PE7000 - Research Methods

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will develop your understanding of the research process and research methods. You will engage with materials that will enable you to plan and design a research proposal for a subsequent research based study in your discipline area.

Aspects will include:
• Engagement with the purpose and process of research
• Identification and refining of appropriate research questions
• Critical awareness of research theory, approaches, methods and ethics, to inform effective research design
• Searching for, managing and evaluatingsources for inclusion in a literature review

You will develop your skills as autonomous, reflective learners in support of the process of completing the dissertation.

How will I learn on this module?

Your learning in this module is through actively engaging with the research process through defining your own study objectives, the parameters of the research, identifying and evaluating initial relevant literature and proposing and justifying an appropriate research design.

In this module you are empowered as partners in the learning process, taking responsibility for your own learning. The self-directed aspects of this module are supported by guidance at the module level – provided via the vle.

Module information ensures that you have a clear understanding of what is required at the outset of the module. A theoretical overview of the research process provides the basis for the learning materials in this module. Engaging with the materials (including written, audio and video formats), undertaking interactive tasks, and following up directed reading, will provide a framework for informing and justifying your decisions in relation to your own research study proposal.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be an autonomous, self-motivated learner within a supportive distance learning environment. The module tutor provides generic module guidance in various formats via the vle.

Learning materials are provided via the vle in relation to the different aspects of the research process, using a variety of written, audio and video methods. Interaction with these modules, as well as directed and independent reading, will develop your understanding of the research process which you can then apply to your individual study proposal. The university library provides additional support in terms of research skills as well as identifying literature in relation to your chosen topic.

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:

• MLO1: A critical evaluation of the purpose and process of research

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO2: Define a researchable problem, establishing aims and objectives and research methodology,
• MLO3: Identify and critically evaluate relevant literature
• MLO4: Design a programme of research.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: Demonstrate the capacity for independent working, critical reflection and autonomous decision making, initiative and creativity in problem solving, and effective project management

How will I be assessed?

How will I be assessed? (SRS 0006)
Please give details of all formative and summative assessment process indicating which MLOs will be addressed and how feedback will be provided.

Formative assessment: Engaging with tasks in the learning materials will provide formative feedback in terms of general understanding of the research process.

Summative assessment: There is one component..

1. Research based study Proposal. This assignment requires students to present their plans for a small scale research based study including aims and objectives, an overview of the literature, planned empirical research design, proposed timetable). It tests MLO1,MLO2, MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5.

As a result of this coursework you will receive summative feedback which can be used to inform the ongoing evolution of your research based study.


Not applicable


Not applicable

Module abstract

You will develop your understanding of the research process and the theory and practice of research methods within a surveying context in order to effectively prepare a research proposal for a student led research based study. Learning materials about the different aspects of the research process will provide a framework within which you can actively apply your understanding to your own research proposal. Directed and independent learning will inform your proposal.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Distance Learning

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

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.


Useful Links

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy