BSc Management with Industrial/Professional Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Research Methodology

Course unit fact file
Unit code BMAN24410
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit provides students with a detailed introduction to the research process and the different skills, knowledge and understanding required to conduct a final year business and management dissertation. Through a range of lectures, seminars and surgeries the course seeks to focus on the development of research questions, conceptual thinking and literature reviews and the selection and application of appropriate methods and techniques for data collection and analysis.  A major aspect of this course is the provision of detailed individual feedback to ensure that students have support throughout the course and in relation to the different assignments.


Only available to students on: BSc Mgt/Mgt (Specialism), IM and IMABS.

Dependent Unit - BMAN 31500 Dissertation


This course unit aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of the different aspects connected to the research process in management, business and the social sciences. During the first semester, the course will focus on specific debates underlying research in the social sciences and how these debates inform our understanding of knowledge, objects and truth. This will be followed by an examination of different methodological perspectives, critical thinking skills, developing a literature review and conceptual thinking in relation to specific research studies. The second semester will provide a detailed overview of the different techniques connected to qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis to ensure that appropriate methods are selected to conduct future research. Overall, this course seeks to develop an understanding of how to conduct research in terms of producing research questions, proposal writing and supervision, writing a dissertation, literature reviews, research methods, and specific ethical issues.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course unit successful students should have: 
•    A critical understanding of the different assumptions underlying research into the social sciences and the nature and status of research methodology
•    An overview of the different debates and issues underlying the research process and how this relates to the specific methods selected to conduct a study
•    An awareness of the research process and the different issues to consider when writing a proposal, performing a literature review, conducting empirical research and completing a dissertation


Semester 1
1.    Introduction to Research Methodology
2.    Research Perspectives and Assumptions
3.    Electronic Searches 
4.    Developing Research Questions & Reviews
5.    Research Questions Review
6.    Reading Week
7.    Literature Review
8.    Critical Thinking and Research Development
9.    Research Feedback and Analysis 
10.    Ethics, Planning and Methods
11.    Research Methodology Overview and Surgery

Semester 2 

1.    Introducing Research Methods & Assignment Review 
2.    Surveys: Asking Good Questions 
3.    Experiments and Market Testing 
4.    Quantitative Analysis: Analysing Research Findings 
5.    Qualitative Research 
6.    Access & Proposal Writing 
7.    Qualitative Data Analysis 
8.    Qualitative & Mixed Methods 
9.    Research Planning, Dissertation Structure and Methodology Overview 


Teaching and learning methods

Methods of Delivery and Study Hours

Lecture & Surgeries – 40 Hours
Seminar/Tutorial/Workshop/Lab Hours - 11 Hours 
Private Study - 150 hours
Total Study Hours - 200 hours


Online blended learning

Employability skills

Analytical skills
The research methodology course provides the foundations for further research at an undergraduate and postgraduate level and also develops the ability to think through organizational and management problems critically and analytically. It encourages the students to structure their thinking in relation to specific perspectives and paradigms and develops their skills in proposal writing and research planning the process.

Assessment methods

100% Coursework 

Assignment One: Research Question – 10% of the final mark

Assignment Two: Methodological Assumptions and Literature Review – 30% of the final mark

Assignment Three: Research Proposal – 60% of the final mark

Resits will be in the form of a research proposal.

Feedback methods

Feedback will be an integrative part of the teaching process. For example, this will include discussions within lectures and seminars, individual consultations, group surgeries, feedback sessions, coursework feedback, etc.

Please feel free to offer any feedback either individually or within the class setting at any point during the course. In addition, there will be a course unit survey at the end of the teaching period.

Recommended reading

While there is no core text, the following list provides a range of introductory and extended reading in this area. 

Bryman A and Bell E (2012) Business Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bryman A, Williams M, May T and Wiggins R (1996). An Introduction to the Philosophy of Social Research. Routledge. 
Chalmers AF (2001). What is this Thing Called Science? University of Queensland Press.
Delanty G (2005). Social Science: Philosophical and Methodological Foundations (2nd edition). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Delanty G and Strydom P (eds.) (2003). Philosophies of Social Science: The Classic and Contemporary Readings. Open University Press
Denzin N and Lincoln Y (2000). Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage.
Gilbert N (2008). Researching Social Life. Sage
Gill J and Johnson P (2010). Research Methods for Managers (4th Edition). London: Sage Publications. 
Malhotra NK, Birks DF and Wills P (2012). Marketing Research, An Applied Approach (4th Edition). Pearson.
Punch K (1998). Introduction of Social Research. Sage
Robson C (2007). How to do a Research Project: a guide for undergraduate students. Oxford: Blackwell.
Robson C (2011) Real World Research. London: Blackwell.
Schwab DP (2011). Research Methods for Organizational Studies. Routledge. 
Seale C (2004). Researching Society and Culture. Sage
Silverman D (2013). A Very Short, Fairly Interesting, Reasonably Cheap Book about Qualitative Research. Sage.
Silverman D (2010). Doing Qualitative Research. Sage
Smith MJ (1998). Social Science in Question. Sage
Thomas, A. B. (2004) Research Skills for Management Studies. London: Routledge.
Thomas, A. B. (2006) Research Concepts for Management Studies. London: Routledge.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 40
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 149

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Anita Greenhill Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Pre-requisites: N/A
Co-requisites: N/A
Dependent course units: Research Methodology is a prerequisite for the final year dissertation (BMAN31500).

Programme Restrictions: BSc in Management/Management (Specialism), BSc International Management, BSc International Management with American Business Studies.

For Academic Year 2023/24

Updated: March 2023

Approved by: March UG Committee

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