Master in European Regional Development Studies

Applied Research

Course goal

The course aims to introduce students to the interdisciplinary environment of the dimensions of a spatial unit in order to link theory with empirical reality (via field work). Students are expected to comprehend, in a theoretical and empirical way, the relations existing between the socio-political, cultural and economic parameters of a spatial unit, beyond what is offered in printed form. They are expected to draw their own conclusions about the profile, identity and prospects of the area under research, and, if methodologically appropriate, to draw analogies with relevant Greek areas.

Students are expected to acquire contemporary knowledge and understanding of issues, beyond the knowledge they have gained during their undergraduate studies, via a variety of complex material drawn from scientific sources and from field work.

The aim is the gaining of abilities enabling to understand in depth the subject matter and the acquirement of knowledge combining theory with empirical research to develop high level practical research capabilities at, and a sharp critical comprehension of reality.

Students are expected to be able to comprehend and interpret/explain the course subjects in a scientific way (via research, collection and exploitation of material, i.e. via knowledge mechanisms especially of data and information retrieval, selection, organization and original composite presentation) to express judgments with structured arguments (explaining problems in an analytical way and combining knowledge with the ability to make synchronic and diachronic comparisons, as well as the study and theoretical discoursing with components of originality in an interdisciplinary context) in new and unknown to them environments (explaining and combining complex issues) as well as utilizing their knowledge and capabilities for further studies, having acquired the ability to study fast under pressure theoretical and empirical research. The fact that they are organizing the field trip themselves provides them with the added opportunity to train themselves in the organization of a scientific mission.

The course puts an emphasis on the following general capabilities:

  • Retrieval, analysis and synthesis of data and information with the use of the necessary technologies (where applicable)
  • Adaptation to new conditions
  • Team work
  • Work in an international environment
  • Work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Respect of diversity and multiculturalism
  • Respect of the natural environment
  • Exercise of criticism and self-criticism
  • Promotion of free, creative and inductive knowledge

Course subject

The course is dealing with the research on the identity and development prospects of a city and its wider area and possibly with a special issue related to it. This area, if economically feasible, is in a foreign country. The aim is that the knowledge gained by the students in pervious courses should be applied in this course through the planning, participation in and evaluation of a field research project.    

The analysis includes all the dimensions of the profile of a city, namely the socio-political, economic, administrative, cultural as well as the planning policies in operation. The course is epitomized in a large group research report the structure of which differs each time, in relation to the city and the issues selected.

The research follows three phases: the first phase comprises desk research and presentation of results. In the second phase, the students conduct field work (on site in the selected city with interviews, material collection, observation, etc.). In the third phase, the students write up their report which uses the information and knowledge gained during the previous phases. The report is presented by the students and discussed in class.



The evaluation of students is based on:

Oral examination at the end of the semester
Midterm exam)
Oral presentation of projects

Also, it takes into account the presence and participation in class, various intermediate presentations and the quality of participation in field work.