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Module Title

Research design; research methods.

SCQF Points60
ECTS Points30
CreatedAugust 2002
ApprovedMay 2012
AmendedAugust 2013
Version No.3

This Version is No Longer Current
The latest version of this module is available here
Prerequisites for Module

Normally, 120 credits at SCQF11 or equivalent.

Corequisite Modules


Precluded Modules


Aims of Module

To enable the student to extend and apply their subject knowledge and their knowledge of research methods by means of the independent investigation of a topic with a relevant field.

Learning Outcomes for Module

On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

1. Investigate and critically evaluate an approved research topic of interest and concern in a subject-relevant field.
2. Apply a range of research skills and methods to gather, analyse and critically evaluate literature, theories, data and evidence as appropriate to the agreed research topic.
3. Present and critically evaluate findings and conclusions as a piece of independent research.
4. Develop and apply, at an advanced level, the appropriate skills of written communication and presentation.

Indicative Module Content

A research proposal will form the basis for development of the Dissertation. Students will work independently but under tutorial supervision, to undertake the research and prepare the dissertation.

Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours

Full TimeDistance Learning


Directed Study

Directed Study

Private Study

Private Study

Mode of Delivery

Seminars, tutorials - For part-time distance learning students: Students are provided with a guided learning programme. Students are, accordingly, expected to take full responsibility for their own learning.

Assessment Plan

Learning Outcomes Assessed
Coursework 1,2,3,4

The assessment will normally consist of a 20,000 word dissertation.

Indicative Bibliography

1.BELL, J., 2014. Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers. 6th ed Maidenhead:
McGraw-Hill Open University Press. ebook
2.CRESWELL, J., 2014. Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches. 4th ed.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
3.BIGGAM, J., 2015. Succeeding with your master's dissertation a step-by-step handbook. 3rd Ed.
Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education
4.LORRIE, B., 2016. Writing a graduate thesis or dissertation. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers
5.RUDESTAM, K E. and NEWTON, R., 2015. Surviving your dissertation: a comprehensive guide to content
and process.
4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

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