Elective Course: Research Methods


Course Content

The course introduces and trains the skills of “Research Methods” and “Scientific Writing” as a competence in developing knowledge. It aims to support any kind of research approach relative to a selected theme in the fields of qualifying the environment. It specifically prepares the selection of thesis subjects and enables graduates of different scientific background to structure research for testing hypotheses.

The course helps finding and using appropriate sources of information by working self-standingly: starting from existing sources (What do I know for certain: text, image, practices?) and making the process of developing knowledge (What do I want to find out how?) transparent as well as plausible for author and audience in its course of an argument. The argument is ideally oriented on finding a constructive perspective for qualifying the environment and its elements sustainably as well as for enhancing the guiding processes by regenerative cultures.

This will lead to a formulation by text and/or integrated parts of design in order to develop the existing stage of knowledge (memories/ documented practice/ literature review) systematically in form of an argument with oneself. The students will learn to identify stages of scientific research and their position in a wider structure of research (such as problem statement by objective/ subjective reasoning).

Searching for the appropriate structure and content will lead them to finding/ applying/ combining sources, appropriate for developing knowledge in order to resolve the stated problems by means of secondary and primary data collection (deductive: general knowledge/ inductive: case-studies), data analysis and data evaluation. The analysis, as the most important part of the structure, is about building up the main content of research, testing the hypothesis as an answer to the problem statement (perspective for a strategy/ concept/ measurements) through the discussion of values and derived criteria. The conclusion finally takes reasons from the analysis for denying/ confirming the hypothesis.

Learning Objectives

The course consists of input (by lectures and presentations as well as by lit- erature, appropriate for self-studying) and immediate appliance of the input. The appliance is related to an exercise, working on a self-selected theme: training all the steps of setting up a piece of scientific writing according to a provided list of working steps and comments from a provided excerpt of a handbook about learning the skill. The provided list of steps for working on the exercise can be used as an open framework for finding the right methodical approach to a specific theme: THEME DEFINITION/ DEFINITION OF RESEARCH INTEREST (QUESTION/ PROBLEM STATEMENT/ HYPOTHESIS)/ METHODOLOGY/ ANALYSIS-DISCUSSION/ CONCLUSION - giving a valid answer to a valid thematic question about qualifying existing conditions in the environment.

Module Responsible

Prof. Christa Reicher, Chair of Urban Design and Institute for Urban Design and European Urbanism

Teaching Staff

Prof. em. Dr.-Ing. Andrea Haase


Tuesday, 10:30-12:30, SG309

Examination Date


Examination Format

Text - Selected topic