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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the philosophical and methodological underpinnings of research. The basic principles of research methods and the overall research process will be covered. The module will also cover qualitative research methods which were originally developed in the social sciences to enable researchers to understand and explain social and cultural phenomena. Increasingly these issues become more important as software becomes more pervasive in modern life.


The following is a suggested list of topics to be covered in this course: - Theoretical and empirical concepts: design science and natural science models. - Epistemology, ontology, methodology and axiology; - Positivist, interpretivist and critical research paradigms; - Basic phases of a research project; - Deductive and inductive logic systems; - Validity and generalisability; - Research Ethics; - Qualitative research methods (e.g. action research, case studies, ethnography and grounded theory); - Qualitative modes of analysis (e.g. hermeneutics and semiotics).

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: 1. Consider and select an appropriate research paradigm for a specified research scenario; 2. Consider and select an appropriate research method within a research paradigm, for a specific research scenario; 3. Determine the validity issues and reliability issues that arise for a selected research method within a specific research scenario; 4. Mitigate against said validity issues and reliability issues; 5. Apply best practice with respect to research ethics in empirical design; 6. Apply qualitative analysis to qualitative data-sets; 7. Select the appropriate statistical technique for quantitative data sets generated by selected types of empirical studies;

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: 1. Critically judge other researchersÆ empirical research; 2. Embrace best practice in regard to empirical design and empirical ethics;

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)

How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

C. James Goodwin (2003) Research in Psychology: Methods and Design (3rd edition) , John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Judith Bell (2005) Doing Your Research Project (4th edition) , Open University Press

Other Relevant Texts:

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Autumn - 09/09

Module Leader: