Methods of safety research

Course Code :2000RECMVV
Study domain:Safety Science
Academic year:2019-2020
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:48
Credits:6
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:Dutch
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Wim Hardyns
Anne Bergmans
Kelly Reyniers

3. Course contents *

This course offers students a varied package of research methods applicable in several domains of safety. The emphasis is on the ability to distinguish, interpret and apply those methods. On the one hand,  a broad knowledge of these methods should enable students  to learn, explore and apply the specific methods taught in the various courses of the Safety Sciences Master’s programme more efficiently, and to formulate and carry out a complete safety research project in the context of their traineeship and Master's degree dissertation on the other. 

The course consists of three parts: (1) methods of sourcing; (2) statistic methods; and (3) relational methods.

In 'Methods of sourcing', students are familiarized with how one is to deal with a number of essential sources within the domain of safety in a scientifically correct manner, such as sources of law (legislation, jurisdiction and doctrine) and scientific sources (libraries and data bases). Particular attention is paid to heuristics (looking up and consulting sources) and the quotation of sources (quoting sources, referring to sources and abbreviating sources correctly).

The course 'Statistic Methods' pays attention to both inferential statistic methods and correlational methods. First, the basic principles of descriptive statistics are briefly revised, next the students are familiarized with elementary inferential statistics and the tests for significance such as the statistical significance of the correlation coefficient; the t-test ; the chi quadrat test; the rank tests; the F test to compare two variances; the one factor variance analysis (ANOVA); and the two factor variance analysis. Factor analysis and the (multiple) regression analysis are examined as well. After a theoretical introduction of the various methods of analysis, the students are taught how to analyse large sets of data using the statistical software package SPSS.

'Relational Methods' specifically focuses on methods that concentrate on mapping networks in various forms. To that end, attention is paid to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Social Network Analysis and methods to map actors and their points of view.