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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5010M Research Methods

15 creditsClass Size: 95

Module manager: Dr Julia Martin-Ortega

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is not approved as an Elective


By the end of this module students should be aware of the relationship between philosophy and research practice, as well as different research paradigms and strategies. They should understand relationships between theory, conceptualization, method, hypotheses or research questions, evidence and measurement, as well as issues related to objectivity, generalisability, reliability and utility of research.

The students should be familiar with appropriate social sciences methods (qualitative and quantitative) and have the research skills relevant to their dissertation projects. They should have the skills to use statistical, computational and other resources at their disposal. They should also have gained research skills contributing to their professional careers or further studies in higher education.

Skills outcomes
The module places considerable emphasis on:

- Understanding what characterizes social Science as a way of producing knowledge;
- Understanding and getting familiar with the research process;
- Critically reviewing scientific literature to identify research gaps, formulate research questions and discuss new results;
- Understanding and getting familiar with quantitative and qualitative methods, their purpose, application and limitations in the context of social science research;
- Formulating and testing hypotheses;
- Applying knowledge and understanding to address sustainability challenges;
- Collecting, recording, analysing data using appropriate techniques;
- Referencing work in an appropriate manner;
- Receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (eg textual numerical, verbal, graphical);
- Appreciating issues of robustness, reliability and uncertainty during the research process.

The module places moderate emphasis on:

- Communicating appropriately in written, verbal and graphical form;
- Evaluating performance as an individual;
- Solving numerical problems using computer based techniques;
- Using the Internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information;
- Identifying individual and collective goals and responsibilities and performing in a manner appropriate to these roles;
- Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (eg working independently, time management and organisation skills);
- Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development;
- Developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work.


1. What is Science?; main scientific paradigms; inductive/deductive reasoning
2. The research process
3. Introduction to quantitative research methods
4. Basic use of statistics for addressing research questions
5. Introduction to qualitative research methods
6. Qualitative data collection techniques; principles of analysis and reporting

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Computer Class42.008.00
Private study hours118.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Preparation of readings, data collection homework and assignments (118 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

A survey of pre-existing skills in the beginning of the module. Evaluation of performance and provision of feedback after each assignment.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectData submission and reflective notes on the data collection process (1,000 words)20.00
EssayIndividual research piece applying quantitative and qualitative methods (3,000 words)80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Re-sits for this module are in the same format as for the first attempt.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/08/2017


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