Course code Ekon5146

Credit points 6

Research Design and Methods

Total Hours in Course162

Number of hours for lectures24

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes24

Independent study hours114

Date of course confirmation16.02.2022

Responsible UnitInstitute of Economics and Finance

Course developers

author Ekonomikas un finanšu institūts

Sandija Zēverte-Rivža

Dr. oec.

author Ekonomikas un finanšu institūts

Zane Vītoliņa

Dr. oec.

Prior knowledge

Ekon5089, Macroeconomics Analysis

Ekon5090, Microeconomics Analysis

Ekon5140, Statistical and Econometrical Methods

Course abstract

During the course, master students learn the basic stages of designing a research study, acquire knowledge of the role of science in modern society and get acquainted with general scientific and social research methods. The course also focuses on the principles of developing a theoretical framework for a master's thesis and on sources of information (including digital) for research in social sciences, as well as on the analysis of the structure and content of research results, analysis of scientific publications and preparing them. As a result, knowledge and skills are acquired for the development of a high-quality master's thesis. At the end of the course, master students acquire the skills to independently plan and implement a scientific research. Including the critical selection and use of information, using various methods and IT tools suitable for the purpose of the research study, as well as collecting, interpreting and publishing the results of the research, preparing a scientific publication and presenting their research results.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Students will be able to demonstrate:

Students will obtain knowledge about the types and main stages of research and methods used most commonly in socio-economic research – their types and selection conditions to achieve research goals – independent work, discussions in practicals.
Understand the basic principles for developing a theoretical framework of research and choice of research methods and understand how to analyse and interpret the research results the need and process of publishing the research results – independent work, discussions in practicals.

Gain skills to create the theoretical part of the research, using various, high-quality content and relevant sources of information, including scientific research papers available in databases – independent work, exam-presentation.
Independently design the research according to the specifics of the research – presentation in practicals.
Critically select and choose the ways of obtaining information and suitable methods for processing the information, prepare a scientific publication – independent work, exam-presentation.
Plan and implement the research and choose appropriate research methods and independently obtain, select, systematize necessary information and apply adequate research methods including digital content and IT tools – independent work.

Students will obtain competence to apply and adapt research methods according to the specifics of a particular research study – independent work.
And interpret, structure and format the results of the research using appropriate IT tools, prepare and present a scientific publication – independent work, exam-presentation.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Definition and classification of science. Definition and characteristics of scientific knowledge. (2 hours)
2. Science and university. The most important performance indicators of scientific activity and their evaluation. (2 hours)
3. Basic stages of scientific research. Research design. (2 hours)
4. Relationship between research design types and methods. Identifying data sources and data collection technologies (including digital) and determining the reliability of data sources. Copyright, plagiarism and self-plagiarism, its control and prevention options. (2 hours)
5. Sources of information for research in social sciences. Primary, secondary and tertiary information. Digital literature and statistical databases. Use of statistical databases. (2 hours)
6. Opportunities and challenges of using information technology (IT) and digital content in research. Selection and use of safe and reliable information, risks and their prevention options in IT use. (2 hours)
7. Classification of research methods. Qualitative research methods, Quantitative research methods, Comparison of quantitative and qualitative research methods disadvantages and advantages. (2 hours)
8. General scientific research methods. An in-depth evaluation of the most popular general scientific methods. (2 hours)
9. Quantitative data analysis and analysis methods. Use and analysis of primary, secondary and tertiary data in conducting research. (2 hours)
10. Models, strategic analysis and forecasting methods. Strategic analysis and forecasting. Modeling of dynamic systems. (2 hours)
11. Basic principles of creating the theoretical framework of the research work. Literature selection and use. Technologies in working with literary sources, principles of their selection and evaluation. (2 hours)

12. Analysis of the structure and content of publication of research results. The importance of scientific articles in popularizing science and spreading knowledge. Presentation of research results. (2 hours)

Requirements for awarding credit points

Master thesis design prepared and presented; analysis of the structure and content of the scientific article; scientific publication and presented at the scientific conference for students “Economy. Environment. Society”.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Independent work individually and in a group is elaborated according to the directions provided in e-study system for this study course and presented during the practical work.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

10 points corresponds to 1 grade in a scale of 10. Total maximal amount of points is 100 and they are distributed as follows: design of the master`s thesis; independent work, a presentation 40 points; analysis of the research paper; independent work 20 points; preparation of the scientific publication and presentation in the scientific conference for students “Economics. Environment. Society.” (exam) – 40 points.

Compulsory reading

1. Mārtinsone K., Pipere A. (2021) Zinātniskās darbības metodoloģija: starpdisciplināra perspektīva. Rīga: RSU, 607. lpp.
2. Bui N.Y. (2020) How to Write a Master`s Thesis. Third edition, SAGE, 288 p.
3. Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2018). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Fifth edition. Los Angeles: SAGE, p.275.
4. Mārtinsone, K., Pipere, A., Kamerāde, D. (2016). Pētniecība: teorija un prakse. Rīga: Raka, 546 lpp.
5. Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods, 4th Edition, 809 p.
6. Sekaran U. (2009) Research Methods for Business - John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 468 p.
7. Digitalizācija un sabiedrība (2021) rakstu krājums / zinātniskā redaktore Anda Rožukalne. Rīga: Latvijas Nacionālā bibliotēka, 143 lpp.

8. Salkind N. (2008) Exploring Research. 7th Edition – Pearson Education, 336 p.

Further reading

1. Autortiesību likums. Pieejams:
2. Hakim C. (2000) Research Design: Successful Designs for Social and Economic Research. 2nd Edition. New York: Routledge, 256 p.
3. Wolf C., Joye D., Smith T.W., Fu Yang-chih. (2016) The Sage Handbook of Survey Methodology. Croydon: Sage Publications Ltd, 716 p.
4. Willoughby D. (2015) An Essential Quide to Business Statistics. UK : John Wiley $ Sons, 356 p.
5. Collis J., Hussey R. (2009) Business Research. A Practical Guide for Undergraduate& Postgraduate Students, London, p.376.
6. Fisher C. (2007) Researching and writing dissertation. Second edition. – Pearson Education, 369 p.
7. Ghauri, P., Gronhaug, K. (2010) Research methods in Business studies, 4th edition. Prentice Hall, 288 p.

8. Toepoel V. (2016) Doing Surveys Online. Croydon : Sage Publications Ltd, 258 p.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Eurostat datu bāze. Pieejams:
2. Centrālā statistikas pārvalde. Pieejams:
3. Latvijas Zinātņu akadēmija. Pieejams:
4. Izglītības un zinātnes ministrija. Pieejams:
5. Zinātniskās darbības likums. Pieejams:
6. Reģionālās attīstības indikatoru modelis. Pieejams:

7. Valsts izglītības attīstības aģentūra. Pieejams:


Compulsory course for the ESAF master programme Economics