Course Code


Course Name

Social Science Research Methods and China Studies


Tuesday 10:30-1:15


HYS_G06 or Zoom


Prof. Pierre Miège

Teaching Assistant

Ka Wai WU

Course Description

This course prepares advanced CCS major undergraduate students on the social science stream to research for their final year capstone research projects. The main product of the course will be a research proposal that will be ideally followed through to develop the final year paper to be submitted at the end of Term II. There are three aims to the course: 1) to gain familiarity with research methods of the various disciplines in the humanities; 2) to explore several styles of scholarship; 3) to learn how to undertake an advanced university-level research project and produce an interesting, productive research proposal.

This workshop-style class will guide students to reach this objective step by step. Students will be introduced to fundamental concepts in qualitative and quantitative research methods and designs in the social sciences. These concepts will be discussed practically, by making students begin thinking about their own research topic, and by conducting data collection and analysis exercises. The mode of instruction is highly interactive and requires students to actively participate in class discussions, complete research exercises, make presentations, conduct peer review, and continuous work on their own projects. In the end of this course, students are required to present a revised research proposal, identifying interesting topics, compiling references, making bibliographies, formulating research questions, choosing appropriate research methods, and writing up research plans and goals.

Course Outline

Week 1 (Sep. 5)            Introduction: Research on China

  • Research Exercise I: Library Research


Week 2 (Sep. 12)          Research Matters

  • Research Exercise II: Research ethics training


Week 3 (Sep. 19)          Academic Writing

  • Presentation on Academic Writing


Week 4 (Sep. 26)         Designing a Research Project


Week 5 (Oct. 3)             Literature Review and Finding Sources

  • Research Exercise III


Week 6 (Oct. 10)          Survey Research

  • Research Exercise IV


Week 7 (Oct. 17)          Interview

  • Research Exercise V


Week 8 (Oct. 24)         Research Week

  • NO meeting in class
  • An e-copy (.doc) of Project Outline is to be submitted to Blackboard by noon, Oct. 30 or Oct. 30 (Mon), 2023.


Week 9 (Oct. 31)          Individual Consultation I


Week 10 (Nov. 7)         Data Analysis

  • Research Exercise VI


Week 11 (Nov. 14)      Individual Consultation II


Week 12 (Nov. 21)      Proposal Presentation & Feedback I


Week 13 (Nov. 28)      Proposal Presentation & Feedback II


Final proposal to be submitted together with a signed Veriguide to Blackboard by 5 pm, Dec. 5, 2023!

Assessment & Assignments

Class attendance & participation 20%

Research Assignments 30%

Presentation on Academic Writing 5% 

Project Presentation and Peer Review 10%

Research Proposal 35%

Honesty in Academic Work

Attention is drawn to University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and to the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations. Details may be found at With each assignment, students will be required to submit a signed declaration that they are aware of the policies, regulations and procedures.