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MN60684: Methods and methodology for higher education research

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2018/9
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: School of Management
Further information on credits Credits: 15      [equivalent to 30 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 300
Further information on unit levels Level: Doctoral (FHEQ level 8)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Modular (no specific semester)
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aim of the unit is to provide a comprehensive understanding of social research methods and methodologies with the accompanying skills and abilities that will prepare students to undertake doctoral research in the field of higher education management.

Learning Outcomes:

* Understanding of research key research concepts (e.g. epistemology, ontology) and inductive and deductive reasoning process
* Familiarity with different research approaches (e.g. case study and mixed methods designs)
* Awareness of types of data used in social research and methods for collecting data
* Knowledge of methods of data analysis and the ability to apply these methods to a given source of data
* Familiarity with methods of data collection and analysis commonly used in the higher education sector, and outlets for peer-reviewed publication
* A critical understanding of validity, reliability and trustworthiness concerns in social research
* Understanding of the peer review process and academic publications
* Preparation for and reflection upon the design of a significant and advanced original academic research project.
* Understanding of research ethics and governance.


* Ability to analyse research design, identifying underlying assumptions and limitations of a given research design
* Ability to formulate research questions and to develop a research design appropriate to a set of research questions
* Familiarity with methods of data analysis and software necessary to conduct data analysis, and ability to specify appropriate methods and analysis in a research proposal
* Ability to identify and analyse the ethical applications of research, applying relevant standards and frameworks
* Writing skills appropriate to doctoral level research, and the knowledge of how to submit research for publication as appropriate
* Development of papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals, including the submission process and interpreting peer-reviews
* Project management for a doctoral level research project
* Writing skills for the development of a doctoral thesis.
All skills are initially taught/delivered in seminars, and then facilitated through further discussion and individual work. All skills should also be evident in the final assessed work.

Typical content covered in the unit includes:
* Social research philosophy: Ontology, Epistemology
* Concepts and terminology in social research: validity, reliability and trustworthiness
* Research questions
* Qualitative data collection: interviews, focus groups and ethnography
* Qualitative data analysis: thematic coding, discourse analysis, narrative analysis
* Quantitative data collection: questionnaires, secondary data
* Quantitative data analysis: types of variable, hypothesis testing and significance, statistical tests (regression and analysis of variance)
* Research ethics and ethical approval
* Mixed-methods research design
* Case-study research design
* Thesis structure and project management
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

MN60684 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

School of Management