Research Skills

Module description

This module introduces students to the essentials of research methods and provides a foundation for undertaking a research project including a Business Project or Dissertation.  This module will also appeal to students who are interested in a career in consulting or in developing their skills as a future manager.  As well as addressing how to design and execute a research project, including how to collect and analyse different forms of data, it also explores how best to present findings to ensure they have impact.  Increasingly we are required to provide evidence for decisions.  This module enables you to develop the skills required to manage research projects effectively.

This module is not suitable for students taking, or having taken: BEM2028 or BEM3010.

Co-requisites: none

Pre-requisites: none

Full module specification

Module title:Research Skills
Module code:BEM2029
Module level:2
Academic year:2017/8
Module lecturers:
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






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


Module aims

The aim of this module is to develop students’ research skills and capabilities, including developing clear research questions, understanding different methods of data collection and analysis, being able to design a robust research project, and communicating its findings effectively. The module aims to help students navigate and develop their confidence in conducting a research project and to develop an appreciation of how this can be of value in both an academic and professional context.

Module is recommended for those planning a dissertation or project in their final year, but it is not compulsory.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Explain how research is underpinned by theories about what the world is (ontology) and how we come to know it (epistemology)
  • 2. Explore how to design a research project
  • 3. Explain the advantages and limitations of a variety of organizational research methods

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Describe the challenges of conducting research in an organizational context
  • 5. Describe how to present data from organizational research

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Design effective research questions that are of practical interest in organizations
  • 7. Research and study independently

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
Lectures2211 x 2 hour lectures covering the core concepts
Workshops105 x 2 hour lab-based workshops engaged in practical exercises

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
In class exercises; group based. Feedback to class on results of class exercise10 minutes (x 5)1-7In class / verbal
In class discussionDuring 2 hour workshop1-7In class / 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
Essay402000 words, individual essay1,2,4,6Written
Assignment602500 words, individual assignment3,5,7Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssayAs aboveJuly reassessment period
AssignmentAssignmentAs aboveJuly reassessment period

Re-assessment notes

Students will be required to submit the failed assessment component(s) if they fail the module overall.

Syllabus plan

Indicative topics to be addressed include:

  • Introduction to management research & managing the research project
  • Understanding approaches to research and developing research questions
  • Literature review: purpose and process
  • Research design & access
  • Introduction to data collection including: ethnography, observations, interviews and focus groups, questionnaires, secondary data, archival research
  • Sampling and instrument design (questionnaires and interview schedules)
  • Introduction to data analysis including qualitative data (managing data; coding, content analysis etc.) and quantitative data (preparing data; basic analysis)
  • Ethics & Reflexivity
  • Communicating Research and Impact

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Texts you might wish to consult include:

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., and Jackson, P. R. (2011) Management Research (4th edn) London: Sage.

Eriksson, P., & Kovalainen, A. (2015). Qualitative Methods in Business Research: A Practical Guide to Social Research. London: Sage.

Lee, N and Lings, I (2008) Doing Business Research. London: Sage

McMillan, K. and Weyers, J. (2011) How to Write Dissertation & Project Reports (2nd ed.) New Jersey: Prentice Hall

Oakshott, L. (2016). Essential Quantitative Methods: For Business, Management and Finance. Palgrave Macmillan.

Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R. (2013) Research Methods for Business. (6th edn.) Wiley

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Indicative Journal Articles:

Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of management review, 14(4), 532-550.

Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative inquiry, 12(2), 219-245.

Molina-Azorin, J. F. (2012). Mixed methods research in strategic management: Impact and applications. Organizational Research Methods, 15(1), 33-56

Morgan, G., & Smircich, L. (1980). The case for qualitative research. Academy of management review, 5(4), 491-500.

Rosen, M. (1991). Coming to terms with the field: understanding and doing organizational ethnography. Journal of Management Studies, 28(1), 1-24.

Origin date


Last revision date