• Offered by Department of International Relations
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject International Relations

This course draws on social science generally and International Relations more specifically to provide students with the skills to ‘discern, evaluate and construct knowledge claims, evidence-based arguments, and methodologically sound work’. It recognises that particular epistemologies can favour particular modes of analysis and data gathering, but also explains how methods for generating research findings can then be open to multiple strategies for analysis. It examines the methodologies of research design, qualitative and quantitative methods of data gathering, forms of measurement, and modes of analysis and synthesis of research results. The course is not designed as a methods course in the abstract. Rather it is designed to enhance students’ capacity to deal with the design and methodological challenges of their thesis research.

Learning Outcomes

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

Students who engage fully and successfully with this course, including satisfying all course requirements, will be able to:
1. demonstrate a sound knowledge and a critical understanding of research design and methods
2. apply that knowledge to the development of their doctoral research proposal in line with progress towards their Thesis Proposal Review
3. communicate their critical understanding of research design and methods in a clear and concise way through a series of assignments and participation in seminars

Indicative Assessment

1. Two (2) literature reviews of required seminar readings (900 words each, 15% each)
2. An essay from a list of questions provided by the course convenor  (2500 words, 40%)
3. A draft of a student's methods section for their TPR in discussion (1700 words, 30%)

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.


2-hour weekly seminar (x 12). Six hours of independent research a week. Average of two hours a week for written work preparation

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with INTR8072

Preliminary Reading

Gschwend, Thomas and Frank Schimmelfennig (2007) 'Introduction: designing research in political science - a dialogue between theory and data' in Thomas Gschwend and Frank Schimmelfennig (eds) Research design in political science: how to practice what they preach (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

Maxwell, Joseph A. (2013) Qualitative research design: an interactive approach, 3rd edition (London: Sage Publications) - chapter 3: Conceptual framework: what do you think is going on?

Mahoney, James (2007) 'Qualitative methodology and comparative politics', Comparative Political Studies 40: 2, 122-44

Fearon, James S. (1991) 'Counter-factuals and hypothesis testing in political science', World Politics 43:2, 169-85

Grix, Jonathan (2002) 'Introducing students to the generic terminology of social research', Politics, 22:3, 175-86

Levy, Jack S. (2008) 'Case Studies: Types, Designs, and Logics
of Inference', Conflict Management and Peace Science, 25:1, 1 - 18

George, Alexander L. and Andrew Bennett (2004) Case studies and theory development in the social sciences (Cambridge, MASS: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs) - chapter 3: The method of structured focused comparison

Klotz, Audie (2008) 'Case selection' in Audie Klotz and Deepa Prakash (eds) Qualitative methods in International Relations: a pluralist guide (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan).

Collier, David (2011) 'Understanding process tracing', PS: Political Science and Politics, 44: 4, 823-30

Checkel, Jeffrey T. (2005) It's the process stupid! process tracing in the study of European and international politics, Working Paper no. 26 (Oslo: Centre for European Studies).

Assumed Knowledge

This course is intended for higher degree research (HDR) students. As such the course assumes prior knowledge to the level of University entry requirements for doctoral studies of H2A at Honours or equivalent in a cognate discipline.


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:
6 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.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $3660
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $5160
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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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.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9174 01 Jul 2018 01 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 31 Dec 2018 In Person N/A

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