Research Design in political communication and media studies

Period of duration of course
Course info
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Type of exam



Hans-Jörg Trenz


Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"


The seminar has a crash course format and is organized into three full-day meeting according to the schedule provided below. Each student will be assigned two discussants, but all will be welcome to comment orally and in written form. 40 minutes will be assigned to each PhD student, with 6 minutes of presentation, 7 minutes to each of the discussants and 20 minutes for further comments from the rest of the audience. Students are require to upload the following type of documents to google drive: the research proposal (for I year PhD students); one PhD chapter or PhD-related article and a five page summary of the PhD (for II-III PhD students). All PhD supervisees are asked to participate (also IV year PhD students).

Educational aims

The aim is to provide a common space to the PhD students of the first three years, working on comparative politics, political communication and cultural studies, to present and discuss the development of their thesis projects to an audience made of professors, post-doctoral fellows as well as of their peers. Besides improving reciprocal knowledge and potential networking, the research design course aims at discussing, with reference to the specific projects, the main steps in the development of a research design: from the selection of the central research questions, to their theoretical framing, the case selection, the choice of the empirical methods of investigation, the challenges of fieldwork, and the analysis and presentation of the results. Involving participants at different stages of their academic experiences, the seminar also offers the opportunity to develop PhD’s skills in not only discussing, but also constructively contributing to each other research, both during the sessions and in successive informal, face-to-face or small groups, occasions, that are in part already ongoing and that we hope to stimulate further.