Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module BUSI4W515: Behavioural Research Methods II

Department: Economics, Finance and Business (Business)

BUSI4W515: Behavioural Research Methods II

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • As specified in Special Regulations

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • Train students to undertake advanced research in the behavioural and social sciences;
  • Impart an in-depth understanding of different kinds of data and how they can be analysed, including knowledge of advanced statistical techniques and their application;
  • Consider the relationship between quantitative and qualitative research methods at an advanced level.


  • Blocking and within-subject designs
  • Interactions in factorial designs
  • Power analysis
  • Multivariate statistical procedures
  • Interviews and questionnaires
  • Asking questions (Basics of questionnaire design)
  • Some sampling theory
  • Sample characteristics and how to manage them
  • Non-experimental methods
  • Transforming qualitative into quantitative data
  • Writing up your study
  • Practical issues in conducting research

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • have an advanced knowledge of key quantitative methods and principles for analysing complex behavioural processes.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • have developed the ability to apply quantitative methods to decision-making and interpret the results at an advanced level;
  • be able to use several advanced quantitative tools to conduct their own empirical investigations into complex specialised issues in the area of decision-making;
  • have practised problem solving skills at an advanced level and the use of specialised software.
Key Skills:
  • have enhanced their computer literacy skills;
  • have the capacity for sustained independent work and learning at an advanced level and the ability to learn through critical reflection on practice and experience;
  • be able to think independently, including problem-solving ability and the ability to operate and exercise appropriate judgement in complex and specialised contexts;
  • be able to understand complex research, critically analyse it, and communicate ideas about it to peers;
  • have the ability to accept a high level of personal responsibility, including an ability to evaluate and resolve any ethical dilemmas which may arise, in research and professional practice.

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

  • A combination of lectures, seminars, practical activities and group work will contribute to achieving the aims and learning outcomes of this module. Summative assessment will be in the form of a short research project, and an examination. The research project will test students' ability to put into practice what they have learned, the exam will test their knowledge of the subject-matter. Both kinds of assessment are necessary to ensure that the ability to conduct research in this area has been acquired.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 10 Weekly 3 hours 30
Preparation and Reading 120
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: unseen written examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
unseen written examination including short answer and multiple choice 1.5 hours 100%
Component: Written assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written assignment (research project) 2500 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment, and feedback, may take a number of forms such as oral feedback on work prepared for workshops; answers to questions either discussed during a workshop, or posted on DUO; discussions with teaching staff during consultation hours, or via e-mail.

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