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Module Title
Research Concepts in Sport and Exercise Science

qualitative and quantitative methods; validity; reliability; critical appraisal; ethics in research; statistical analysis

SCQF Points30
ECTS Points15
CreatedApril 2010
ApprovedSeptember 2015
Version No.1

This Version is No Longer Current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

Successful completion of Stages 1 and 2 of the BSc (Hons) Applied Sport and Exercise Science course, or equivalent.

Corequisite Modules


Precluded Modules


Aims of Module

The aim of the module is to provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to critically appraise evidence and analyse data using both qualitative and quantitative means.

Learning Outcomes for Module

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

1. Apply a systematic approach to critical analysis of literature.
2. Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of different research methods.
3. Select and justify appropriate data analysis methods based upon the data and research design context.
4. Analyse, interpret and present qualitative data.
5. Analyse, interpret and present quantitative data.

Indicative Module Content

Introduction to scientific methods, qualitative and quantitative research design; application of the concepts of validity and reliability to the appraisal of research literature; use of critical appraisal tools to systematically evaluate research; role of research and its application; qualitative paradigms; ethnography, phenomenology; thematic analysis; interviews, focus groups, observation; descriptive and inferential statistics including parametric and nonparametric tests (e.g. t-test, ANOVA, Pearson Correlation, Regression, Chi-square, Mann-Whitney U test); use of SPSS to conduct statistical operations.

Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours

Full Time
Journal Clubs

Directed Study



Private Study



Mode of Delivery

Combination of lectures, workshops and journal clubs.

Assessment Plan

Learning Outcomes Assessed
Component 1 1,2,3,4,5

Component 1 will be assessed by coursework.

Indicative Bibliography

1.THOMAS, J.R. NELSON, J.K. AND SILVERMAN, S.J., 2015. Research methods in physical activity. 7th ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
2.PALLANT, J., 2013. SPSS survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using IBM SPSS. 5th ed. London: Open University Press.
3.BAZELEY, P., 2013. Qualitative data analysis: Practical strategies. London: Sage.
4.O’DONOGHUE, P., 2012. Statistics for sport and exercise studies: An introduction. London: Routledge.

Additional Notes

A pass will not normally be awarded for this module unless the student has participated in at least two research projects (either as a participant or an assistant).

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