Qualitative and/or Quantitative Research Methods requirement within the Social Sciences

Applicants to the MSc in Security Risk Management must prove that their qualifying bachelor degree contains a minimum of 15 ECTS in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods within the social sciences.

Issues within Security Risk Management can be studied from a number of different angles, and it is necessary to be familiar with qualitative and/or quantitative ways of collecting and analyzing data when studying and working in the field. It is therefore a requirement that applicants prove that they have abilities within qualitative and/or quantitative research methods. This includes both research design and application of qualitative and/or quantitative research methods within the social sciences.

The main requirement is that they provide knowledge of the characteristics of the different methods and how to apply the methods to study a given subject area as well as an ability to consider any given study or data set critically, on the basis of the applied method of data collection and analysis.

Courses within qualitative and/or quantitative research methods most often consists of one or more of the following: 

  • An introduction to research design in political science and the social sciences in general and the related reflections on research questions, choice of research method, data collection and analysis.
  • Thorough and nuanced knowledge of the possibilities and limitations in using qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.
  • Data gathering, pre-processing and analysis using statistical software (such as SPSS, Stata, SAS, or R).
  • A thorough introduction and practical experience in conducting qualitative interviews and content coding interview material.
  • Introduction to qualitative methods other than interviewing such as participant observation, ethnographic field studies  or discourse analysis within the social sciences.

How to prove this criteria when applying?

Each applicant is required to write a short description (approximately 1-2 pages) of how the requirement of 15 ECTS of qualitative and/or quantitative research methods within the social sciences is covered in the qualifying bachelor degree

In order to get a thorough assessment the applicant is encouraged to write specific how the applicant meet this criteria. This is done by using an official course description and at the same time explaining how much the course focused on qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.

Some applicants have taken specific courses which covers this criteria. These courses often bear the title of “qualitative/quantitative/research methods”, but could also have other titles.

Other applicants have used quantitative and/or qualitative research methods as part of their studies even though they have not taken a specific methodology course. For example as part of a theme-based course or final project during their bachelor degree.

Examples of quantitative research methods within the social sciences:

  • Descriptive statistics
  • ANOVA
  • Linear Regression (OLS)
  • Logistic regression

Examples of qualitative research methods within the social sciences: 

  • Interviews
  • Case studies
  • Process tracing
  • Ethnographic field studies

Examples of what is not considered as qualitative and/or quantitative research methods in political science:

  • Historical methods
  • Qualitative methods in legal studies
  • Philosophy of science
  • Econometrics