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Universidade Lusófona do Porto

Research Methods in Social Sciences


This curricular unit consists in an initiation to the fundaments of academic investigation, focusing on the most used methods in social and business sciences, and particularly in tourism research. More specifically, the curricular unit addresses: general concepts of academic research, an introduction to the scientific method, different research approaches in social sciences, research ethics, and a detailed approach of the social sciences research process. The latter includes the definition of the research question, exploration, problem definition, and planning of data collection and analysis.


Human Resources Management and Development

Level of Qualification|Semesters|ECTS

| Semestral | 5

Year | Type of course unit | Language

1 |Mandatory |Português



Recommended complementary curricular units

This discipline is complementary to all others, as it provides the basic knowledge and develops essential competencies for investigation and general academic work.

Professional Internship



  1. Introduction to methodology
    1. The scientific method
    2. Styles of reasoning
    3. Fallacies
  2. Approaches to research
    1. Quantitative and qualitative
    2. Pure/theoretical and applied
    3. Cross-sectional and longitudinal
  3. Validity and ethics in research
    1. Validity x Truth
    2. Epistemic responsibility
    3. Fraud in research
  4. The research process
    1. Rupture
    2. Construction
    3. Verification
  5. The starting question
    1. Clarity
    2. Feasibility
    3. Relevance
  6. Exploration
    1. Reading
    2. Exploratory Interviews
    3. Citations
  7. The problematic
    1. The analysis model
    2. Hypotheses
    3. Operative and systemic concepts
  8. Data collection and analysis
    1. Definition of relevant data
    2. The field of analysis and the observation units
    3. Collection and analysis instruments


By the end of the course unit, the students are expected to be able to:

  1. Apply basic concepts of research philosophy and critical reasoning to the realization of academic works.
  2. Differentiate between various research approaches and select the most appropriate for their project.
  3. Conduct research that generates valid results in an ethical manner.
  4. Deconstruct a research project between its different stages and acts.
  5. Formulate a clear, feasible and relevant starting question.
  6. Carry out a process of exploration that is appropriate to the research problem.
  7. Define a problematic of study and express it through questions and/or hypotheses.
  8. Select a sample, data collection technique and analysis methods that are appropriate to their project.

Teaching methodologies and assessment

The course’s syllabus is oriented to the absorption of theoretical knowledge, as well as its practical application. Thus, the classes include, in addition to the expository component, exercises aimed at applying the addressed concepts to common research problems in the areas of social and business sciences that arouse greater interest among students. The assessment, in turn, includes four elements: two assignments, a test, and the constant evaluation. The first assignment (20%) consists of analysing an academic article in the light of the introductory contents of the discipline. The final assignment (30%) consists of carrying out an original research project. The test (30%) consists of an objective exam aimed at testing the ability to apply the concepts of methodology to hypothetical cases. Finally, the constant evaluation (20%) considers the participation of students in all sections, especially in the activities undertaken.


  • Adams, J. Hafiz , T.A., Raeside, R. & White , D. (2007). Research methods for graduate business and social science students , New Dehli , Sage Publications
  • Quivy, R. & Campenhoudt , L.V. (2005). Manual de investigação em ciências sociais. Lisboa: Gradiva
  • Barañano, A.M. (2004). Métodos e técnicas de investigação em Gestão. Manual de apoio à realização de trabalhos de investigação. Lisboa: Edições Sílabo.
  • Silva, A. S., & Pinto, J. M. (Eds.). (1999). Metodologia das Ciências Sociais. Porto: Edições Afrontamento

Office Hours

Nome do docente  

Horário de atendimento


Arthur Filipe Barbosa de Araújo

Quinta feira: 16:30 às 17:30