QLTY09045 2013 Research Methods

General Details

Full Title
Research Methods
Transcript Title
Research Methods
N/A %
Subject Area
QLTY - Quality
MENG - Mech. and Electronic Eng.
09 - NFQ Level 9
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2013 - Full Academic Year 2013-14
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Brian Coll
Programme Membership
SG_TENER_M09 201300 Master of Science in Energy Management SG_EPROJ_M09 201300 Master of Science in Project Management SG_SPROJ_O09 201700 Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Project Management

The learner will study different research methods, learn how to analyse research reports and data, analyse qualitative and quantitative research data, disseminate research in terms of reports and journal publications,  and communicate effectively their research outcomes.

As this is an online course, the majority of students are working in industry and conducting their Research projects in the workplace. Student presentations will be used to share best practices in the class. Best practices will be generic rather than any company specific information.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Select and critically apply an appropriate research strategy.


Undertake a literature search and generate a literature review on a research topic.


Select and apply an appropriate research methodology. (e.g. Surveys / Questionaires)


Identify, construct, and test a research hypothesis and null hypothesis.


Analyse qualitative and quantitative research data.


Communicate effectively their research outcomes.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The online teaching and learning strategy will follow the guidelines as developed by Quality Matters: http://www.qmprogram.org/

Unique to the Quality Matters Rubric is the concept of alignment. This occurs when critical course components - Learning Objectives (2), Assessment and Measurement (3), Instructional Materials (4), Learner Interaction and Engagement (5), and Course Technology (6) - work together to ensure students achieve desired learning outcomes.

Module Assessment Strategies

100% Continuous Assessment

Indicative Practicals / Projects

Multiple Choice Questions on Different areas of the Syllabus

Submission of Research proposal paper

Review of past Thesis

Generation of Survey / Questionnaire

Repeat Assessments

Repeat Assignments

Indicative Syllabus

1. The Foundations of Research Philosophy and Components of Research. Model of scientific inquiry. Applied versus Basic research. Conceptualising and Problem Formulation. Developing the research hypothesis. What makes a good hypothesis

2. Selecting a problem and Reviewing the research Reviewing the literature, Use of primary sources, Use of computers in research search. Use of online searches and web engines., Referencing

3. Sampling and the Theory of Measurement Populations and samples. Sampling strategies: random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling. Sampling error. The measurement process. Levels of measurement: nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio. Reliability. Types of reliability: test-retest reliability, parallel forms, inter-rater, internal consistency. Validity. Types of validity: content validity, criterion validity, construct validity.

4. Method of Measuring Behaviour Tests and their development. Types of tests: achievement tests, multiple choice achievement items. Attitude tests. Thurstone scale. Likert scale. Personality tests. Observational techniques. Techniques for recording behaviour.

5. Nonexperimental Research Methods Descriptive research. Case studies. Advantages and disadvantages of case study method. Survey research. Questionnaire design. Layout and Structure of questionnaires. Interviewing method. Strengths and weaknesses of interviewing. The interview process. Developmental research: Longitudinal method, cross-sectional methods, Use of follow-up studies. Correlation research.

6. Experimental and Quasi Experimental research methods Experimental design. Treatment and control group. Internal and External validity. Controlling extraneous variables. Pre-experimental designs. True experimental designs, Quasi-experimental designs.

7. Data Analysis Analysis of quantitative data: Use of descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, tests of significance, p value, measures of association. Analysis of qualitative data. Identifying themes, KJ Method, speculative analysis, data reduction, coding data: open coding, axial coding, selective coding.

8. The Reporting of Research Writing a research proposal. Evaluating previous studies. Writing a research manuscript. Research presentations and evaluation. Plagiarism. Ethics in research.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous Assessment Assignments and Quiz Continuous Assessment Assessment 100 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Theory & Practical 3 Weekly 3.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Tutorial Distance Learning Suite Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Lecture Distance Learning Suite Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Moodle Resources and Activities 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources





Collis, Jill & Hussey, Roger

Business Research - A Practical Guide. 3rd edition



Cargill, Margaret & O'Connor, Patrick

Writing Scientific Research Articles

Wiley Blackwell


Gill, John & Johnson, Phil

Research Methods for Managers


Sage Publications Ltd.


Greenfield, Tony

Research Methods for

Postgraduates, 2nd Edition,




Salkind, Neil J

Exploring Research, International Edition, 6 edition ISBN: 0132017067 Prentice Hall 2000
URL Resources

Listed on Moodle Course Page

Other Resources

Listed on Moodle Course Page

Additional Information

Listed on Moodle Course Page