Social Sciences Methodology
Cod: 42124
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: Social Sciences
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

The course of Social Sciences Research introduces students to the main methods of social sciences research.  The students should know the different research paradigms and research methods, the different phases and dimensions involved in the research process, from formulating of the research question to the operationalizing a investigative project.
In this sense, are presented the various research techniques and discuss the potential and limitations of the same, according to the design of the research.

The program's contents of this course aim to enable students to develop cases of practical application of different technical and reflect on the ethical issues of research in social sciences.


At the end of the course it is expected that students:
• Featuring some of the methods most used in social sciences research and be able to plan and research methodology options according to thematic and starting issues.

• Comparing different methodologies and identifying their advantages and disadvantages;

• Being able to choose the methodology and techniques most suitable to the research project or applied a proposed case studies.


1. Research in Social Sciences
   1.1. Paradigms of qualitative and quantitative research: variety of perspectives and methodologies
   1.2. Types of research
   1.3. Ethic issues in investigation
   1.4. Planning the research

2. The research process
   2.1. Research questions
   2.2. Objectives
   2.3. Sample cases
   2.4. Hypothesis
   2.5. Schedule

3. Research techniques
   3.1. Documental research

   3.2. Observation: participant and non-participant
   3.3 Questionnaire surveys: face-to-face and online
   3.4. Interviews
   3.5. Life stories and digital narratives
   3.6 Ethnography
   3.7 Ethnomethodology
   3.8 Focus Group

4. Practical case


Basic Bibliography
Beaud, Stéphane; Weber, Florence (2007). Guia para a Pesquisa de Campo – produzir e analisar dados etnográficos, RJ, Editora Vozes
Ferrando, Manuel García; Ibánez y Francisco Alvira (2002) (Comp.). El análisis de la realidad social. Métodos y Técnicas de Investigación. Madrid: Alianza Editorial, 3ª ed.
Kauark, Fabiana Silva, Manhães, Fernanda Castro e Carlos Henrique Medeiros (2010). Metodologia de pesquisa: um guia prático. Itabuna-Bahia: Via Litterarum Editora
Complementary bibliography
ALBARELLO, L., (1997). Práticas e métodos de investigação em Ciências Sociais, Lisboa.
BARDIN, L. Análise de conteúdo, Lisboa, Edições 70, 2000.
BURGESS, R. G. A pesquisa de terreno: Uma introdução. Lisboa: Celta, 1997.
CARMO, Hermano; FERREIRA, Manuela Malheiro; Metodologia da Investigação. Guia para Auto-aprendizagem; Lisboa: Universidade Aberta, 2008
Denzin, Norman K. e Lincoln, Yvonna S. (Eds.). (2005). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-2757-3
FLICK, U. Métodos Qualitativos na Investigação Científica, Lisboa: Monitor, 2005
GHIGLIONE, R., Matalon, B., O inquérito. Teoria e Prática, Oeiras, Celta, 1996.
GUERRA, I., Pesquisa Qualitativa e Análise de Conteúdo. Sentidos e formas de uso, São João do Estoril, Principia, 2006.
LESSARD-HÉBERT, M.; GOYETTE, G. ; BOUTIN, G. —Investigação qualitativa, fundamentos e práticas. Lisboa: Instituto Piaget, 1994.
MUNOZ, J., El método biográfico : El uso de las historias de vida en ciencias sociales Madrid, CIS, 1992.
SILVA, Augusto Santos;  PINTO, José Madureira (orgs.) Metodologia das Ciências Sociais, Porto, Afrontamento, 1987.
QUIVY, Raymond ; VAN CAMPENHOUDT, Luc — Manual de investigação em Ciências Sociais. Lisboa: Gradiva, 1998.
Note: In addition to the books referenced in the bibliography of the curricular unit will be available online texts, articles and links to web pages. The features will be specified in each theme.


Evaluation is made on individual basis and it involves the coexistence of two modes: continuous assessment (60%) and final evaluation (40%). Further information is detailed in the Learning Agreement of the course unit.

Reading competence in English.