 1994, Designing Social Inquiry: Scientific Inference in Qualitative Research. Princeton University Press, Princeton. 

Preliminary Reading

A full syllabus with all required and recommended readings is available. Please contact the Course Convenor to obtain this.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $7524
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $9132
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2138 16 Feb 2015 06 Mar 2015 31 Mar 2015 29 May 2015 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions