Business Research Methods

Module summary

Module code: RESE1170
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Business Faculty
Department: Human Res and Organisational Beh
Module Coordinator(s): Scott Tindal



This module aims to provide students with a solid understanding of the philosophy and practice of business and management research methods. The skills students learn in this course will prepare them for their dissertation, and beyond into employment.

This module will achieve this aim by first seeking to develop students’ appreciation of the philosophy of research methods. This foundation will be used to inform students’ understanding of the research-production process: formulating researchable questions, choosing appropriate data collection methods, sample selection, conducting statistical and textual analysis.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Distinguish between the two principle research methodological paradigms, and their underpinning philosophical assumptions.
2. Describe the strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
3. Develop knowledge of qualitative research instruments (i.e., interviews), conduct basic qualitative data collection and analysis.
4. Develop knowledge of quantitative research instruments (i.e., surveys), conduct basic quantitative data collection and analysis.
5. Generate evidence-based conclusions, decisions and recommendations.

Indicative content

Research philosophies; research design; research ethics; sample selection; qualitative instrument design; quantitative data collection; quantitative data analysis; qualitative instrument design; qualitative data collection; qualitative data analysis.

Teaching and learning activity

The delivery of this module will be via a combination of lectures and tutorials. This will be supplemented with signposting to further/advanced additional readings, online training videos, website links, and other materials which will curated on Moodle for the students’ benefit.

The lectures will set out key concepts and ideas within Business Research Methods. The tutorials will discuss, apply, and evaluate those issues. Some tutorials will be discussions of research methods used in academic and non-academic research, where students will critique the survey design, sample, strengths and weakness of the approach, etc. In other tutorials, students will apply basic analysis techniques to quantitative and qualitative datasets.

Together the lectures, seminars, and supplementary material provides students with both the theoretical and practical knowledge to create, analyse, and interpret qualitative and quantitative data.


Qualitative Data Analysis Report: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 5.
Word Length: 1500 words.
Outline Details: Students will collect and analyse qualitative data, leading to evidence-based conclusions and recommendations.

Quantitative Data Analysis Report: 50% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4, 5.
Word Length: 1500 words.
Outline Details: Students will collect and analyse quantitative data, leading to evidence-based conclusions and recommendations.

Formative Assessment: Students will be formatively assessed on their quantitative analysis through group presentations of the quantitative dataset. This formative assessment will ask students to compile their individual analysis of the dataset into a group presentation, making use of graphs, charts and other visualisations of the data. The questions the students will answer in the group presentation mirrors that of the summative assessment. This will ensure that students are on-track and any major issues are identified and corrected by the teaching team prior to final submission.

Students will be formatively assessed on their qualitative analysis through a class-based discussion on the themes which emerged from their individual analysis of three short qualitative interview transcripts. This will help students appreciate the diversity in the ways that qualitative datasets can be interpreted.

Students will also be provided with guidance during the tutorials regarding how to address the assessment. Students will also be able to meet with their tutors in one-on-one sessions during office hours to discuss the assessment, and receive verbal feedback on 1-page of text or two pages of graphs.