MSc Management and Information Systems: Change and Development

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Research Skills Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI72090
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


  • Introduction to research
  • Planning and conducting research
  • Designing research
  • Literature and secondary data
  • Data collection methods: questionnaires observation, interviews, etc.
  • Analysing qualitative and quantitative data


The unit aims to:
-provide postgraduate students in the development informatics programmes at GDI with an understanding of research methodologies and techniques
- provide training to design and undertake data gathering and analysis, and critically analyse research literature on development informatics in terms of its methodological foundations.
- provide students with a good grasp of the conventions of using documentary and data sources in the preparation and presentation of written reports or papers.

Learning outcomes

  •  State the nature and scope of information systems and management research

    · Outline the main research strategies

    · Outline the principal research methods that are available to use in the context of those


    · Use a research method or methods appropriately in your dissertation and in later research

    · Produce a research proposal for your dissertation

    · Make a start on your dissertation, using your research proposal as a framework

    · Understand specific features of research in developing, transitional and international


Teaching and learning methods

Each face-to-face 2-hr lecture session includes lecture presentation, case study material, student group activities and exercises, and group discussion. Tutorials provide further practical exercises and ICT4D case studies. Additionally, students are expected to engage with e-learning materials provided via Blackboard to support learning. These include lecture slides and exercises, extensive session notes, model solutions to exercises, links to research papers and websites, etc.
The course is highly participative, encouraging students to share knowledge and experience. It is also practical, encouraging students to apply research tools, techniques and theory to real-world case studies, with a particular emphasis on developing country contexts.

Intellectual skills

-link theory to real-world practice.
- critically analyse ICT4D research models
- critically analyse research techniques.
- assess the reliability of data analysis and interpret the results of that analysis

Practical skills

- apply ICT4D research skills, using a variety of tools and methods
- apply sensitivity to human and practical issues in research.
- design and scope a research project
- demonstrate competence in assessing, presenting and interpreting data in a critical way from a range of primary and secondary sources

Transferable skills and personal qualities

- group working
- discussion and debating skills
- literature reviewing 

Assessment methods

Based on January 2021 field work: 1500 words, 40%
Dissertation Research Outline: 2500 words, 60%

Re-sit Assessment: extended dissertation research outline. 4000 words, 100%

Feedback methods

Assignment feedback provided via Blackboard

Recommended reading

Saunders, M., P. Lewis and A. Thornhill (2016) Research methods for business students, London: Pearson (7th edition)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Tutorials 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 122

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Negar Monazam Tabrizi Unit coordinator

Return to course details