Module Details

IA935-6-FY-CO: Research Methods

Year: 2016/17
Department: International Academy
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 Ritta Husted
Teaching Staff: Dr Ritta Husted
Contact details: jpsumm

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

This module will examine varieties of both qualitative and quantitative research methods in the sciences and social sciences, as well as theoretical enquiry and methods used in the humanities subjects. It will also examine the practical use of specific research methods and their relevance for specific purposes, the theoretical and philosophical assumptions which underpin particular research methods and the ethical issues which need to be considered in relation to conducting research.

Module aims

The aims of the module are to:

- introduce a variety of research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, or to enhance the student's existing knowledge of these methods
- provide students with a theoretical understanding of these methods
- provide students with practical experience in these methods
- introduce students to ethical issues related to doing research

Learning outcomes

The module will enable students to:

- understand the uses and limitations of a variety of research methods
- identify the most appropriate methods to use in specific contexts
- undertake small-scale research within their own subject area
- apply introductory level analysis to their research findings using SPSS


- Research designs and methods
- Evaluation of subject specific research methods
- Questionnaire design
- Surveys and projects
- Report writing
- Data analysis and commentary
- Presenting statistics
- Subject specific research
- Introduction to SPSS


One individually designed questionnaire related to students' subject area (50%). Questionnaire submitted in week 11. Feedback provided in week 14.

One 2,500 word individual research report including literature review and statistical analysis. Report submitted in week 23 (50%). Feedback provided in week 26.

Learning and Teaching Methods

Three weekly sessions including: lectures, classes, and individual tutorials.

During student-led sessions, students will discuss their own areas of research interest and draw on their knowledge gained on the module to give an account of which methods are most appropriate for them to use, given their particular interest, and why.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


  • Bennett, A and N Royle (2004) Literature, Criticism and Theory (3rd ed) London:
  • Longman
  • Benton, T and I Craib (2001) Philosophy of Social Science. Basingstoke: Palgrave
  • Bryman, A (2004) Social Research Methods (2nd ed.) Oxford: OUP
  • Chalmers, A F (1988) What is this thing called Science? Milton Keynes: Open
  • University Press

Further information

External Examiner Information

  • Name: Ms Hayley Maxwell
    Institution: The University of Birmingham
    Academic Role: Acting Director of Operations and Development