08829 - Social Research Methodology

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Science Of Lifelong Educational Processes (cod. 8780)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able: to know the methodological issues related to sociological research in formal and informal training environments; - to know the main research designs and both quantitative and qualitative methods of research; - to know tools and methods to realize empirical research on training policies, the market and work organizations; - to make a connection between multiple variables to perform complex analysis of adult education and training phenomena; - to design a case study to deepen the knowledge of social phenomena related to the training dynamics and reflect autonomously upon them; - to structure a social research project presentation and report on progress the results of an empirical research; - to communicate clearly and correctly the results of an social research using different communication channels and registers

Course contents

1. The paradigms of social research

2. Quantitative and qualitative research

3. The empirical translation of the theory

4. Survey method

5. Official statistics

6. Participant observation

7. Qualitative interview

8. Document analysis

9. Monovariate analysis

10. Bivariate analysis


Corbetta P., Metodologia e tecniche della ricerca sociale, Bologna, Il Mulino, 2014 (second edition):

chap 1, chap. 2, chap. 3, chap. 5, chap. 6, chap. 8, chap. 10, chap. 11, chap 12, chap. 13 (all except sections 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 9.1, 9.2, 11.1), chap. 14 (all except sections 3, 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.2, 7.3)

Teaching methods

Lessons will be held in presence. During the course some lessons will be dedicated to practical exercises and data analysis exercises.

Assessment methods

The assessment of learning takes place through the final exam, which verifies the acquisition of knowledge through a written test. There are no differences between attending and non-attending students.

Specifications of the examination

The test will consist of 10 multiple choice questions (for each question, you have to select the only correct answer out of the 4 proposed and no points will be deducted in case of wrong answer), 2 open questions and 2 data analysis exercises. The maximum time to complete this test is 70 minutes. The final score will be based half on the multiple choice questions and half on the open questions/exercises.

Further specifications

During the test, students are allowed to use the calculator that performs only this function (e.g. it is not possible to use the calculator of smartphone/tablet/laptop). The exam result is communicated to the student by Almaesami; students can accept or refuse the score within the terms provided by the University Didactic Regulations.

For Erasmus students

The exam for Erasmus students will be reduced and will consist of 10 multiple choice questions, 1 open-ended question and 1 data analysis exercise. The maximum time to complete this test is 50 minutes.

In addition, incoming international students can contact the lecturer at the beginning of the course to define an alternative bibliography in English language.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, PC, IOL platform. 

Office hours

See the website of Pasquale Colloca