Fall 2022 - IS 300 D100

Research Methods in International Studies (4)

Class Number: 5120

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 1325, Vancouver

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 14, 2022
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    HCC 2510, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    IS 101 and 45 units.



Introduces the research enterprise in International Studies.


This course introduces key methodological debates and research methods in social sciences and examines their application in International Studies. It begins with an exploration of the politics, history and main characteristics of social scientific inquiry. In the first half of the course, we will examine concepts such as ontology and epistemology, correlation and causality and unit of analysis, and competing approaches that influence how research questions are posed and research projects are conducted in the social sciences. The second half of the course will focus on various qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods of data collection. Throughout the term, you will participate in several hands-on class activities designed to help you better understand the practicalities of social research and improve your research skills. You will also draft a research proposal related to your own scholarly interests, share your project with peers and receive feedback in an end-of-term workshop.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

• identify common ethical issues involved in social research and develop strategies to address them
• explain and evaluate the strengths and limitations of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods of data collection commonly used in the social sciences
• recognize and critically assess key methodological approaches, assumptions and debates in the social sciences
• demonstrate basic research skills
• formulate an interesting research question and develop a research proposal
• improve their collaborative and interpersonal skills through participating in a group-based survey project


  • Participation 10%
  • 5 Discussion Questions (3% each) 15%
  • Survey Question Design and Pilot (Group Assignment) 15%
  • Ethnographic Field Notes and Self-Reflection 15%
  • Research Proposal 20%
  • Final Exam 25%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



All readings will be made available electronically through Canvas. Students are required to come to class having done all the assigned readings beforehand.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html