Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module BUSI42130: Research Methods in Business and Management

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI42130: Research Methods in Business and Management

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to N1K607
Tied to N1K807
Tied to N1K507
Tied to N1K307


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To give students an in-depth understanding of key principles of research design and methodology in business and management, and to develop their skills in conducting and disseminating research at an advanced level.


  • Introduction to the research process and the relevancy of research in Business and Management
  • Business research and management consultancy
  • Choosing the right method for your research design
  • The nature of qualitative research
  • The nature of quantitative research
  • Writing up and presenting your research
  • Questionnaire design and analysis
  • Measurement development and testing
  • Quantitative data analysis and presentation
  • Designing and conducting interview research
  • Analysing and writing up interview research
  • Access and ethical considerations
  • Documentary analysis
  • Conducting marketing research
  • Focus groups and experiments
  • Preparation for the dissertation

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should have developed:
  • A critical appreciation of the range of philosophical approaches to research from across the social sciences, including an understanding of how to apply and critique the concepts of generalisability, validity, reliability and replicability from a variety of methodological perspectives
  • An advanced knowledge of the nature, scope and relationships between quantitative and qualitative research methods in Business and Management and their appropriate selection and use
  • An advanced understanding of the possible relations between data collection, sampling and theory-generation
  • Familiarity with a range of methods for data gathering including questionnaires, interviews, secondary sources and other methods
  • Familiarity with a wide range of methods of data analysis including the use of qualitative and quantitative data sets, descriptive statistics and their use, modelling and interpretation of multivariate statistics
  • Familiarity with a wide range of techniques for the collection of qualitative data, including observation, interviewing and documentary approaches; and a range of techniques for their analysis including content analysis and discourse analysis
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should have developed:
  • The ability to formulate research questions; devise and where appropriate test hypotheses; identify and where appropriate correct for bias and error; and interpret and evaluate research results
  • Advanced skills in devising, structuring and managing a research project and presenting research findings
Key Skills:
    By the end of the module, students should have developed the following key skills: written communication; interpersonal communication; oral presentation; teamwork; giving and receiving feedback; planning and organising; using initiative; adaptability; numeracy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Through a combination of lectures, seminars and guided reading addressing key topics in research.
  • The assessment of the module, by unseen written examination, research proposal and group assignment, is designed to:
  • Test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge relating to research methodologies, and the development and articulation of research design.
  • Test conceptual understanding and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.
  • Test the capacity to be effective within a team environment and to value individuals' contributions in group processes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 19 2 hours 38
Seminars /workshops 8 1 hour 8
Preparation & Reading 254
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Unseen written examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Unseen written examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Group written assignment Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group written assignment 4000 words (maximum) 100%
Component: Individual research proposal Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual research proposal 1000 words (maximum) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Group presentation

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University