Module Database Search

Module Title
Research Methods
Reference BSM055 Version 6
Created April 2017 SCQF Level SCQF 11
Approved June 2012 SCQF Points 15
Amended June 2017 ECTS Points 7.5

Aims of Module
To provide the student with the ability to identify and plan appropriate research strategies and techniques for the purpose of an individual research or project based investigation that is relevant to professional development and practice.

Learning Outcomes for Module
On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:
1 Identify a relevant and feasible research plan for the purposes of conducting an MSc Dissertation or an approved work-related project topic within a subject-relevant field or professional practice.
2 Explore, critically select and evaluate relevant research, theory and knowledge of utility to professional practice relating to the objectives of the dissertation or project topic.
3 Design and critically evaluate the research methodology for a chosen dissertation or project topic.
4 Demonstrate self-sustaining and cogent research management skills at an appropriate level.
5 Critically appraise, where appropriate, the quality and value of research in professional practice.

Indicative Module Content
Research in a professional context, in support of planning, decision-making and policy analysis; the impact of research. Research principles (eg validity, reliability, generalisability); qualitative and quantitative approaches and rationale (eg case studies; action research; surveys; experimental and quasi-experimental design;hermeneutics; critical approaches; historical research; ethnographic and cross-cultural approaches); and data collection techniques (e.g. questionnaire, observation and interview design). Data management, analysis, interpretation and presentation and preparation; the application of statistical techniques; coding, categorising and pattern seeking in qualitative data; tabulation and graphing). Research writing, publishing and dissemination. Research management; planning and organising a research project; identifying researchable issues; use of literature and libraries and ICT; time and task management; costing research; organising fieldwork and contacts; consent, confidentiality and ethical issues.

Module Delivery
Lectures and talks, groupworks and seminars, practical exercises, tutorials and the preparation of a research proposal under supervision. For part-time distance learning students: the student is provided with a guided learning programme. The student is, accordingly, expected to take full responsibility for their own learning. On-campus taught delivery hours are denoted below as full-time. Online distance learning delivery is denoted as part-time.

Indicative Student Workload Full Time Part Time
Contact Hours 36 N/A
Non-Contact Hours 114 150
Placement/Work-Based Learning Experience [Notional] Hours N/A N/A
TOTAL 150 150
Actual Placement hours for professional, statutory or regulatory body    

If a major/minor model is used and box is ticked, % weightings below are indicative only [for the purposes of the Key Information Set (KIS)]
Component 1
Type: Coursework Weighting: 100% Outcomes Assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Description: A report reflecting on and critiquing methodological approaches and considerations relevant to a topical issue of the student's choosing.

Explanatory Text
Module Pass Mark = Grade D (40%). Where the student achieves below 35% in any component, a resist of that element will be necessary.
Module Grade Minimum Requirements to achieve Module Grade:
A 70% or above
B 60% - 69%
C 50% - 59%
D 40% - 49%
E 35 - 39%
F 0% - 34%
NS Non-submission of work by published deadline or non-attendance for examination

Module Requirements
Prerequisites for Module None apart from course entry requirements or equivalent.
Corequisites for module None.
Precluded Modules None.

1 ALVESSON, M. and SKOLDBERG, K., 2009. Reflexive methodology: new vistas for qualitative research. 2nd ed. London: Sage.
2 CRESWELL, J., W., 2014. Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. 4th. ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
3 DE BELLIS, N., 2009. Bibliometrics and citation analysis: from the Science Citation Index to cybermetrics. Lanham, MD : Scarecrow Press. ebook
4 DENSCOMBE, M., 2010. The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects. 4th ed. Milton Keynes: Open University Press. ebook
5 LEVIN, P., 2011. Excellent dissertations! 2nd ed. Maidenhead : McGraw-Hill Open University Press. ebook
6 OPPENHEIM, A.N., 1992. Questionnaire design, interviewing and attitude measurement. London: Continuum.
7 YIN, R.K., 2014. Case study research: designs and methods. 5th ed. London: Sage Publications.


Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781