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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
  • How to map a new body of literature
  • 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 utilise specialist research software packages such as SPSS for quantitative research and NVivo for qualitative research.

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:2023/4
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. Clarify the University of Exeter’s ethical review process
  • 7. Produce an annotated bibliography on 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. Apply a methodology suitable for chosen research question
  • 10. 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 activities6Taught lectures to deliver the course content
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities12Practical IT based workshops lectures to be conducted in an ICT suite to develop students’ technological research skills e.g. SPSS, Survey Monkey , NVivo
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity4Revision tutorials
Guided Independent Study128You 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
Quant and Qual workshopsDuring sessions8Verbal

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
Qualitative Data Analysis Report401,000 words (if quantitative)-1,500 words (if qualitative)1, 2, 4, 5, 9,10,11,12Written individual feedback
A literature review602,500 words3, 6, 7Written individual feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Data Analysis Report, 40%Report on the methodology of a quantitative/qualitative article of own choice, 1,500 words, weighed at 40%1,2,3,4,6,7,9,12August
Literature Review, 60%Review of the literature on a chosen subject culminating in either a research question or a hypothesis, 2,000 words, weighed at 60%5, 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

    • Module Introduction: what is research, process and stages. Introduction to the module and its assessment strategy.  The place of ethics in research.
    • The Research Question: from a review of the literature to a literature review, approaches and best practice.  Deriving the research question from existing knowledge.
    • Research Strategy and Design: epistemology and ontology as perspectives on reality. Qualitative and quantitative strategies.  Experimental, cross-sectional, longitudinal and case-study designs.
    • Reading Quantitative Data: SPSS workshop covering central tendency measures, as well as measures of dispersion and skewness.
    • Working with Variables: SPSS workshop covering the normal distribution and its properties; samples and populations.
    • Setting and Testing Hypotheses: SPSS workshop covering the null hypothesis and tests of significance.  Chi-square tests for goodness of fit, correlation and regression.
    • Working with Words: NVivo workshop covering the process and approaches of qualitative research.
    • Collecting Qualitative Data: NVivo workshop covering methods of collective qualitative data.
    • Coding and Analysing Qualitative Data: NVivo workshop on thematic analysis and linking back to theory.
    • Revision: two revision sessions

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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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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