On-site Seminar

Policy research: From idea to research design
Type of seminar:
On-site seminar, subsequently online (Adobe-Connect)
Eligible for participation:

Students enrolled in BA Political Science, Public Adminstration, Sociology
Hagen and online
Universitätsstraße 11 (Building 3)
Ellipse, Room 3
FernUniversität in Hagen
58097 Hagen
18/01/2020 to
Sat., 18/01/2020, 09:00 - 17:00
Tue., 28/01/2020, 18:00 - 21:00 (Online, Adobe-Connect sessions)
Dr. Sonja Blum
Registration deadline:
Registration is no longer open.
Registration procedure:
As of 02/10/2019, registrations have already been so numerous that registration has been closed for the time being. Should registered students cancel their participation, registration might be re-opened at a later date.
Contact for further information:
Email: Dr. Sonja Blum , Phone: +49 2331 987-4624
Session locations and dates:
On-site session: Sat., 18/01/2020, 9:00 - 17:00, Hagen
Online session (Adobe-Connect): Tue., 28/01/2020 (18:00 - 21:00)
February 2020: individual online elements


To what extent is there (still) a paradigm shift in German retirement policy? What relevance does the factor of “party difference” attain in explaining funding reforms in German public health insurance? Which role to scientific expert reports play in the discussion about the purposes and risks of fracking? These and similar questions are addressed by policy research, which puts the content-material dimension of policy at the heart of the analysis. The focus is on policy change (e.g., social policy reform) and its explanation. These issues are discussed and examined in the BA program “Politikwissenschaft, Verwaltungswissenschaft und Soziologie” (Political Science, Public Administration, Sociology) in the seminars of module VP2 (Politikfeldanalyse; Sozialpolitik; Umweltpolitik) (Policy research; social policy; environmental policy), among others.

The focus of this combined on-site and online seminar is how students can proceed from an initial idea for an interesting research topic to a research question, design, and method. That means we want to address the development of a specific research question and the justified choice of a suitable theoretical approach, research design, data, and method. This is particularly relevant for term papers and theses. These might be specifically planned for this or the next term, e.g., in module VP2, but this is not a requirement; this seminar fosters specific skills in scientific writing on policy research problems and will also be useful as practice for later term papers or theses.

This seminar first introduces theoretical concepts of policy research during the on-site session, providing ample opportunity to discuss ideas for research topics and aspects of the research design. This session is followed by a phase of individual work, flanked by an online session (3 hours) and individual online elements. This seminar not only aims to foster participants’ insight into theoretical and empirical knowledge but also accompanies students in developing their own project in policy research.

Registration procedure

Please register online for the on-site seminar by 20/12/2019.

Requirement for credit

The seminar is an on-site seminar according to the examination regulations. To qualify for a Teilnahmeschein (certificate of participation), students are required to participate in a sufficiently prepared and active fashion and to hand in a (practice) exposé. After registration, further information will be provided by email in time for the on-site session.