Course code Soci6001

Credit points 20

Master Thesis

Total Hours in Course800

Independent study hours800

Date of course confirmation06.10.2020

Responsible UnitInstitute of Social Sciences and Humanities

Course developer

author Sociālo un humanitāro zinātņu institūts

Līga Paula

Dr. sc. soc.

Course abstract

The aim of the master’s thesis is to prove the student’s competence to independently conduct a reasoned research in sociology on a topical scientific and / or professional problem, applying in depth theoretical knowledge what is acquired in the study process, as well as professional skills and competence. The master’s thesis is a research, performed independently by a master student confirming that the master student has acquired theoretical knowledge, methodical and organisational skills in sociology of organizations and public administration to the extent defined by the study programme. The master thesis indicates the master student’s ability to conduct research with elements of novelty or practical use and to draw conclusions independently. The topic of the master’s thesis should be chosen in accordance with the specifics and content framework of the academic master’s study programme “Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration”, focusing on the following research directions: organizational and public administration or current processes in Latvian regions and their rural areas. The results of the master’s thesis must be substantiated and argued, as well as based on the application of modern and appropriate research methods.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge. In-depth knowledge of the level of research of the master's thesis topic and its perspective directions in the field of organizations and public administration. In-depth and structured knowledge of the organization and practical implementation of sociological research in the study of organizations and social processes. Understanding of the basic principles of developing the theoretical framework of research and the use of appropriate sociological concepts and information sources. Knowledge of the types of data collection and analysis methods, understanding of the conditions for their selection to achieve the goal set in the master’s thesis. (Master’s thesis, master’s thesis reviews, master’s thesis defense)

Skills. Ability to implement analytically critical and high-quality review of theoretical literature and other sources of information (including those in foreign languages), ensuring the achievement of the goal set in the research. Ability to create an appropriate research design, to select and to use the most appropriate data collection and analysis methods and to follow the principles of research ethics. Ability to develop a link between theoretical framework of the research and the empirical results by using appropriate theoretical findings for in-depth analysis of the research results. Ability to discuss the theoretical findings and the results of empirical research relevant to the topic of the master’s thesis. Ability to develop sound conclusions and relevant proposals to solve the identified problems. Ability to publicly present and discuss research results. (Master’s thesis, master’s thesis reviews, master’s thesis defense)

Competence. Ability to formulate and critically analyze complex problems in sociology of organizations and public administration, to offer reasonable conclusions and proposals within the studied research topic. Ability to integrate knowledge from different fields and contribute to the creation of new knowledge, improvement of research methods. Ability to critically evaluate the potential impact of research results on society. (Master’s thesis, master’s thesis reviews, master’s thesis defense)

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Selection of the topic for the master’s thesis, coordination with the supervisor and approval of the topic by the institute.
2. Getting acquainted with the methodological guidelines for the development and defense of the master’s thesis.
3. Elaboration of the master’s thesis research design and research program.
4. Literature studies, analysis of theoretical sources and previous research.
5. Development of research methodology.
6. Data collection, processing and analysis of empirical data.
7. Development of conclusions and proposals.
8. Approbation of master’s thesis and submission for pre-defense.
9. Improvement and design of the master’s thesis.
10. Master’s thesis submission process and submission for review.
11. Defense of the master’s thesis in the Master’s Examination Commission.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Developed and successfully defended master’s thesis in the Master’s Examination Commission. The work has previously successfully passed the pre-defense procedure at the institute, where a recommendation for defense has been received. The master’s thesis is evaluated on a 10-point scale, the evaluation is an accumulative average evaluation from the master's thesis reviews and the master's thesis defense in Master’s Examination Commission.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

During the semester:
1. Master students critically evaluate the level of previously conducted research on the topic of the master’s thesis, theoretical sources in sociology and other fields related with the master's thesis topic, develop the theoretical framework for the empirical research.
2. In order to achieve the goal of the research, master students develop an appropriate research design and research methodology.
3. Master students carry out their empirical research and perform the analysis of the research data accordingly to the theoretical framework, as a result of which they develop conclusions and proposals.
4. The technical design of the master's thesis is performed in accordance with the requirements of the methodological guidelines.
5. Master students prepare a reasoned presentation to introduce Master’s Examination Commission with the research results, prepare answers to the review questions.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

The master’s thesis is evaluated on a 10-point scale, the evaluation is an accumulative average evaluation from the master’s thesis reviews and the master’s thesis defense in Master’s Examination Commission.

Compulsory reading

1. Bryman, A. Social Research Methods. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. 540 p.
2. Creswell, J. W. Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches, 4th ed. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: SAGE Publications, 2014. 342 p. http://fe.unj.ac.id/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Research-Design_Qualitative-Quantitative-and-Mixed-Methods-Approaches.pdf
3. ESAF OSPS maģistra darbu izstrādes metodiskie norādījumi. http://www.esaf.llu.lv/lv/studiju-un-reglamentejosie-dokumenti
4. Lebrun, J.L. Scientific Writing: A Reader and Writer’s Guide. London, Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Co, 2007. Pieejams: http://sina.sharif.edu/~hatef/files/Scientific%20Writing-%20A%20Reader%20and%20Writer%E2%80%99s%20Guide%20-%209812701443.pdf
5. Luke S. Academic Writing. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2013, 132 p. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē: https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.llu.lv/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xww&AN=816736&site=ehost-live&scope=site&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_C
6. Mārtinsone, K., Pipere, A. (zina.red.) Zinātniskā rakstīšana un pētījumu rezultātu izplatīšana. Rīga: RSU, 2018. 301 lpp.
7. Mārtinsone, K. (sast.) Ievads pētniecībā: stratēģijas, dizaini, metodes. Rīga: RaKa, 2011. 284 lpp.
8. Silverman, D. (eds) Qualitative Research: Therory, Method and Practice. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE, 2004. 390 p.
9. Titscher S., Meyer M., Wodak R., Vetter E. Methods of Text and Discourse Analysis. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: SAGE, 2000. 288 p.
10. Toepoel, V. Doing surveys online. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: SAGE Publications. 2015. 280 p.
11. Woodfield K. The Ethics of Online Research. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing Limited (Advances in Research Ethics and Integrity), 2018. 268 p. Pieejams elektroniski LLU EBSCOhost datubāzē: https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.llu.lv/login.aspx?direct=true&db=e000xww&AN=1577428&site=ehost-live&scope=site&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_1

Further reading

1. Eko, U. Kā uzrakstīt diplomdarbu. Rīga: Jāņa Rozes apgāds, 2006. 319 lpp.
2. Kristapsone, S. Zinātniskā pētniecība studiju procesā. Rīga: Biznesa augstskola Turība, 2008. 349 lpp.
3. Kroplijs, A.. Raščevska, M. Kvalitatīvās pētniecības metodes sociālajās zinātnēs. Rīga: Raka, 2004. 178 lpp.
4. Akadēmiskā godīguma terminu vārdnīca. Akadēmiskā godīguma vispārējās
vadlīnijas. Uzziņu izdevums. Rīga: RTU Izdevniecība, 2020. 161 lpp. Pieejams: https://ebooks.rtu.lv/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/02/9789934224324_Akademiska-godiguma-terminu-vardnica_visparejas-vadlinijas_PDF-1.pdf
5. Wolf, C., Joye, D., Smith, W.T., Fu, Y. (Eds.). The SAGE handbook of survey methodology. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Singapore: SAGE Publications, 2016. 740 p.

Periodicals and other sources

1. The British Journal of Sociology. Online ISSN:1468-4446. Pieejams: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14684446
2. Organization Studies. ISSN (printed): 0170-8406. ISSN (electronic): 1741-3044. Pieejams: http://oss.sagepub.com
3. LLU sociālās zinātnes. Pieejams: http://socialsciences.llu.lv/en
4. Humanities and Social Sciences: Latvia. ISSN 1022-4483 Pieejams: https://doi.org/10.22364/hssl
5. Latvijas Universitātes Raksti. Socioloģija. Rīga: Latvijas Universitāte. ISSN 1407-2157. Pieejams: https://dspace.lu.lv/dspace/handle/7/1887

Notes

Compulsory study course in the ESAF academic master study programme “Sociology of Organizations and Public Administration”.