Module: Research skills

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Dr Laurence Smith
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    36 hours

Module content

There will be a focus on developing critical thinking to enhance the research process and understanding specific methods/techniques appropriate for application to professional and management practices. The module will facilitate the development of research competencies – particularly those related to data collection and analysis that enable the student to design, undertake and evaluate independent research in organisational and industry settings.

Module outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Evaluate their current core study skills and show self-awareness of areas needing improvement
  2. Develop an understanding of the critical thinking needed to analyse and evaluate other research work (academic or industry)
  3. Select an appropriate methodological approach for the proposed research project and identify suitable research methods and data analysis techniques .
  4. Synthesise a research plan that specifies a knowledge gap that needs further study using a justified framework.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework 1 Research proposal. (2000 words) 50%
Coursework 2 Reflection piece on why the proposal is necessary and their motivation to study it. (1000 words) 50%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Supporting texts

Additional resources:

  • Barbour, R.S. (2014) Introducing qualitative research: a student's guide to the craft of doing qualitative research. 2nd edition. Sage publications.
  • Biggam, J. (2018) Succeeding with your Master’s Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Handbook (4th ed.). Open University Press
  • Bolton, G. and Delderfield, R. (2018) Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development. Sage publications
  • Bryman, A_and Bell, E. (2015) Business Research Methods. 4th ed. Oxford University Press.
  • Cottrell, S. (2017) Critical Thinking Skills: Effective Analysis, Argument and Reflection (Palgrave Study Skills). Palgrave
  • Creswell, J.W. and Creswell, J. D.  (2018) Research design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches. 5th ed. Sage publications.
  • Denscombe, M. (2012) Research Proposals: A practical guide. Open University Press
  • Denscombe, M. (2017) The good research guide for small scale social research projects 6th ed. Open University Press.
  • Fowler, F.J. (2009) Survey research methods. 4th ed. Sage Publications
  • John Gill & Phil Johnson with Murray Clark (2010), Research Methods for Managers, 4th Edition, Sage publications
  • Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A.  (2015)  Research Methods for Business Students Pearson.
  • Silverman, D. (2017) Doing Qualitative Research. 4th ed. Sage publications
  • Thomas, G. (2017) How to Do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students 3rd Ed. Sage Publications
  • Wallace, M. and Wray, A. (2016) Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates (SAGE Study Skills Series). Sage publications.
  • White, B. (2014) Dissertation skills for business and management students. 2nd ed. Cengage Learning