Business and Management Research Design

Module description

This module provides students with the necessary integration of ideas, concepts and skills for carrying out impactful empirical research. The module has no pre-requisites but is dependent on its co-requisite modules Business and Management Research Skills, Quantitative Research Methods and Qualitative Research Methods. Students will investigate substantive methodological issues related to management studies research that will prepare them for writing their research methodology chapters. The module is suitable for all MRes/PhD students carrying out research in management studies and global political economy.

Full module specification

Module title:Business and Management Research Design
Module code:BEMM067
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Katie Ledingham - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



BEMM158, BEMM065, BEMM066

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

  • Equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to design coherent and meaningful research.
  • Enable students to develop insight into methodological issues associated with research in management studies.
  • Encourage students to take a critical approach to selecting strategies for conducting research that will achieve highly reliable and valid research findings suitable for publication in leading management journals.
  • Prepare students for the rigour necessary to write a defensible research methodology chapter.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Identify methodological issues associated with conducting research within management studies
  • 2. Critique research strategies relevant to management studies research
  • 3. Develop a coherent design for a research question in management studies appropriate for a PhD

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Evaluate and assess the reliability and validity of published research

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Prepare and communicate analyses effectively through written reports and presentations
  • 6. Demonstrate independent/self-directed learning skills, including time management and working to deadlines

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 22 (11 x 2 hours)Mixture of lectures, seminars and presentations
Guided Independent Study 128Preparation for seminars Reading Preparing assignments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation on a methodological issue relating to research design15 minutes1-6Verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Methodology essay outlining a research design to address a research question1003000 words1-6Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Methodology essay outlining a research design to address a research question (3000 words)Methodology essay outlining a research design to address a research question (3000 words)1-6August

Syllabus plan

  • Research methodology
  • Evaluating the reliability and validity of research findings
  • Developing research questions
  • Design types and selection of the research approach
  • Sources of data, negotiating entry, ethical considerations
  • Using and contributing to theory
  • Case study research
  • Mixed methods research
  • Introduction to digital methods

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Creswell, J.W. & Creswell, J.D. (2018). Research design : qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (5th ed.). Los Angeles ; London: SAGE.

Yin, R.K. (2018). Case study research : design and methods (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA.: Sage Publications.

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