Course Code: 
AEC 7201
Course Credit Units: 
Semester 1
Year of Study: 
Year 1
Undergraduate or Graduate Level: 
Graduate Level
Course Discipline: 
Course Description & Objectives: 

The course is about the processes of obtaining, interpreting and using information for effective research for development in Africa. It covers research methods, principles and applications to socio-environmental and economic issues including ethical and resource implications of research strategies, specific and practice-based knowledge of research techniques, and an ability to evaluate their appropriateness to particular research settings and objectives; an appreciation of the linkages between empirical research and theoretical and substantive issues within social, economic, environmental and agricultural studies; formulation of research problems and testing of hypotheses; and methods for the dissemination and effective presentation of results. It aims to encourage students to appreciate their responsibilities to society and the scientific community as researchers.  Combining research and development, working for and with rural people, and making a real difference to the future requires special skills and approaches in both planning and managing research and in actually doing it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Objective:   To equip students with the tools and skills for problem identification and proposal development, and subsequently for thesis writing in agricultural and applied economics. Specifically, the students will be able to:

  • Know how to identify a research problem;
  • Generate appropriate objectives and hypotheses;
  • Develop appropriate research methods to address the objectives;
  • Acquire knowledge of relevant data collection methods and analytical skills; and
  • Apply principles of writing good reports
Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course, the students will:

  • Have acquired an understanding of the role of effective research for development
  • Be able to explain systematically and illustrate essential components of the research process
  • Develop a range of research tools (qualitative and quantitative) relevant for social, environmental and agricultural economists engaged in a variety of research and development efforts
  • Have a thorough grounding in the scientific approach to research
  • Have acquired skills required in the management and processing of data including commonly used computer packages (for example SPSS, STATA)
  • Be able to apply the acquired qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques used to organize data into some meaningful form
  • Be able to undertake postgraduate research project for their thesis.


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