RSCH08006 2019 Research Methods

General Details

Full Title
Research Methods
Transcript Title
Research Methods
N/A %
Subject Area
RSCH - Research
ESCI - Environmental Science
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2019 - Full Academic Year 2019-20
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Frances Lucy, Suresh Pillai, Uma Tiwari
Programme Membership
SG_SENVI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Environmental Science SG_SAGRI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Agri-Food Science SG_SENVI_K08 201900 Level 8 Honours Degree Add-on in Science in Environmental Science SG_SSCIE_H08 201900 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science SG_SAGRI_H08 202000 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Science in Agri-Food Science

This module is designed to develop process, presentation and project management skills to prepare learners to complete their research projects. The module explores literature gathering and sourcing, assessing information, scientific report writing, research project planning and management. Together with their research project it provides students with a taster for scientific research and develops a more in depth understanding of how science works (the scientific method) and how information is gathered and evaluated.

Learning Outcomes

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


Demonstrate an understanding  of the scientific research process (from formulating questions and hypothesis to quantitative and qualitative research methods to research reporting and the peer review process)


Assess and critically evaluate various literature sources and conduct a literature review


Develop a research proposal


Report and present research findings clearly and precisely

Teaching and Learning Strategies


Module Assessment Strategies

Module will be assessed using a combination of continuous assessment and course work. Assessments are designed to indicate progress towards achievement of learning outcomes and to incentivise student learning.  

Repeat Assessments


Indicative Syllabus

The scientific method and an introduction to the research process

Research ethics

Literature review (conducting a literature review and critical analysis of research literature)

Quantitative versus qualitative research methods

Sampling and experimental design

Research proposals

Research project planning and management  

Research presentation: report and paper writing

The peer review process

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Performance Evaluation Assessment of quality of feedback to group members (written evidence and Presentation) Continuous Assessment Assessment 15 % OnGoing 1,2
2 Short Answer Questions on ethical, legal and social issues related to research project Continuous Assessment Assessment 15 % Week 6 1
3 Project Poster Continuous Assessment Assessment 30 % Week 8 1,2,4
4 Written Report Research proposal Continuous Assessment Assessment 40 % Week 12 1,3

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lectures on key research methods topics 1 Weekly 1.00
Seminar Flat Classroom Combination of short presentation, group participation and exercises on research topics 2 Fortnightly 1.00
Tutorial Computer Laboratory IT for research methods 1 Fortnightly 0.50
Independent Learning UNKNOWN Independent learning 4.5 Weekly 4.50
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.50 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2008-06-09 Student Projects in Environmental Science Wiley
ISBN 047084566X ISBN-13 9780470845660

Research projects are among the core components of many undergraduate and Masters degrees within environmental science and physical geography, and students increasingly undertake courses in quantitative research methodology before starting on their own assignment. This one-stop-shop text guides students through their research project from the initial stages of choosing a suitable topic, of conducting the relevant experiments and interpreting the data, through to effective presentation of the results. Takes a case-study approach to illustrate the range of environmental science topics, with cases supplied by specialists in the field. Practical worked examples and self-assessment tasks illustrate key statistical and mathematical points so as to keep heavy theory to a minimum Covers software such as Excel, SPSS and mathematical modelling, and includes statistical tables

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Harrad, S., Batty, L., Diamond, M. & Arhonditsis, G. 2008. Students projects in environmental science. Wiley

Leedy, P.D. & Ormrod, J. E. 2010. Practical Research. Planning and Design. 9th Edn. Pearson Education International




Journal Resources


URL Resources


Other Resources

Additional resources will be made available on IT Sligo learn online system (Moodle). Will contain pdfs of powerpoint lectures and links to additional reading material for selected topics

Additional Information