701-0729-00L  Social Research Methods

SemesterSpring Semester 2022
LecturersM. Stauffacher, A. Bearth, M. Marti
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman
CommentOnly for Environmental Sciences BSc.


AbstractThe aim of this course is to convey methodological principles of social science research and thus to encourage critical reflection on social science findings. The course provides an insight into the concrete procedure and methods of guideline-based interview techniques and questionnaire research.
ObjectiveThe students can
- describe the importance of method-based procedures in social science.
- explain basic principles of social science research.
- critically read reports in the media on the results of social science research.
- conduct small interviews and questionnaire surveys.
ContentAll participants commit themselves to active participation in the form of three exercises (guideline-based interview, creation of questionnaires, survey and evaluation of questionnaires).

Content overview:
(1) Why empirical (social) research?
(2) Overview of the research process, linking qualitative and quantitative methods
(3) Guided interviews: creating guidelines, conducting and evaluating them
(4) Questionnaire: Develop hypotheses, create questionnaire, conduct, analyse data, and present results.
Lecture notesThe lecturers work with slides that are handed out as handouts.
LiteratureThe following book can be recommended as supplementary reading:
Bryman, A. (2012, 4th edition). Social research methods. New York: Oxford University Press.