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Research Methods in International Development


Credits: 6 ECTS

First semester

Compulsory courses




Like many other disciplines, international development studies rely on descriptive and/or causal inferences (e.g. “International vaccination campaigns in Sub-Saharan Africa are a lot more intense now than they were 5 years ago”, or “the main reason why many South American societies are afflicted by violence is to be found in their political systems”). This course teaches you how to critically examine other people’s inferences, as well as how to plan for, and improve, your own inferences. To do so we draw mainly on statistics (i.e. on quantitative methods of inference), though we also cover some ground in qualitative methods.

This course has four goals:

  1. Teach you how to read research articles
  2. Allow you to start thinking methodologically about your own future research
  3. Enable you to apply intermediate methodological skills to professional situations
  4. Set the bases for those who wish to become professional data analysts (see also January mini-course and 2nd-semester electives).


You will be graded on the basis of 3 separate criteria:

  1. Assiduity and participation (20%)
  2. Mid-term exam (30%)
  3. Final exam (50%)

Competences, learning outcomes and teaching activities (PDF)