Module Details

BS712-7-AP-CO: Research Skills And Data Analysis

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2016/17
Department: Biological Sciences (School of)
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Rachel Bragg
Teaching Staff: Dr Rachel Bragg
Contact details: School Graduate Office, email: bsgradtaught (Non essex users should add to create a full email address)

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

This module provides an introduction to research skills, concepts and issues that are key to both the natural and social sciences. The module is divided into four sections: a. research strategies, b. field research techniques, c. statistical approaches and d. communicating research findings. Therefore the students will be led through the process from defining a research question to data collection and analysis (introducing various qualitative and quantitative statistical approaches) and communicating findings. The aim is to equip students with the knowledge and use of available tools to undertake detailed research projects in addition to the conventions of academic and scientific writing.

Learning Outcomes
To pass this module students will need to be able to:
1. evaluate the issues involved in designing and executing a research programme, within the specific context of field-based, laboratory-based and desk-based research;
2. formulate appropriate research questions, and define scientific and statistical hypotheses;
3. design an appropriate experiment programme to test hypotheses or undertake surveys including assessing the appropriate statistical power;
4. demonstrate understanding of the specialized techniques and approaches involved in collecting, analyzing and communicating research findings;
5. articulate and communicate research findings in various formats to varying audiences;
6. evaluate weaknesses in research skills and data analysis of relevant literature and scientific papers.

Learning and Teaching Methods

13 x 2 hr sessions including lecture, discussion, revision and practical work using computer labs


100 per cent Coursework Mark


Field research techniques - video clips and results/database and questionnaire design - 25%; Statistical approaches - univariate analysis, Research Project design and analysis - 50%; Research strategies - proposal production - 25%


  • Research - general
  • Booth, W.C.; Colomb, G.G. and Williams, J.M. (1995). The Craft of Research. The University of Chicago Press, London.
  • Statistics in SPSS- basic
  • Pallant, J. (2007, 2008). SPSS Survival Manual (3rd or 4th Ed). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • or
  • Mayers, A. (2013) Introduction to Statistics and SPSS in Psychology. Pearson, Harlow.
  • Statistics in SPSS- in more detail
  • Field, A. (2013) Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th Edition).Sage, London.
  • Qualitative research
  • Ritchie, J. & Lewis, J. ed. (2003) Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. London, Sage Publications.
  • Holstein, J.A. & Gubrium, J.F. (1995) Qualitative research methods: The active interview. London, Sage Publications.
  • Wates, N. & Brook, J. (2000) The community planning handbook. London, Earthscan.

Further information