2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue
DESN5150M Research Methods for Design
20 creditsClass Size: 60
Module manager: Dr Dian Li
Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable
Year running 2021/22
This module is not approved as an Elective
Module summaryThis module will review current thinking on design research and will introduce a range of research methods with practical application to design, which may be employed in the student's specialist project, as well as projects developed in the specialist optional modules. Social and ethical issues will be discussed.Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be covered, including: interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, performance tests, usability testing, ethnographic research, etc. Students will acquire skills and techniques for literature reviewing, data collection, data analysis, and application of findings to the development of effective human-centred design solutions. Students will be required to write an essay deconstructing research articles in their fields of interest. They will also be required to write an annotated bibliography or literature review around the research they are planning to do for their specialist project in Semester 2. They will read widely on their topic and select the most relevant sources.
ObjectivesThis module gives students the opportunity to:
- Learn and understand a range of research methods that can be applied to human-centred design.
- Select and use appropriate research methods to support the development of design projects that are both practice- and research-focused.
- Acquire and improve the key competencies necessary to be a critical reader of published research.
On completion of this module, students will have provided evidence of being able to:
1. Search, access and review reliable literature in the area of design effectively and critically.
2. Express clearly the current issues and challenges of the design research community.
3. Understand the characteristics of established research methods and evaluate their effectiveness for their own research.
This module will deliver a combination of lectures and seminars. The lecture content will deliver various human-centred research methods that are suitable for needs and problem identification, for design development, and for validation of the design after implementation. These can include: participatory design, focus groups, interviews, questionnaires, ethnography, observation, usability testing, performance testing. Seminars will give students the opportunity to put their knowledge and
theory into practice by creating and/or recreating the methods. Whenever possible, students will observe
staff’s current research and leading work.
|Delivery type||Number||Length hours||Student hours|
|Private study hours||166.00|
|Total Contact hours||34.00|
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)||200.00|
Private study1Each lecture and practical class are supported by material that is available on the Blackboard VLE. This material provides links
to appropriate journal papers, books, videos and websites. Digital copies of the lectures will be also available on the VLE so
that students can follow up in a systematic and structured manner.
To gain confidence to develop and articulate their own ideas, students will engage in private study.
* Literature search and reading: 56 hours
* Independent research and preparation: 56 hours
* Preparation and evaluation of assessed outcomes: 57 hours
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackStudent progress will be monitored through:
- Regular attendance at lectures and seminars (absences dealt with through the normal School channels).
- Participation in lectures and seminars.
Methods of assessment
|Assessment type||Notes||% of formal assessment|
|Essay or Dissertation||3,000-3,500-words – project proposal with literature review||70.00|
|Literature Review||1,000-1,500 words – Critical discussion of peer-reviewed articles||30.00|
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)||100.00|
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
Reading listThe reading list is available from the Library website
Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:21:16
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