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SSGS500 - Research Design and Methods

Course Details

Course Code: SSGS500 Course ID: 4891 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course provides basic research methods skills for addressing problems and issues specific to the programs within the School of Security and Global Studies (SSGS). The course covers four basic approaches to social research including experimentation, survey research, field research, and the use of available data. Students will gain foundational knowledge in research planning, design, methodology, data collection, and analysis. This course prepares students for advanced research methods. Students in SSGS graduate studies are expected to be completely familiar with Turabian and APA writing styles. If you do not possess copies of these manuals, here is a link to the library,, specific to writing basics, that has quick style guides in use within SSGS. Purchase of the most recent writing guide in use in your program is highly recommended. If you are unsure what writing style is in use in your program, consult with your academic advisor.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/21/21 - 10/29/21 11/01/21 - 12/26/21 Fall 2021 Session I 8 Week session
06/28/21 - 12/03/21 12/06/21 - 01/30/22 Fall 2021 Session D 8 Week session
07/27/21 - 12/31/21 01/03/22 - 02/27/22 Winter 2022 Session B 8 Week session
08/31/21 - 02/04/22 02/07/22 - 04/03/22 Winter 2022 Session I 8 Week session
09/28/21 - 03/04/22 03/07/22 - 05/01/22 Winter 2022 Session D 8 Week session
10/26/21 - 04/01/22 04/04/22 - 05/29/22 Spring 2022 Session B 8 Week session
11/30/21 - 04/29/22 05/02/22 - 06/26/22 Spring 2022 Session I 8 Week session
12/28/21 - 06/03/22 06/06/22 - 07/31/22 Spring 2022 Session D 8 Week session
01/25/22 - 07/01/22 07/04/22 - 08/28/22 Summer 2022 Session B 8 Week session
02/22/22 - 07/29/22 08/01/22 - 09/25/22 Summer 2022 Session I 8 Week session
03/29/22 - 09/02/22 09/05/22 - 10/30/22 Summer 2022 Session D 8 Week session
04/26/22 - 09/30/22 10/03/22 - 11/27/22 Fall 2022 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

CO-1: Appraise the nature of social science research and scholarship as an intellectual enterprise.

CO-2: Evaluate research approaches, data collection methods, and their relative merits in accordance with ethical practices and standards.

CO-3: Analyze the range of analytic procedures that can be employed in carrying out social science research.

CO-4: Synthesize the different types of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research designs.

CO-5: Design empirically based studies.

The course grade is based on the following assessments:

Discussion Forums – 15 percent

Each week, a discussion question is provided and posts should reflect assimilation of the readings. Students are required to provide a substantive initial post by Thursday at 11:55 pm ET and respond to two or more classmates by Sunday 11:55 pm ET.

Weekly Exercises for Weeks Two to Six – 10 percent each, total of 50 percent

You will have six exercises in weeks one to six. Please refer to the assignments tab for specific instructions. These assignments include the completion of human subjects CITI training, a research question and hypothesis exercise, a paper that consists of a literature review specific to a theory relevant to your field, as well as assessments of two qualitative articles and two quantitative articles. These assignments help the learner build upon their foundational knowledge of how professional research is carried out. Collectively the assignments will help provide insight on the development of the final assignment, the research proposal.

Research Proposal – 35 percent

This assignment is a paper that incorporates all that you will learn in the class. Please see the assignments tab for specific instructions.



Discussion Forums

Weekly Exercises, 2-6

Research Proposal

15 %

50 %



100 %

Required Course Textbooks

No Textbooks Required.

Required Readings

  • Peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, external websites and other assigned readings are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.

  • Weekly Lesson Notes and videos or audio files are found in the Lessons area of the classroom.
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.