Good research requires a solid methodology; a belief key to the aims of the ECPR
and the reason for the creation of its Methods School.
Launched in 2006, the ECPR’s Summer School in Methods and Techniques quickly became
established as one of the leading events of its type for students of political science
and the related disciplines, paving the way for the Winter School to be established
The 'philosophy' of the ECPR’s Methods School is to offer up-to-date methods training
across the whole range of methodologies (and across different paradigms and approaches).
By combining the two events students and junior researchers can follow, over a period
of two years, a full range of training at introductory, intermediate and advanced
levels; the full scope of methods training. The Winter School in Methods and Techniques
(WSMT), comprises both introductory-level courses (step 1) and advanced courses
(step 3), in an intensive one-week format, while the Summer School in Methods and
Techniques (SSMT) provides the ‘step 2’ intermediate-level courses.
The ECPR’s Methods School cover those methods which are particularly salient for
research questions in political science and neighbouring disciplines, as well as
dealing with all stages of a project and catering to the needs of research set at
the macro and at the micro level. They cover both ‘quantitative’ and ‘qualitative’
designs as well as more positivist and more interpretative perspectives.
The School comprises an intensive programme of seminars and lab sessions which require
a strong commitment from participants. The teaching language is English, and therefore
all participants must be fluent in spoken English.
- Step 1: introductory one week courses (5 days, 3 contact hours per day) in February
of the first year at the WSMT (these do not require prior knowledge apart from basic
- Step 2: intermediate two week course (one module) or two consecutive one week
courses (2 modules) (10 days, 3 contact hours per day) in July/August of the first
year at the SSMT (these courses assume basic knowledge of the topic (at the level
of an introductory course) and bring a PhD student to the level of a methodologically
sound PhD research);
- Step 3: advanced one week courses (5 days, 3 contact hours per day) in February
of the second year at the WSMT (these courses bring researchers to methodological
sophistication, so as to work at the methodological frontier in their field).
NB: The full curriculum (Step 1 + Step 2 + Step 3) commenced with the first WSMT
in February 2012 (Step 1 – introductory courses).
The courses offered at the WSMT (steps 1 & 3) and at the SSMT (step 2) are designed
in such a way that courses from the three levels offer much complementarity and
cumulativeness. In other words, several different ‘training paths’ are offered,
depending on the type of specialised or more diversified qualifications the participants
wish or need to acquire.
For those participants who need or wish to obtain ECTS Credits the SSMT and WSMT
host institutions grant, separately, ECTS Credits Certificates: up to 5 Credits
for one SSMT participation (two week course), and up to 2 ECTS Credits for one WSMT
participation (one week course). For any participant attending more than one type
of event (also over a longer period of time, e.g. over 2-3 years), the ECPR also
issues a joint Certificate of attendance (certifying participation at the
sequence of 2 or 3 events).
If you have any questions or require any further information please contact
Denise Chapman, Methods School Manager.