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Research Methods

Start Date

7 March
9:30 am


This course can be taken anywhere in the world.


Fee on application

Note: This course is a module on our Flexible and Distance MA in Development Studies. Only learners who are already on the programme may take part in this module. Click here for further information.

Module Aim

The aim of this course in Research Methodologies is to provide an integrated training in methods appropriate for primary research in development.

Module Objectives

  • To facilitate engagement with debates in social research
  • To investigate various research techniques
  • To complete successful applied research within learners’ chosen specialist area

Module Learning Outcomes

Course participants will be able to undertake and present a piece of primary research in a specialist area related to development studies. This implies that:

  • Course participants will have a good understanding of different theoretical approaches to social research.
  • Course participants will have a familiarity with different data collection tools which can be applied in primary development research.
  • Participants will have an understanding of ethical issues in relation to carrying out research in a development context.
  • Participants will be familiar with different sampling strategies and will be able to analyse primary research data.
  • Participants will have been prepared to carry out specialist research and have a specialised and deep understanding of one area of development studies.

Module Content

Block 1 – Introduction to Research

  • Starting to Research

Block 2 – Some Design and Methodological Issues

  • Different Approaches to Social Research – Qualitative and Quantitative Research
  • Designing a Sampling Strategy
  • Designing a Case Study – Refining a Research Topic
  • Interviews and Focus Group Discussions

Block 3 – Principles of Quantitative Research

  • Questionnaires and Surveys
  • Quantitative Data Gathering
  • Data Presentation
  • Central Tendency and Dispersion

Block 4 – Research Proposal Preparation

  • Tutorial – Research Proposal Preparation

Block 5 – Participatory Research

  • Introduction to Participatory and Emancipatory Research
  • Participatory Workshop on Ethics in Social Research

Block 6 – Working towards a Dissertation

  • Analysing Qualitative Data
  • Review of Research Design and Proposal Preparation
  • Review of Data Collection Methods for Research
  • Undertaking a Literature Review and Writing a Research Proposal
  • Presenting Information and Writing a Dissertation
  • Research Presentations


Please note that this description is subject to change.Details of assessment and up to date reading lists for this module will be made available to learners following enrollment.
Please note that this description is subject to change.
For further information on our Flexible & Distance Learning MA in Development Studies click here.


Research Methods

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