Subject: Research Methodologies in Social Sciences

Scientific Area:

Educational Sciences


27 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Distinguish the great paradigms: positivist and post-positivist research (quantitative, qualitative and mixed)
2 - Distinguish and describe social research methods;
3 - Recognize the potentialities and contexts of applicability of the three research paradigms to the phenomena of education in social contexts and community development;
4 - Analyze critically research work in community development n according to those paradigms;
5 - Build quantitative and qualitative data collection tools;
6 - Select techniques of data analysis;
7 - Use techniques for validation and analysis of data collection instruments;
8 - Mobilize appropriate methodological frameworks for researching specific educational settings of community development;
9 - Know and know how to equate the ethical issues of social research.


1 - Main paradigms of social research and its methodologies and techniques, quantitative, qualitative and mixed;
2 - Descriptive study, experimental study and quasi-experimental study; sampling, structured interviewing and questionnaires;
3 - Sample and participants. Probabilistic and non-probabilistic sampling methods;
4 - Ethnography and participant observation, case study, action research, narrative research, historical research, grounded theory; focus group;
5 - The problem, the theory and the research questions;
6 - Collection and analysis of quantitative data (descriptive and inferential statistics; parametric and non-parametric methods of analysis);
7 - Collection and analysis of qualitative data (categories, criteria, triangulation and interpretation of results);
8 - Construction and validation of instruments. Internal and external validity, reliability and generalization;
9 - Ethical issues of social research.


Amado, J. (Coord.). , 2014 , Manual de Investigação Qualitativa em Educação , Imprensa da Universidade de Coimbra.
Coutinho, C. P. , 2011 , Metodologia de Investigação em Ciências Sociais e Humanas: Teoria e Prática , Livraria Almedina.
Bryman, A. , 2001 , Social Research Methods , Oxford University Press.
Hoy, W. & Adams, C. , 2015 , Quantitative Research in Education , SAGE Publications
Marôco, J. P., & Bispo, R. , 2010 , Estatística Aplicada às Ciências Sociais e Humanas , Climepsi.
Pestana, M. & Gageiro, J. , 2014 , Análise de Dados para Ciências Sociais ? A Complementariedade do SPSS. , Edições Sílabo
Sabirón Sierra, F. , 2007 , Métodos de investigación etnográfica en Ciencias Sociales , Mira Editores
Spicer, N. (Ed.). , 2004 , Combining qualitative and quantitative methods , SAGE Publications
Torres, L. L. & Palhares, J. A. (Orgs). , 2014 , Metodologia de Investigação em Ciências Sociais da Educação , Húmus

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
In addition to the use of oral exposition and debates based on the reading of texts, followed by group and plenary discussion, some content analysis techniques based on specific software will be explored. In addition to participating in classroom activities, which will account for 10% of the final assessment, students are divided into three groups, each of them preparing and presenting a simulation of a research project centered on the use of a quantitative, qualitative or mixed, respectively, whose presentation will be worth 40%, and they will also write an individual work, which will be worth 50%, on one of the UC contents indicated by the teacher. The assessment of students also presupposes a frequency of 75% of the classes taught.