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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:2023/4
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Jing-Lin Duanmu - 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 22Mixture of lectures, seminars and presentations (11 x 2 hours)
Guided Independent Study 128Preparation for seminars Reading Preparing assignments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentationso The number of presentations required: 2 presentations o Whether these are individual presentations or group work: individual o Provide a word count and/or slide deck count to ensure the assessment meets the requirements of a Level 7 module: 8-15 slides Oral The two presentations are for students to develop their skills and experience. They are not marked.

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 question803,000 words1-6Written
Presentations20o The number of presentations required: 2 presentations o Whether these are individual presentations or group work: individual o Provide a word count and/or slide deck count to ensure the assessment meets the requirements of a Level 7 module: 8-15 slides o Specify whether the 25% will be an overall average grade of all presentations, pre-calculated and provided to the Hub, or graded individually: 25% will be an overall grade of all presentationOral

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Methodology essay (80%)Methodology essay (3,000 words, 800%)1-6August/September Reassessment Period
Presentation (20%)Presentation (20%)1-6August/September Reassessment Period

Syllabus plan

The sessions provide an overview of key research designs and methodologies commonly used in business and management research studies. The following content will be covered in an integrated fashion throughout the course:

  • Research design types and selection of a research approach
  • Research methodologies
  • Exploratory research designs
  • Descriptive research designs
  • Causal study designs
  • Advanced quantitative and qualitative research designs
  • Ethical considerations

Sessions will involve the discussion and analysis of relevant research papers and book chapters that demonstrate the importance of choosing appropriate research designs to ensure that research questions are addressed effectively.

Students will be encouraged to critically reflect and discuss limitations and problems related to specific research designs and learn how to overcome limitations by adjusting or combining and integrating research designs.

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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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


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