SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3N225220
Module Leader Constantinos Choromides
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • C (May start)-A (September start)
  • S-C (May start)-A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to allow the students to develop an understanding of research methods in the context of lifelong learning and application of qualitative and quantitative research strategies in the work based learning research projects. The module seeks to equip students with the necessary academic skills to enable them to critically evaluate literature, develop the skills and knowledge necessary to understand and apply existing research, plan a reliable research project applicable in the workplace, and evaluate information and research methods to achieve particular research objectives. It also aims to raise students' awareness of ethical concerns related to research. Summary of PRIME related challenges and themes: Students will be encouraged to identify and investigate contemporary research topics which directly address issues which confront public and private sector organisations and how such dilemmas, for example, legal, ethical, economical, international business, financial and/or marketing related issues, may be successfully researched, by planning a reliable research project applicable in the workplace .


The syllabus of the module will cover the following issues: - The stages of the research project: research design, data collection, data analysis and writing research report; - Research Philosophies - Generating and clarifying a research question; - The methods of planning and writing a critical literature review; - Qualitative and quantitative research strategies; - Primary and Secondary Data - Sampling strategies - Interviewing and Focus Groups - Questionnaire Design - Qualitative Data Analysis - Quantitative Data Analysis - Data presentation - Legal requirements and ethics in research; collection, holding and sharing information - Validity, reliability and generalisability of research; - Preparing a work based research proposal;

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Critically reflect on the specific nature of work-based investigation, decision making and research2. Demonstrate a capability to design a work-based project3. Create a justified proposal for a work-based project (with respect to methodology and literature)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This work based module adopts a blended approach to learning which combines face to face contact and online learning via GCU's virtual learning environment, GCU Learn. The teaching and learning strategy encourages an active and self-directed approach to learning. In the context of a work based ethos, teaching and learning methods use real world and real work scenarios to promote action learning, inquiry based learning, problem based learning and peer learning. To this end learning will involve formal and informal strategies which place an emphasis on the integration of learning and work. Students will be expected to take a critical stance as they draw on academic theories and techniques in order to frame, analyse and solve actual work-based problems. The module utilises an interactive lecture programme where students are encouraged to participate and contribute. Students are required to undertake a programme of specified reading for independent learning, and reflect upon managerial practices within the workplace. The teaching and skills development programme will be supported via GCU Learn, which will also enhance the students' ability to utilise e-communication. Learners will be supported during the module by the module team which includes module tutors, work based mentors and Academic Development Tutors. Module tutors act as facilitators and also determine the level and accuracy of knowledge acquisition at key points in the delivery. Additionally, input, when necessary, either directly or with the support of external experts will add to the authenticity, credibility and application of education and learning to the workplace. Work based mentors provide a full spectrum of workplace support; helping apprentices to identify relevant work activity that can operate as a source for work-integrated learning, advise on the development of work-based projects, provide feedback on the development of professional competence, and formatively comment on progress in achieving negotiated work-integrated learning objectives. Academic Development Tutors will provide support to help maximise potential in relation to academic writing, referencing and the development of effective study techniques. Both formative and summative assessment strategies will be adopted during the module. Formative assessment will be used not only to encourage knowledge of the subject, but also to help develop transferable skills. Summative assessments will provide evidence of the learning achieved throughout the module. Summative assessments are compulsory. A mark of 35% must be achieved for each summative assessment and an overall mark of 40% must be achieved in the module. Students will have access to ongoing academic support as they work through the module assessment activities, and staff will assist students to reflect on and evaluate achievement of the learning outcomes. The percentage of Work Based Learning for this module, as represented by the Independent Learning 'Activity Type' is 72%. Work Based Assessment will account for 20% with the remainder of 8% accounted for by Lectures and Seminars.

Indicative Reading

Core Reading BRYMAN, A. and BELL, E., 2015. Business Research Methods. 4 th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press COLLIS, J. and HUSSEY, R., 2014. Business research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. London: Palgrave Macmillan. (Available as e-book from GCU Library) CAMESRON, S. 2009. Business research methods: a practical approach. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. (Available as e-book from GCU Library) COSTLEY, C. ELLIOT, G. & GIBBS, P., 2010. Doing Work Based Research Approaches to Enquiry for Insider-Researchers. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd COGHLAN, D. and BRANNICK, T., 2014. Doing Action Research in Your Own Organisation. 3rd ed. California: SAGE Publications Ltd (2005 edition available as e-book from GCU Library) Recommended Reading BELL, J. and WATERS, S., 2014. Doing your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers. 6th ed. Buckingham: Open University Press (Available as e-book from GCU Library) BLAXTER L. HUGHES C. & TIGHT, M., 2010. How to Research. 4th ed. Buckingham: Open University Press (Available as e-book from GCU Library) CLOUGH, P. and NUTBROWN, C., 2012. A Student's Guide to Methodology. 3rd ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd (Available as e-book from GCU Library) DENSCOMBE, M. 2014. The Good Research Guide for small-scale social research projects. 5th ed. Maidenhead, Berkshire: Open University Press (Available as e-book from GCU Library) FINK, A., 2014. Conducting research literature reviews: From the Internet to paper. 4th ed. Los Angeles, California: SAGE. FISHER, C. 2010. Researching and Writing a Dissertation: An Essential Guide for Business Students. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Prentice Hall/Financial Times (Available as e-book from GCU Library) GRIX, J., 2010. The Foundations of Research. 2nd ed. Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave (Available as e-book from GCU Library) LEVIN, P., 2011. Excellent Dissertations!. 2nd ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Open University Press (Available as e-book from GCU Library) MCMILLAN, K. & WEYERS, J. 2011. How to write dissertations & project reports. 2 nd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson/Prentice Hall (Available as e-book from GCU Library) PUNCH, K. F., 2014. Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. 3rd ed. London; Thousand Oaks RIDLEY, D., 2012. The literature review: a step-by-step guide for students. 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd. REARDON, D., 2006. Doing your undergraduate project. London: Sage Publications (Available as e-book from GCU Library) RUGG, G. and PETRE, M., 2007. A gentle guide to research methods. Maidenhead: Open University Press (Available as e-book from GCU Library) SAUNDERS, M., LEWIS, P., & THORNHILL, A., 2012. Research methods for business students. 6th ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall (Available as e-book from GCU Library) SREEJESH, S., MOHAPATRA, S., and ANUSREE, M., R., 2014. Business Research Methods: An Applied Orientation. Cham: Springer International Publishing (Available as e-book from GCU Library) THOMAS, G., 2013. How to do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences. 2 nd ed. London: Sage Publications Ltd (Available as e-book from GCU Library) WILSON, J., 2010. Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing Your Research Project. 2nd ed. London: Sage Publications (Available as e-book from GCU Library) Useful Websites The following links are available via the indicative text book BRYMAN, A. & Bell, E. 2015. Business Research Methods. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press <> Research Project Guide <> Research Methodology <> Using Excel in Data Analysis <> Grounded Theory - Line-by-line Coding <> <> What is Research? <>:// <> <> Developing a good research Topic <>:// <> <> Multiple choice questions (test your knowledge and skills) <> Web links <> Office for National Statistics <> Recommended Journals Journal of Research Practice Organizational Research Methods Journal of Mixed Methods Research International Journal of Social Research Methodology Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice International Journal of Research and Method in Education Research Methodology in Strategy and Management

Transferrable Skills

As you progress through the module it is anticipated that you will enhance the following transferable skills which will underpin independent learning necessary for personal and professional development: - Self-management: self-motivation, time management and critical self-reflection and evaluation of personal performance. - Appreciate the key concepts and approaches of structured enquiry. - Study independently - Frame a research topic and specify a clear research question; - Research skills: evaluate existing research (around knowledge contribution as well as methodology); justifying a research methodology within constraints (time, resources, finance); Construct a realistic research timetable - Decision making process - Data forms, storage, organisation and manipulation - Communicate effectively in a manner appropriate to a professional environment - C & IT skills: engaging in a virtual learning environment; using MS Word package for report writing.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Independent Learning (FT) 145.00
Lectures (FT) 15.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% A research proposal that students may like to develop into their Honours Work Based Project, with a supportive project plan and risk register - 4000 word report