Advanced Methodological Seminar II
Cod: 23003
Department: DCET
ECTS: 7.5
Scientific area: Environmental Sciences | Social Sciences
Total working hours: 195
Total contact time: 33

The main aim of this curricular unit is the application of research methodologies. It is intended to provide skills for designing tools for information collection and quantitative and qualitative data analysis. Thus, there will be in this seminar one mandatory module and two optional modules: 1) Open access statistical and geographic databases (mandatory); 2a) Research by questionnaire and statistical data processing (optional); 2b) Methods of collection and qualitative analysis (optional).
The first module addresses the research and collection of open data as a way of framing and studying the research problematic in space and time. The work applies to population exposure to natural disasters, resorting to the research of statistical and cartographic information available online or through open source software. The aim is to develop skills to search and analyse the evidence and conditioning factors to explain the consequences of natural disasters on populations.
The following modules (2a and 2b) are optional, but the choice of one of the options is mandatory. In module 2a important concepts and methods in quantitative and mixed studies are covered. Emphasis is placed on the questionnaire as a data collection instrument, the type of questions and types of responses, relationship to statistical variables and criteria for validity and reliability of this data collection instrument. Statistical methods for data processing are then covered with practical application using IBM SPSS software, namely Descriptive Statistics and topics in statistical testing, using correlation analysis and tests for comparing groups. The practical component of the module aims to illustrate the processing of data resulting from a questionnaire survey. This learning will be applied to the final work of the course unit and to the thesis work. In Module 2b we look at the data collection and analysis processes used in qualitative methodologies. We will begin by identifying the different instruments that enable the collection of qualitative data. Next, we will learn about the different stages that make up the process of analysing the data collected.

Research design
Research tools and techniques
Natural hazards
Statistical methods

1. Development of analytical, assessment and critical reflection skills;
2. Development of skills for the design of information collection instruments in the framework of research in development and sustainability;
3. Development of qualitative and quantitative analysis skills in the framework of research in development and sustainability;
4. Development of skills and competences to perform research autonomously

M1: Open access statistical and geographic databases
M2 (op): Research by questionnaire and statistical processing of data 
M3 (op): Methods of collection and qualitative analysis .

Bardin, L. (2013). Análise de conteúdo, Lisboa: Edições 70.

Cohen, L.; Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2007). Research Methodology in Education,

London and New York: Routledge.

Hongjian Zhou; Jing’ai Wang; Jinhong Wan & Huicong Jia (2010). Resilience to natural hazards: a geographic perspective. Natural Hazards, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp. 21-41.

Johannessen, Å.; Wamsler, C.; Becker, Fredby, J.; Castell, O.; Rottier, E.; Sivertun, Å.; Björklund, G. & Roffey, R. (2014). Water and Risk: Developing Sustainable and Resilient Communities, Swedish Water House Policy Report/SIWI.

Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content Analysis. An Introduction to its Methodology, Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Mulligan, G.F.; Crampton, J.P. (2005). Population growth in the world’s largest cities, Cities 22 (5), 365-380.

Pereira, A. & Patrício, T. (2013). SPSS: guia prático de utilização: análise de dados para Ciências Sociais e Psicologia. 8.ª ed. Lisboa: Sílabo. ISBN 978-972-618-736-3. 256p.

Pinto, Ricardo R. Introdução à Análise de Dados Com Recurso ao SPSS, Edições Sílabo. ISBN: 978.972.618.692.2.

UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) (2015). Sendai Sari, W.E. & Galhofer; I.N. (2014). Design, Evaluation, and Analysis of Questionnaires for Survey Research, New Jerseey: Wiley.

UNDRR (2015) Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015–2030.

Twigg, J. (2015). Disaster Risk Reduction: Mitigation and Preparedness in Development and Emergency Programming. Humanitarian Practice Network, Overseas Development Institute, ISBN: 0850036941.


The continuous assessment is based on student participation in the forums and submission of individual assignments.
Assessment parameters for participation in the discussions: Participation in the discussions developing personal comments, revealing the identification of the fundamental ideas of the texts under analysis/discussion; contributions which deepen the discussion, justify their points of view based on bibliography; raise new questions and pertinent points of view which allow the discussion to progress; questions incoherent or contradictory contributions.
Assessment parameters of written texts: clarification and delimitation of the scope of the topic; clear structuring; capacity in the collection and processing of data; knowledge of the concepts worked in the module; ability to problematize, reflect and elaborate ideas based on the concepts and themes covered in the modules.
The final individual assessment is divided into the following parts:
- individual contributions in module 1 - max. 5 points;
- individual contributions in module 2a or 2b - max. 15 points.