Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module BUSI4W315: Behavioural Research Methods I

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI4W315: Behavioural Research Methods I

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • None


  • As specified in Special Regulations

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • Provide students with the specialised training and skills necessary to undertake experimental research and statistical analysis in the behavioural and social sciences;
  • Ensure that students have a detailed understanding and are able to critically evaluate published research in this area;
  • Provide a good grounding in ethical issues surrounding behavioural research.


  • Behavioural research defined
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Experimental designs
  • Quasi experiments
  • Factorial design of experiments
  • Repeated measures designs
  • Reliability and validity
  • Correlation and analysis of tables
  • Basic inferential statistics: t-tests and ANOVA
  • Ethical issues in behavioural research

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • have an advanced knowledge of key quantitative methods and principles for undertaking behavioural research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • have developed the ability to apply quantitative methods appropriate to behavioural research and interpret the results at an advanced level;
  • be able to use several advanced experimental research tools to conduct their own empirical investigations into complex specialised issues in the area of behavioural research;
  • 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 words maximum 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