Learning how to do a proper research

At the end of most university programs, it is required from you to write a thesis. However, before you do that it is important to get to know the methods of how you can do a proper research so that you can chose the best fitting method for your thesis research. This is what the Theory and Research Methods was about.

Starting with a theoretical introduction into qualitative and quantitative methods, my expectations of actually learning something new were quite low. It comes from my previous experience from Czech republic, where we did not really learn much in a similar course. Also, I had already written a bachelor thesis so I felt quite experienced. However, I was pleasantly surprised and my expectations were surpassed.

The first part of the course was dedicated to qualitative research where we learned different methods such as focus groups, which we got to try in class, interviews and content analysis which we had to do as an assignment. We received a valuable feedback to our work from our classmates as well from the teachers which should have helped us in the thesis if we chose those methods. The second part of the course was about quntitative research in which we had an intense week of hands-on classes where we learnt how to work with the statistical program STATA and tried out different statistical methods needed for a good quantitative analysis. Following we had 3 assignments which were basically reproducing what we did in class on different examples. The ending point of the course was our draft thesis proposal, which had to obtain the introduction with research questions, few pages of literature review and a methodology part. We got an evaluation of this proposal from 3 teachers – our course coordinator, our examiner and our thesis course coordinator.

Overall I must admit that I have definitely learned alot of new things, it was very hands-on so that we could understand and try out each method. I feel like we have received a lot of valuable feedback which is due to the oppositions from our classmates (required for every assignment) but also of course from the teachers. It was fun to meet alot of new teachers since each method was introduced to us by a different one. My final message to you, the future students, is to not be affraid of the thesis even if you have not written one before because you will be well prepared for it when the time comes! And also, think about your topics already from Christmas since it will really make it easier for you!

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