Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.
Tied to N1K607
Tied to N1K807
Tied to N1K507
Tied to N1K307
Tied to N1KL07


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To equip students with 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: approach to social research.
  • Formulating a research question.
  • Developing a research design that fits your question.
  • The nature of qualitative research.
  • The nature of quantitative research.
  • An overview of data gathering methods, including interviews; questionnaires; experiments.
  • The analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Ethics of research.

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;
  • An advanced knowledge of the nature, scope and relationships between quantitative and qualitative research methods in Business and Management; their appropriate use and rationale for selection;
  • An advanced understanding of the possible relations between data collection, sampling and theory-generation;
  • A critical understanding of a range of data-gathering methods for conducting qualitative and quantitative research including, for example, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups;
  • A critical understanding of a range of methods of data analysis including the use of qualitative and quantitative data sets, methods of qualitative analysis along with descriptive statistics and the use and interpretation of multivariate statistics.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should have developed:
  • The ability to formulate meaningful research questions; to develop theory deductively, or where appropriate, devise and test hypotheses and identify and correct for bias and error; as well as interpret and evaluate research results;
  • High-level skills in devising, structuring and managing a research project and presenting research findings.
Key Skills:
    Written communication; planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

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

  • A combination of lectures, seminars and guided reading addressing key topics in research will equip students with the relevant knowledge and understanding.
  • The assessment of the module, by an individual research proposal, is designed to test students’ knowledge and critical understanding of different research methodologies, the process of designing a research project at an advanced level, the formulation of appropriate research questions, and the key skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Preparation & Reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Individual research proposal Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual research proposal 2500 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