- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

MN60684: Methods and methodology for higher education research

[Page last updated: 23 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: School of Management
Credits: 15 [equivalent to 30 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 300
Level: Doctoral (FHEQ level 8)
Modular (no specific semester)
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
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.

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.

* 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.

Content: 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

Programme availability:

MN60684 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

School of Management


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.