Research Inquiry for Practice

Module description

This module is compulsory for you if you are studying on the Business BSc in Penryn.  It is a pre-requisite for the future-facing dissertation module in your final year.  Research Inquiry for Practice will equip you with the required research skills necessary for conducting your own independent research.

The module teaches you :

  • The principles of research design and execution
  • The key skills required to conduct research using both primary and secondary data
  • The key skills required to collect and analyse both qualitative and quantitative data
  • How to present your research findings in a report/dissertation format

On completion of this module you will be better equipped to design a research proposal, select an appropriate set of research methodologies, decide which is the most relevant tool for analysis and how to present your findings in a coherent format.

Full module specification

Module title:Research Inquiry for Practice
Module code:BEP2060
Module level:2
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Constantine Manolchev - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






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


Module aims

The principle aim is to prepare you for your own independent study in the form of your dissertation.

The secondary aim of the module is to equip you with the skills required to conduct your own primary and secondary research using both quantitative and qualitative data with the appropriate method of analysis.

Finally, this module will give you some insight into how to work with or commission research in your future employment contexts.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. explain the difference between different theoretical approaches to conducting research
  • 2. gain awareness of the ethical concerns associated with conducting research on private individuals and commercial organisations.
  • 3. analyse/discuss issues associated with the validity of research claims
  • 4. assess and select the most suitable research methods and analysis tools for to investigate your chosen research questions.
  • 5. complete a research project.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. design an ethical proposal
  • 7. produce a literature review for a topic of your choice
  • 8. design appropriate research questions, a quantitative survey questionnaire and relevant analysis methods, use qualitative data collection and analysis methods.
  • 9. adopt a methodology suitable for chosen research question
  • 10. collect and analyse both quantitative and qualitative data

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 11. use a variety of software to analyse and present research findings.
  • 12. present a variety of data in order to answer a specific research question(s).

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 & Teaching activities22Taught lectures to deliver the course content
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities4Tutorials Practical IT based workshops to be conducted in an ICT suite to train the students in the appropriate technology e.g. SPSS, Survey Monkey, NVivo
Independent Study124You will be expected to manage your time accordingly for research, analysis and write up.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Submission of an e-Ethics form1,2.3.4,6 Verbal

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
Literature and a methodology on a chosen topic402,000 words1-4, 6, 7,9Written individual feedback
Collection and analysis of quantitative or qualitative data602,000 words5, 8, 10, 11Written individual feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Literature and a methodology on a chosen topicA literature review, methodology and an ethical consent form- 2,500 words1,2,3,4,6,7,9August
Collection and analysis of quantitative or qualitative dataInterview questions/questioannaire and a discussion of analysis - 1,500 words5, 8, 10, 11August

Re-assessment notes

A student will be referred in all components if the student fails the module with a mark of below 40% overall.

A student if deferred in a single component will be reassessed in that component only.

Syllabus plan

  • Introduction to research– how to go about completing your dissertation and independent research, why we conduct empirical research, the different sources of data – i.e. primary and secondary, the different types of data qualitative and quantitative. Different approaches to research.
  • Research Design– The process and steps to conducting research. Designing a research proposal.
  • Setting the scene– Narrowing your focus and designing your research objectives
  • Secondary data sources– and how to conduct a literature review
  • Methodology part 1 – Quantitative data collection methods the different types, how to design a questionnaire, online survey tools e.g. Survey Monkey
  • Methodology part 2 – Quantitative data analysis methods, basic stats for data analysis and introduction to SPSS
  • Methodology part 3 – Qualitative data collection methods, inc: focus groups, in depth interviews, practice participant observation approaches
  • Methodology part 4 – Qualitative data analysis methods, content analysis and NVivo
  • Presentation of Results, Conclusions and recommendations
  • How to present your dissertation/report structure

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bazeley, P. and Jackson, K., (2013) Qualitative Data Analysis with Nvivo,Sage,
  • Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project, Open University Press
  • Black, K. (2007): Business Statistics for Contemporary Decision-Making, Fifth Edition, Wiley
  • Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2011), Business Research Methods. Third Edition, Oxford University Press.
  • Burke, R. (2003) Project Management: Planning and Control Techniques, Fourth Edition, Wiley.
  • Coles, T.E., Duval, D.T. and Shaw, G. (2013) A Student’s Guide to Writing Dissertations and Theses in Tourism Studies and Related Disciplines. Abingdon: Routledge
  • Cresswell, J.W. (2008) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Sage.
  • De Walt, K.M. (2010) Participant Observation: A Guide For Field Workers, AltaMira Press
  • Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. (2012) Management Research, Fourth Edition, Sage
  • Gill, J. & Johnson, P. (2012) Research Methods for Managers, Fourth Edition, London: Sage
  • Gray, D. (2009) Doing Research in the Real World, Second Edition, Sage
  • Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review, Sage 
  • Horn, R. (2009) Researching and Writing Dissertations: A Complete Guide for Business and Management Students, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Jankowicz, A. (2005) Business Research Projects, Fourth Edition, Thomson Learning
  • McMillan, K. & Wevers, J. (2009) How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports, Prentice Hall
  • Myers, M.D. (2008) Qualitative Research in Business and Management, Sage
  • Yin, D. (2009) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Fourth Edition, Sage

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