Micro-Methods Workshops

The Micro-Methods Workshops offer introductory training in a broad range of social science research methods and software packages. They are delivered online as self-study modules and can be accessed at any point during the academic year.

The workshops are open to students and staff within the School of Social and Political Science. Individuals from elsewhere in the University are welcome to register but should be prepared for the tuition to draw on social science theory and examples.

Postgraduate students seeking more advanced research methods training should consider taking the Advanced Methods Workshops course.

What should I expect from a Micro-Methods Workshop?

Each workshop:


  • is developed by experts in social science methods from the Research Training Centre team or affiliated colleagues;
  • typically includes between three and five hours of content on a social science method (e.g. recorded videos, self-led practical activities, and recommended readings);
  • provides the opportunity to ask questions via discussion boards.

Can I gain credit for completing a Micro-Methods Workshop?

The workshops are not credit-bearing. Students who complete four workshops and submit a reflective assignment can gain the Edinburgh Social Science Methods Certificate. The certificate is open to honours undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students within the School of Social and Political Science. 


If you would like to register for the certificate, you can do so via the Micro-Methods Workshops 2022-23 Learn site. Details on how to access this site can be found in the section below. 

Postgraduate students seeking a credit-bearing course should consider the 10-credit or 20-credit Advanced Methods Workshops course.


How can I access the Micro-Methods Workshops?  

The workshops are hosted on the Micro-Methods Workshops 2022-23 Learn site. To access the workshops listed in the table below, complete the following steps:


  1. Login to Learn
  2. Select ‘Course Catalogue’ in the top right corner
  3. Enter ‘micro-methods’ in the search catalogue section and select ‘Go’.
  4. To enrol, click on the down-pointing arrow next to the course ID (zu_sps_micro_methods_workshops_2022-23) and choose Enrol.
  5. The self-enrol overlay will load providing further course information. Select ‘Submit’. 
  6. An enrolment success screen will load. Select ‘OK’ to access the course.

Please email sps.rtc@ed.ac.uk if you have any issues accessing the resources.

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Study items
Introduction to Quantitative Data AnalysisDr Roxanne ConnellyThis workshop provides revision of key concepts in quantitative data analysis.
Introduction to Stata for Social ScientistsDr Roxanne ConnellyThis workshop provides an introduction to the statistical data analysis package, Stata.
Introduction to SPSS for Social ScientistsDr Kevin RalstonThis workshop provides an introduction to the statistical data analysis package, SPSS.
Introduction to RDr Ugur OzdemirThis workshop provides an introduction to the statistical data analysis package, R.
Introduction to Systematic Literature Search and Network Analysis for Literature ReviewDr Rhodri LengThis series introduces students to systematic literature search on Web of Science, analysing citation data, and citation network analysis for literature exploration.
Introduction to Ethnographic FilmmakingDr Helen Packwood and Dr Laura HarrisThis workshop provides a basic introduction to using ethnographic filmmaking as a research method.
Introduction to Social Data Research SkillsDr Ben CollierThis workshop covers the basic skills for social data research, including collecting and working with a data sample, exploring social networks and analysing text data.
Introduction to DemographyDr Alan MarshallThis workshop provides an introduction to demographic methods.
Introduction to Computational Text AnalysisDr Christopher BarrieThis workshop introduces techniques and tools for computational text analysis.
Data Mindfulness: Making the most of your dissertation data Bob Sanders and Jennifer DaubThis workshop outlines why research data management is important for your research project, and suggests tips and resources to help you carry out your research effectively.
Web-based SurveysDr Alan MarshallThis workshop provides the tools to design and implement a web-based survey using the Qualtrics software. The challenges, strengths and limitations of the approach are also considered.
Narrative AnalysisDr Amy ChandlerThis workshop introduces students to two approaches to narrative analysis.
Accessing and Analysing Existing DataDr Kevin RalstonThis workshop provides an introduction to key existing data resources and the UK Data Service.
Natural Experiments in the Social SciencesDr Alan MarshallThis workshop provides an introduction to the use of natural experiments in the social sciences as a tool to provide stronger evidence for causal connections between variables.
Constructivist Grounded TheoryDr Charles Anderson and Dr Paul McMillanThis workshop provides a survey of constructivist grounded theory and hands-on experience of how to analyse qualitative data.
Digital Focus Groups and InterviewsPoppy Gerrard-AbbottThis workshop provides researchers of all levels with comprehensive and accessible training on how to design and run focus groups and/or interviews online.
Critical Discourse AnalysisJessica HewkinThis workshop is an introduction to Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) intended to help researchers determine if it's an appropriate tool for their work.