Colchester, United Kingdom

Using Participatory Research Methods in Political Science Research

online course
when 7 August 2023 - 11 August 2023
language English
duration 1 week
credits 4 EC
fee GBP 478

Learn how to use appropriate participatory research methods within your research-project process.

Need to know

No prior experience in participatory research methods is required, but some knowledge of qualitative research methods is recommended.

In depth

Day 1: Introduction

• Introduction to key theories and approaches in PR
• Analysis of the key concepts (in particular, participation, power, complexity, change)
• Introduction to ethics and care in PR

You will relate these concepts to your own practice.

Day 2: Presentation and discussion

You will analyse two case studies of participatory research and the specific methods used in them. One case study will focus on international development, using storytelling and collective analysis, while the other will be based on a UK context and will utilise cooperative inquiry with visual methods. These case studies will draw on the Instructors' own experiences in participatory research, addressing issues such as slavery and bonded labour in Bangladesh and Nepal, as well as citizenship and marginalisation in the UK.

Following this, you will participate in small-group discussions to reflect on the methods presented, and these reflections may continue beyond the class.

Day 3: Practice
Participate in small group sessions to practice one or more of the presented methods. The Instructor will provide practical and interactive guidance on facilitation and documentation.

Day 4: Design surgery I
In small groups, you will discuss a question from your research connected to the methods presented, followed by a practical training session in design and process principles. You will start to develop a plan for your participatory research process, with after-class support from peers, the Instructor and Teaching Assistant.

Day 5: Design surgery II
In small groups, you will continue to work on your participatory research plans and generate questions for the group, the Instructor and Teaching Assistant. the course will close with a final Q&A session and guidance on accessing further PR resources.

How the course will work online

The course consists of asynchronous pre-class assignments such as readings, individual reflection, and small peer-group discussions on emerging research plans, and daily 2.5-hour live sessions on Zoom. Presentations will be combined with Q&A sessions and small-group work.

Throughout the course, you will work collaboratively in Miro. If you are unfamiliar with this software, there will be a one-hour introductory session in advance of the course.

Course leader

Jo Howard is a Research Fellow and Leader of the Participation, Inclusion & Social Change Cluster, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Jo focuses on participatory and action research processes with people in poverty and marginalisation

Target group

Researchers and doctoral students seeking to develop participatory research skills

Course aim

By the end of this course, you will:

• understand how to use appropriate PR methods within a research process;
• appreciate the ethical, political and practical challenges involved;
• learn the conceptual and practical tools necessary for designing and carrying out participatory research in your PhD or research project.

The interactive sessions allow you to share knowledge with other researchers, providing space to generate new ideas and solutions. The course will be delivered synchronously online. Between each session, there will be additional tasks for both individuals and groups.

Prior to the course, you’ll be asked to think of a critical question you are addressing in your research project. Over the week, you will explore this question and practice designing your own participatory research process.

Credits info

4 EC
You can earn up to four credits for attending this course.
3 ECTS credits – Attend 100% of live sessions and engage fully with class activities.
4 ECTS credits – Attend 100% of live sessions, engage fully with class activities and complete a post-class assignment.

Fee info

GBP 478: ECPR Member
GBP 956: ECPR Non-Member


Funding applications for the 2023 ECPR Summer School in Research Methods and Techniques are now closed.
For more details on funding opportunities for ECPR's other events, please visit our website.