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Course units

Course unit - Research Methodology

Code : BMAN20851
Credit rating: 10
Semester : 1

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Aims | Objectives | Assessment | Information * | Course unit content |
Course unit materials | Tutors | Timetable | Teaching methods | Keywords


This course seeks to provide students with an understanding of different aspects associated with the research process relating to management, business and the social sciences. This will involve focusing upon specific philosophical debates underlying social science research and how this relates to our understanding of knowledge, objects and truth. Moreover, this course will seek to develop an understanding of how to conduct research in terms of producing research problems and questions, proposal writing and supervision, writing a dissertation, literature reviews, research methods, and specific ethical issues.

Objectives (learning outcomes)

On completion of this course successful students should have:
A critical understanding of the different assumptions underlying research into the social sciences and the nature and status of research methodology.
An overview of the different debates and issues underlying the research process and how this relates to the specific methods they may select to conduct a study.
An awareness of the research process and the different issues to consider when writing a proposal, performing a literature review, conducting empirical research, and completing a dissertation.


100% Coursework Assignment One (30%) Assignment Two (70%)
Assignment One: Research Methodology and Questions (1000 words) Submission November
Assignment Two: Research Proposal ( 2200 words) Submission - January

Methods of Feedback to Students

Informal advice and discussion during and after lecture and seminars.

Responses to individual and joint emails and questions and feedback from a member of staff .

Additional course related feedback and surgery sessions.

Student meetings

Two pieces of coursework with feedback from the first assignment informing the second piece of work

Information *

Other staff involved:

Programme Restrictions:Available only to Management/Management (Specialism), International Management, International Management with American Business Studies and ITMB/ITMBwIE and AMAIS. Core course for ITMB/ITMBwithIE.

Pre-requisites: N/A

Co-requisites: N/A

Dependent course units: Research Methodology is a prerequisite for the final year dissertation (BMAN31500).

Course unit content

Following an introduction to research methodology the course will briefly review some important issues relating to the philosophy of science and social science. This will include exploring certain assumptions underlying different ideas of knowledge, truth and reality. The course will then explore how methodology relates to different methods and the importance of selecting methods and techniques that reflect particular research interests and questions. Next the dissertation process will be examined in relation to proposal writing, supervision, planning, literature reviews, empirical research and writing. Finally, the course will explore certain issues relating to research ethics and the storage of empirical data.

Course unit materials


McLean, Dr Chris


Teaching methods

Lectures: 22 hours (2 hrs per week for 11 weeks)
Seminars: 5 hours (1 hr per for 5 weeks)
Surgeries: 2 hours (2 hrs for 1 week)
Private Study: 71 hours

Total Study Hours: 100 hours

Blackboard/ Virtual Environments
There will be various forms of information on blackboard. This will include summary lecture notes, seminar readings, further handouts and readings, notes and alerts and any additional information concerning the course. Emails may also be sent out concerning changes to the course and coursework related details. Please check blackboard and your emails regularly.

Informal Contact Methods

1. Office Hours
2. Blackboard and email
3. Drop in Surgeries (extra help sessions for students on material they may be struggling with and additional feedback on coursework)

Preliminary reading

While there is no core text the following list provides some good introductory and extended reading in this area.
Bryman, A & Bell, E (2007) Business Research Methods Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Gill, J. and Johnson [1997] Research Methods for Managers, London, Paul Chapman Publishing
Robson, C (2007) How to do a Research Project. p.70-94. Oxford: Blackwell
Smith, Mark J. (1998) Social Science in Question, Sage
Chalmers, A. F. (2001) What is this Thing Called Science? University of Queensland Press.
Bryman, A., Williams, M., May , T., & Wiggins, R. (1996) An Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Research. Social Research Today. Routledge.
Delanty, G. 2005 Social Science: Philosophical and Methodological Foundations. Second edition of Delanty 1997 Open University Press/Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Delanty, Gerard and Piet Strydom (eds) (2003) Philosophies of Social Science: The Classic and Contemporary Readings, Open University Press
Gilbert, N (1993) Researching Social Life. Sage
Seale, C (2004) Researching Society and Culture. Sage
Punch, K (1998) Introduction of Social Research. Sage
Silverman, D. (2009) Doing Qualitative Research. Sage
Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (2000) Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage.
Schwab & Charles, T. (2004) Research Methods for Organizational Studies. Psychology Press
Silverman, D. (2007) A Very Short, Fairly Interesting, Reasonably Cheap Book about Qualitative Research. Sage,

Date of last revision of course unit specification: 15 February 2013

The above information is for the academic year 2013/14


Research Methodology

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