Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)


Department: Management and Marketing


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap
Tied to M.A. Research Methods (Economics)
Tied to N1A060


  • None.


  • As specified in the Special Regulations.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide a comprehensive and critical review of research methods and techniques in business and management.
  • To consolodate and extend the advanced statistical and analytical skills acquired during previous modules in the DBA programme.
  • To equip the student with the conceptual and practical skills needed to successfully complete the thesis phase of the programme, and to provide a firm foundation for advanced qualitative and qualitative training during that stage.


  • Business research strategies
  • Principles of research design
  • Quantitative methods: Nature of quantitative research; Samples and sampling; Survey design; Structured observation; Content analysis; Secondary data and data sources; Statistical analysis.
  • Qualitative methods: Nature of qualitative research; Ethnography and participant observation; Focus groups and interview techniques; Documentary anaysis; Langauge in qualitative research; Working with qualitative data.
  • Mixed-methods research strategies;
  • Understanding and communicating research outputs.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have: a critical awareness and understanding of the nature and range of empirical techniques avaliable to practitioner-researchers in business and management;
  • a critical appreciation of the distinctions between quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry, together with the challenges inherit in selecting those techniques appropriate to the current research objectives;
  • further enhanced their acquisition of the advanced skills needed to plan, implement, report, and manage a comprehensive programme of research during the theis stage of the DBA.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

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

      • The learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures; guided reading; individual exercises and the group discussion of case studies, reinforced by IT-based practical classes in the use of both quantitative and qualitative software packages (e.g. SPSS, NVivo)
      • The assessment of the module, by practical project, is designed to: Test the acquisition and articulation of knowledge and research skills. Test conceptual understanding and skills of application and interpretation within the business context.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 10 hours in total 10
      Practicals 8 hours in total 8
      Preparation and Reading 132
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Exploratory Research Project Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      exploratory research project report 4,000 words max. 100%

      Formative Assessment:

      Student presentations, case studies, performance in IT practical classes.

      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