Spring 2022 - IS 300 D100

Research Methods in International Studies (4)

Class Number: 5303

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    HCC 1530, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    IS 101 and 45 units.



Introduces the research enterprise in International Studies.


This course introduces students to the logic of social inquiry. The first half covers the fundamentals of research. Students learn how to identify puzzles, formulate research questions, and review the literature for the answers previous studies offer. The second half focuses on how scholars design new research to build on existing works to advance knowledge further. Accordingly, the weekly classes in the second half assist students in writing their own research proposals, which employ qualitative, quantitative, experimental or mixed methods. The classes cover the philosophies that underlie each method, and demonstrate how methods can often complement each other. Students thus learn how to utilize the strengths of each method, while developing a more encompassing perspective on social research.


By the end of the course, students will

• the logic of social inquiry,
• explanatory traditions in social sciences,
• major methodological approaches in social sciences,
• qualitative and quantitative data collection methods,
• in-depth knowledge of methods specific to their research project,
• the ethical and political dimensions of political science research, and
• the issues involved in writing up research reports and theses.

Further, students will be able to:

• demonstrate analytical skills in evaluating research design and practice,
• create their own research questions, and research designs,
• demonstrate the theoretical underpinnings of their chosen approach, and
• use library and electronic resources, and locate appropriate materials.


  • Short Research Proposal 10%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Forum Participation 10%
  • Review Paper 10%
  • Full Research Proposal 20%
  • Final Exam 30%


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.



Bryman, Alan; and Edward Bell. 2019. Social Research Methods: Canadian Edition [5th Canadian edition]. Oxford University Press.

Kellstedt, Paul M.; and Guy D. Whitten. 2018. The Fundamentals of Political Science Research [3rd edition]. Cambridge University Press.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.