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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

DESN5318M Research Methods

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Joanna Blanco-Velo

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces

DESN5314M Cultural Research Methods

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module prepares the student for devising and undertaking the major research project for the MA. Through conducting a literature review, formulating a research question and plan, the student is prepared to discuss their research plans with their supervisor for either “Fashion Realisation and Contextual studies” DESN 5316M or “Dissertation” DESN 5317M.


This module aims to provide students with understanding and insight into a range of methods that might be applied to design research. The module introduces a broad range of generic research methods followed by more focused exploration of specific methods, techniques and issues appropriate to marketing, organisational and consumer behaviour. The module will introduce research approaches as may be relevant for systematic problem analysis and the translation of marketing / management problems into appropriate researchable questions. The module introduces students to the key competencies required to be a critical reader of research, utilising conceptual, practical, collaborative, reflexive and critical skills alongside the development of key skills which will be essential for the solution of problems within the field of business /entrepreneurship.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should have provided evidence of being able to:
1. understand the characteristics of established methodologies and be able to evaluate their effectiveness within their own research
2. develop their own approach to the formulation of research design, appraising the selection and developing appropriate conceptual and practical tools
3. understand research foundations and identify relevant contextual and empirical literature
4. gain insight into a range of methodological approaches and distinguish between methods of data collection and analysis
5. appraise research results in the context of critical reflection upon their own and others' research
6. show an appreciation of ethical issues within their research

Skills outcomes
- Gain an understanding in how to contextualise specific research in theoretical grounding
- Formulate appropriate research questions which look to embed practical questions in a theoretically-informed framework
- Plan relevant research design
- Become familiar with the logic and practice of narrative and visual methods
- Make use of a variety of methods to collect data
- Critically evaluate own research and that of others


• The need for research methods for new knowledge;
• The research process;
• Identifying research problem and its objectives;
• Identifying a research gap (research justification); contributions and impact;
• Literature review: building a theoretical background to support your research;
• Narrowing down the research problem after conducting the literature review;
• Qualitative and quantitative methods;
• Data collection and data analysis techniques;
• Defining and qualifying respondents/interviewees
• Ethics in research

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours25.00
Private study hours100.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent online learning:
Range of reading, tasks and discuss board online (e.g. search strategies and online Q&A): 25 hrs

Private study:
Reading and preparation for lectures: 45 hours
Formative preparation: 15 hrs
Assignment preparation (Research for project): 40 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is primarily monitored through ongoing engagement within the seminars. Students will turn in a Formative exercise on week 7 and will receive individual written feedback, as well as a general feedback will be given in a tutorial session.
Students will be asked to turn in an outline of their research proposal encompassing: research question, research objectives, headings of the themes/variables that will be covered in the literature review, methodology and research plan (300 – 600 words).

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Research Proposal1500 – 2250 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The assignment set is a research proposal examining an area of fashion, enterprise and society based upon a literature review developed by the student. This will enable the student to identify a research gap and elaborate a research problem leading the student to evaluate the review and propose an appropriate methodological approach to uncover the research gap identified. A consideration of the ethics of the research methods will be considered. A resit would be offered that will require exactly the same type of work – essential as it will help develop the project or dissertation. The assignment should be structured as follows: • Introduction (encompassing the research problem and objective) • Theoretical Background • Research methodology [rationale for the selection of method(s) including ethics concerns] • Research plan • References

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/11/2022


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