INMR62-Research Methods

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Keiichi Nakata


Summary module description:
This module is designed to support students who are embarking on a postgraduate research project. It covers the entire process of research from the formulation of research proposal to dissemination of results. It guides students in the preparation and planning of research projects through the knowledge, skills and awareness of elements required in approaching research, including: writing a research proposal, literature review, research paradigms, methods and techniques, project planning and management, ethical issues, writing research papers and dissertations, and oral presentations.

This module aims to enable students:

  • to understand and appreciate the different methods of scientific investigation and data analysis, to include the use of qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • to enable the student to interpret and critically appraise research findings with respect to design and data analysis.
  • to enable the student to assess the various approaches critically and to adopt appropriate methods and skills for the design and management of research projects.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
Preparation of a research proposal for a dissertation project through an exploration of research methods, data collection and analysis, ethical and political issues.

At the end of the module the student should demonstrate:

  • a critical and practical understanding of the methods employed in research.
  • an ability to apply different approaches to the collection of data or information.
  • an understanding of qualitative and quantitative analysis of material.
  • an awareness of ethical and access issues related to industrial collaboration both in terms of data collection and utilisation of data.
•an ability to compare and critically evaluate research material from the literature.
•further development of presentation and report writing skills.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

  • Introduction to research and the reasons for research investigations; searching the literature;
  • Defining a research question, definition and reasoning behind the hypothesis /null hypothesis;
  • Overview of research methods, quantitative and qualitative research. Data collection strategies and issues;
  • Presentation and dissemination of research, research proposal specification; Techniques of research report writing; Research management; regulations and supervisors role;
  • Ethical and access research issues related to industrial collaboration and publication of research findings.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A range of teaching and learning methods will be employed, but will focus largely on lectures, group work and independent supported learning.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Practicals classes and workshops 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Assessment will be a written research proposal and a literature review submitted to the proposed research supervisor. Students will be required to complete the following:
•A literature review of 3000 words (50%)
•A full project proposal of 6 pages (50%)

Formative assessment methods:
Students are required to carry out the following (not assessed):
•Give a short presentation on their proposed research project during the class to receive feedback from lecturers and peers.
•Submit an outline project proposal of 500 words (not assessed) as a basis for discussion with potential supervisors and the development of the full project proposal.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
Students will be required to obtain a mark of 50% overall based on the coursework. This assessment of the module can result in a pass, pass with merit, pass with distinction, or fail. To pass the module:
The student must produce, in the beginning of the module, a brief outline of the proposed research project. This outline describes preliminary research problems and ideas.
The student must, in the half way of this module, produce a literature review to the satisfaction of the research supervisor. The literature review should cover most relevant fields to the proposed research topic, and reflect their knowledge of the state of the art.
Towards the end of the module, the student must produce a full project proposal according the required format. It should contain the statement of the problems to be addressed and research objectives. The proposal should also have a discussion of theories, methods and techniques to be adopted for the project.

Reassessment arrangements:
Students will re-submit the failed component of the assessment.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

Things to do now