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SMLC7003. Research Methods (The Humanities and the Area Studies)

This course is designed to prepare students with the methodological skills to conduct research in the humanities and area studies fields. It builds from an appreciation of the growing importance of interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches to academic research and is designed to introduce students to the variety of different methods they may encounter in their graduate studies and future career.


  1. Provide students with knowledge of the core components of research methods commonly used in the humanities and areas studies for writing doctoral and masters level theses.
  2. Provide students with the capacity to use several of these methods at a sophisticated level.

Course Syllabus

The following topics will be covered in the course:

  1. Critical reading practices.
  2. Analyzing and appraising theories and models.
  3. Effective use of archives.
  4. Effective techniques for oral history, interviews and focus groups.
  5. Strategies for managing questionnaires and forms.
  6. Merits and deficits of different methodological approaches (i.e. case studies, thematic methodology, conceptual methodology, chronology and genealogy, etc).
  7. Developing methods for efficient, retrievable organization of data.
  8. Researching in multi-lingual contexts.
  9. Challenges of adopting multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary methods.

Mode of Assessment

Assessment will be by coursework on a Pass/Fail basis.

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