PE5002 - Business Research Methods

What will I learn on this module?

This module provides an introduction to research methods and research skills. Themes addressed will typically draw from the following:

• Conducting a critical literature review
• The role of quantitative and qualitative research methods
• Qualitative research methods – interviewing and observation, analysing qualitative data
• Quantitative research methods – data collection and statistical analysis
• Developing a research question
• Ethics in research
• Structuring a research proposal

You will learn about qualitative and quantitative research skills including collecting and analysing data. You will have the opportunity to consider your own research ideas within your organisation, to conduct and critique existing literature, to understand and analyse appropriate research methods, and to identify the significance of your research interests. Furthermore you will be encouraged to consider your role as a researcher and the ethical considerations in the research process.

Through addressing these themes you will also learn the significance of research proposals as well as how to structure them. To support you in this you will complete a research proposal based on an issue to research in your employer organisation which you will identify yourself. This proposal will then be used to guide you when completing future research projects during your final year of study.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a range of interactive on-line learning materials, scheduled on-line workshops at key points in the module, tutor guidance, feedback, and independent directed and self-directed learning. Importantly, you will also learn at work, through reflecting on your experiences and applying your knowledge from the module to your practice in the workplace. The workshops will introduce you to module, assessment and key theories and concepts.

Your learning is supported by a Teaching and Learning Plan, offering guidance on what you should be doing on a week by week basis. This will include engaging with the online learning materials, reading, workplace reflection and preparing for the scheduled online interactive workshops. These are designed to help with the completion of the assessment. Within this plan there are also suggested learning activities, which guide you in your independent learning. These activities allow you to reflect and evaluate your knowledge and skills in this area.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The Teaching and Learning plan will provide several prompts and guidance to support you academically. Support will also include opportunities to gain feedback from workshop tutors and peers through the online discussion board and Blackboard Collaborate.

Your module is supported by an e-learning portal, which houses all the module learning materials, workshop resources, interactive activities, assessment details and various other support facilities which are provided by the University.
In addition, to assist you in developing knowledge, you will have access to the University's library facilities, including extensive electronic resources, eBooks and electronic academic journal articles.

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:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1) Your appreciation of methods of enquiry into business-related issues/projects

2) Your awareness of the limitations of your knowledge of organisational issues/practices and how this may influence your research proposal

Intellectual/Professional skills and abilities:
3) Your ability to produce a research proposal into an organisational issue, informed by your knowledge of methods of enquiry

Personal Values attributes:
4) Your appreciation of how ethical issues may impact on enquiry-based research studies

How will I be assessed?

Formative feedback will be provided in relation to a range of online activities throughout the module.

Your summative assessment will take the form of a 2,000 word assignment which will address all module learning outcomes. (MLO 1-4)

Criteria will be provided to enable you to understand what is expected in the assignment and how you will be assessed on your performance.





Module abstract

“Research Methods” is designed to provide you with an introduction to research methods, to begin to develop your research skills and to consider yourself in the role of researcher. The module enables direct application of theory to your organisational context, as you begin to consider the potential issues for investigation and develop your understandings of their significance as well as the most suitable ways to approach them. Through completing the module you will develop your awareness of organisational issues as well as your analytical skills. Furthermore, the assessment will develop your awareness of the research process in preparation of completing your study in the final year of your programme. The module will also support the enhancement of your future employability prospects through developing your capability to conduct business research and therefore contribute more effectively in the workplace.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Distance Learning

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start Upcoming Intakes - July 2024, October 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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