This course is intended as a first step for learners who seek to become producers of social science research. It is organized as an introduction to the design and execution of a research study. It introduces the key elements of a proposal for a research study, and explains the role of each. It reviews the major types of qualitative and quantitative data used in social science research, and then introduces some of the most important sources of existing data available freely or by application, worldwide and for China. The course offers an overview of basic principles in the design of surveys, including a brief introduction to sampling. Basic techniques for quantitative analysis are also introduced, along with a review of common challenges that arise in the interpretation of results. Professional and ethical issues that often arise in the conduct of research are also discussed. The course concludes with an introduction to the options for further study available to the interested student, and an overview of the key steps involved in selecting postgraduate programs and applying for admission. Learners who complete the course will be able to make an informed decision about whether to pursue advanced studies, and should be adequately prepared to write an application for postgraduate study that exhibits basic understanding of key aspects of social science research paradigms and methodologies.