SPOR08011 2016 Research Methods in Sports Studies

General Details

Full Title
Research Methods in Sports Studies
Transcript Title
Research Methods
N/A %
Subject Area
SPOR - Sport/Rec/Leisure
MRKT - Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Kerry Larkin
Programme Membership
SG_BSPOR_H08 201900 Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Sport with Business SG_BSPOR_K08 202100 Level 8 Honours Degree Add-on in Sport with Business SG_BBMTS_K08 202100 Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business L8 (Add-on) DoMTS SG_BSPOR_H08 202100 Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Sport with Business

Subject Aims:

This subject will address the area of research methodology and its application to research allied to the leisure industry.  A key question to be addressed in the module is ‘how do we know what we know?' This module will provide students with some of the skills that researchers use to engage in and investigate social phenomena.  This module will assist students in defining the research questions and research rationale - what questions or areas of knowledge does it aim to address?

Learning Outcomes

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


Describe the different philosophies underpinning research methodologies


Appraise and justify the use of particular methodologies


Explain the techniques of data collection and analysis associated with qualitative and quantitative methodologies


Evaluate research based journal and internet articles


Evaluate a selected research topic


Demonstrate skills associated with academic writing and referencing


Write a research proposal related to their chosen research topic

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Fundamental concepts are introduced and illustrated through lectures. The understanding of students is tested and further enhanced through student centred learning exercises and interactive tutorial sessions.

Module Assessment Strategies

Students will engage in practical activity interspersed with theoretical work to develop the core competencies used within the process of research. 

Research Journal: The journal which will allow the student to gain practice using core competencies related to the research process. Some of these core competencies include ability to think critically within journal and article review, questionnaire and survey design, data analysis and focus group design.

The Research Proposal: The purpose of the research proposal is to get the student thinking critically and working on a focused area of research interest. The student will prepare a research proposal which will act as preparation and training for further research either at a graduate or postgraduate level.


Repeat Assessments


  • Students must receive a minimum grade of 40% in all assessed components to pass the module.
  • Failed components will be repeated.

Indicative Syllabus

What is Research                                                                                                              

  • Outline history of social research
  • Detail philosophies of research
  • Investigate the aims of research in leisure industry
  • Explore discourses of ethics and equality in research practice

The Research Journey: An introduction

  • Explain the process of how to ‘do'research to include
  • Defining the topic
  • Designing a research project
  • Developing research questions
  • Writing a proposal
  •  Conducting a literature review

The Structure of Inquiry

  • Undertaking Research Design
  • Searching the Literature
  • Conceptualization, Operationalisation, and measurement
  • Use of Indexes, Scales, and Typologies
  • The Logic of Sampling

 Modes of Observation

  • Experiments
  • Survey Research
  • Qualitative Field Research
  • Unobtrusive Research
  • Evaluation Research

Collecting data

  • Qualitative and quantitative approaches
  • Assess the work of researchers
  • Describe different and competing research on similar topic

Analysis of Data

  • Qualitative Data Analysis
  • Quantitative Data Analysis
  • Reading and Writing Social Research
  • Generation of findings from research
  • Identification of research limitations
  • Construction of conclusions and recommendations

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Continuous Assessment Research Proposal Continuous Assessment Project 40 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
2 Continuous Assessment Research Journal Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 30 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
3 Continuous Assessment Annotated Bibliography Continuous Assessment Project 30 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Theory 2 Weekly 2.00
Laboratory Practical Lecture Theatre Practical Work 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2015-02-19 Sports Coaching Package Brunel University: Research Methods for Sports Studies: Third Edition Routledge
ISBN 0415749336 ISBN-13 9780415749336

Research Methods for Sports Studies is a comprehensive, engaging and practical textbook that provides a complete grounding in both qualitative and quantitative research methods for the sports studies student. Leading the reader step-by-step through the entire research process, from identifying a research question and collecting and analyzing data to writing the research report, it is richly illustrated throughout with sport-related case-studies and examples from around the world.

Now in a fully revised, updated and expanded third edition, the book includes completely new chapters on using social media and conducting on-line research, as well as expanded coverage of key topics such as conducting a literature review, making the most of statistics, research ethics and presenting research.

Research Methods for Sports Studies is designed to be a complete and self-contained companion to any research methods course and contains a wealth of useful features, such as highlighted definitions of key terms, revision questions and practical research exercises. An expanded companion website offers additional material for students and instructors, including web links, multiple choice revision questions, an interactive glossary, PowerPoint slides and additional learning activities for use in and out of class. This is an essential read for any student undertaking a dissertation or research project as part of their studies in sport, exercise and related fields.

Recommended Reading
2015-07-17 Research Methods in Physical Activity-7th Edition Human Kinetics
ISBN 1450470440 ISBN-13 9781450470445

Research Methods in Physical Activity, Seventh Edition, systematically guides students through the research process, introducing methods and tools specifically for kinesiology and exercise science disciplines, including the subdisciplines of physical therapy, rehabilitation, and occupational therapy. The seventh edition leads students and novice researchers to research competency with the distinctive humor that has become a trademark of this internationally recognized text.

This text provides step-by-step information for every aspect of the research process, from identifying and devising research questions to analyzing data and compiling results for presentation. Methods for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research approaches are addressed, and real-world research questionsincluding historical, experimental, epidemiological, and philosophicalare presented by scholarly contributors who give suggestions for approaches to follow. Photos, anecdotes, and humorous stories are used throughout the text to put students at ease and emphasize key points through practical applications. Enhancements to the seventh edition include the following:

Updated information and techniques for electronic searches to ensure students use best research practices

New information on meta-analysis and the benefits of journal-style writing that teach readers to evaluate and prepare data for scholarly journals and publication

Special attention to ethical issues to help readers understand the regulations involved in using human and animal subjects

New information on logistic regression that aids in the understanding of complex ideas

Further explanation of qualitative and mixed-methods research approaches, in addition to quantitative approaches, to ensure readers use the most appropriate methodology for their research

The content of the seventh edition maintains and expands upon the logical content progression that has made Research Methods in Physical Activity the leading text in the field.

Part I presents an overview of the research process, including problem development, preparation of the research plan, and understanding ethical issues in research and writing. Part II introduces statistical and measurement issues in research, and part III presents various types of or approaches to research and methodology from expert researchers in the field. Part IV includes a writing guide for result findings and details how to develop and organize research papers and presentations. Statistical tables and guides are available in the appendix.

To aid instructors, Research Methods in Physical Activity, Seventh Edition, includes a suite of ancillary materials featuring an instructor guide, test package, an extra data set for instructors who wish to create specialized learning activities, and presentation package plus image bank.

Research Methods in Physical Activity, Seventh Edition, instills in students the confidence to devise, collect, analyze, and present their research in a competent manner by systematically guiding them through the research process. It is an essential text for all emerging researchers in physical activity.

Recommended Reading
2013-01-04 Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 140519202X ISBN-13 9781405192026

Qualitative Research Methods is a comprehensive, all-inclusive resource for the theory and practice of qualitative/ethnographic research methodology.

  • Serves as a how-to guide for qualitative/ethnographic research, detailing how to design a project, conduct interviews and focus groups, interpret and analyze data, and represent it in a compelling manner
  • Demonstrates how qualitative data can be systematically utilized to address pressing personal, organizational, and social problems
  • Written in an engaging style, with in-depth examples from the authors own practice
  • Comprehensive companion website includes sample syllabi, lesson plans, a list of helpful website links, test bank and exam review materials, and exercises and worksheets, available upon publication at www.wiley.com/go/tracy

Recommended Reading
2011-10-07 Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Applications (10th Edition) Pearson
ISBN 0132613174 ISBN-13 9780132613170

Students often fear the educational research course. Dont worry. This book is famous for its lack of jargon, for its clear and concrete explanations, and its light (often funny) tone.  

As you read the book, you will build skills that you need to read educational research and produce your own. The book will help guide you through each step in creating your own research report. You can compare your work with the example published research articles in every methods chapter. In addition, the new Digital Research Tools for the 21st Century feature introduces novel tools and methods you can use to make the process of doing research easier or more efficient like using speech recognition programs to save time transcribing interviews (Chapter 15), using flip cameras and Skype to collect qualitative data (Chapter 14), and using management programs to organize citations (Chapter 21).

Recommended Reading
2012-08-01 Research Proposals: A Practical Guide (Open Up Study Skills) Open University Press
ISBN 0335244068 ISBN-13 9780335244065

This helpful step-by-step handbook will guide the reader through each stage of doing a research proposal from choosing a subject right through to writing it up.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Core Texts -






The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (SAGE Study Skills Series) 2nd Edition  Diana Ridley  Sage  2012

The World of Physical Culture in Sport and Exercise: Visual Methods for Qualitative Research

Cassandra Phoenix and Brett Smith



Research Methods for Sport Studies.

Gratton, C., & Jones, I.

London: Routledge


Writing with a Thesis

Sarah E. Skwire

Wadsworth Publishing; 11 edition


Applied Research and Evaluation Methods in Recreation

Diane Blankenship

Human Kinetics; Har/Psc edition


Social Research, 3rd edition

Sarantakos, S.

London: Palgrave Macmillan


Doing Your Own Research

Kane, E. and M. O' Reilly De Brun

London: Boyars.


The Curious Researcher: A Guide to writing Research Papers

Ballinger, B.

USA: Pearson: MA


Other Resources


Additional Information