NX0422 - Dissertation Preparation and Research Methods

APPLY NOW Book an Open Day Add to My Courses Register your interest / Course PDF

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will learn about a variety of different research methods. This will equip you with the knowledge and practical skills necessary for you to conduct research at Masters’ level and prepare you to complete a Master’s dissertation or consultancy project. By the end of the module you will know how to apply both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques. In quantitative techniques you will learn about sampling, questionnaire design, statistical inference, and hypothesis testing while qualitative techniques covered will include methods such as interviewing and focus groups. Analysis methods such as content analysis and thematic analysis will also be covered. In addition, you will gain some understanding of research philosophy (positivism and interpretivism) and research ethics and you will be able to write a research proposal to bring these ideas together.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of formal sessions, tutor-directed study and independent reading. The sessions will be highly interactive and will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and your own experiences. Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of participation, both individually and within small groups or teams. The majority of classes will be workshop or seminar based (workshops for quantitative methods and seminars for qualitative methods) facilitating practice and experimentation with the methods and techniques covered. This will allow you to learn in an extremely hands-on way whether you are working with a set of quantitative data and using statistical techniques and software such as SPSS to analyse it, or conducting interviews and considering how to analyse qualitative data that results from them. A smaller number of lecture sessions will be used to communicate vital areas for Masters’ researchers at Northumbria University such as the University ethics policy, and also to provide some subject-specific input which may be helpful in providing guidance on possible areas for your choice of topic in the dissertation or consultancy project.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading and preparation for interactive activities. Independent learning will centre upon you identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to your subject area, since by the end of this module you will be writing your research proposal for the dissertation or will be identifying consultancy opportunities. Critical reflection on knowledge, experience and practice underpins the learning and teaching philosophy along with the explicit development of competence

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by the module tutor in addition to various subject experts. These staff will deliver lectures, workshops and seminars relevant to their areas of expertise. Workshops and seminars will be in small groups so that there is ample opportunity for exploring the issues raised in detail.

A comprehensive eLP site will store all the appropriate materials needed for the lectures, workshops and seminars. As part of the module you will also make use of statistical analysis software (SPSS) for processing quantitative data, and there is an electronic reading list indicating which texts, academic reports, conference papers and journal articles should be consulted as the module progresses.

You will be supplied with formative feedback on your performance through group work, seminar and workshop discussion and reflection, case study activity, and theory/practice related discussions. Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module, particularly in relation to seminar tasks where the practical nature of the work will naturally lead to a number of opportunities to give and receive feedback from your tutors and from peers. In addition, there will be a number of opportunities for you to discuss your potential research ideas with staff who have expertise in your chosen subject area. This will provide you with formative feedback on your proposed dissertation research or possible consultancy interests and will help you to put together your proposal.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• An understanding of the value of research methods in completing a Masters dissertation. [MLO1]

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Skills of data collection and analysis relevant to their chosen research topic. [MLO2]

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Reflect on your own ethical values. [MLO3]

How will I be assessed?

You will receive formative feedback from subject specialist staff regarding your potential dissertation research topic. This will be face-to-face feedback and will take place during subject specialist consultation sessions.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

This module will provide you with essential knowledge and skills needed for you to complete a high quality Masters’ dissertation or consultancy project. By undertaking and reflecting on practical research-based activities you will understand the process of designing and carrying out a research study. This will place you in a strong position to undertake your own Masters’ level research.

At the end of the module you will write a research proposal. If you go on to do the dissertation this will be assessed and will contribute to your final mark. In the dissertation you will work under the supervision of a member of academic staff and your proposal will also help to ensure you get the most from this relationship. Some students may opt for the Masters’ consultancy project instead of the dissertation, but irrespective of choice the research methods skills developed in this module will be critical in developing your ability to collect, analyse and interpret data.

Course info

Credits 0

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time
2 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location Law and NBS Building, City Campus East

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy