SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code MHL120403
Module Leader Emily Thomson
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Economics
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally successful completion of level 3

Summary of Content

The major element of the project is submission of a Dissertation of c10,000 words on an independent examination of a topic selected by the student. Research Methods (RM) taught at the start of Semester A imparts to students the quantitative and qualitative skills necessary for successful completion of independent research for the dissertation thesis. The dissertation accounts for 75% of the project assessment. The remaining 25% is based on performance in the RM course.


The taught RM course embraces: Data Sources and library-based research facilities. Project Selection, project planning and approaches to economics, international business and business and management research. Research Design: Review; meta analysis; secondary analysis; qualitative research; administrative records; ad hoc surveys; Case Studies; experimental source research. Constructing a project plan. Issues in survey-based investigation. Issues in qualitative research. The Module Handbook issued to students provides detailed instruction about how to prepare a Dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

Students should gain knowledge and experience of research methods and techniques, and should be able to demonstrate ability to: RM Identify appropriate statistical techniques and applications packages. Identify and generate the data and other information required to achieve the stated aims. Weigh evidence, maintain and develop an argument, thesis or test a hypothesis. Use sampling theory.Dissertation: Initiate and design a research project and present a dissertation thesis. Plan and work independently and systematically over an extended time period on the dissertation. Identify, review and critically evaluate theory and empiricism relevant to the dissertation project. Form appropriate conclusions from their research findings. Clearly express and present the dissertation within a fixed deadline

Teaching / Learning Strategy

RM : Students will participate in a series of research methods workshops and labs to ensure their ability to critically discuss appropriate research strategies and data analysis techniques. The classes will be supported through BlackBoard, on-line Discussion Boards and formative assessment of their own topic choices through presentation of their work in week 4. Dissertation : independent learning with supervisory assistance.

Indicative Reading

Essential Reading Saunders, M.; Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Students . Pitman Publishing: London. Supplementary Readings: Babbie, E.; Halley, F. & Zaino, J. (2007) Adventures in Social Research: Data Analysis using SPSS 14.0 & 15.0 for Windows , 6 th Edition. Pine Forge Press: London. Bell, J. (2005) Doing your research project . 4 th Edition. OUP: London Bryman, A. & Bell, E.. (2007) Business Research Methods . 2 nd Edition. Oxford Press: UK. Easterby-Smith, M.; Thorpe, R. & Lowe, A. (2008) Management Research. 3 rd Edition Sage: London. Fisher, Researching and Writing a Dissertation: An Essential Guide for Business Students. 3 rd Ed. Pearson Education: UK Gill, J. and Johnson, P. (2002) Research Methods for Managers . 3 rd Edition. Sage: London. Hague, P. (2002) Marketing Research: A Guide to Planning, Method & Evaluation . Kogan Press: London. Hubberman, A.M. & Miles, M.B. (2002) A Qualitative Researcher's Companion . Sage: London. Jankowicz, A. (2005) Business Research Projects . Thomson Learning: London. Kinnear, P. & Gray, P. (2008) SPSS 16 Made Simple . Psychology Press: UK Miles, M.B. & Hubberman, A.M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis . Sage: London. ?O Dochartaigh, Niall (2007) Internet Research Skills . Sage: UK Robson, C. (2002) Real World Research . 2 nd Edition. OUP: Oxford. Salkind, N.J. (2008) Statistics for People Who (think they) Hate Statistics. 3 rd Edition. Sage: UK. Silverman, D. (2006) Interpreting Qualitative Data. 3 rd Edition. Sage: UK Journals: Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods; Evaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice; International Journal of Social Research Methodology; International Journal of Research and Method in Education Research Methodology in Strategy and Management. The Dissertation Module Handbook issued to students (and their supervisors) in hard copy and available on BlackBoard.

Transferrable Skills

Students will be able to demonstrate their ability to investigate and evaluate a range of research issues; problem solving; personal motivational skills; IT skills; and personal communication. They will therefore be able to demonstrate their ability to plan & successfully research a topic ( dissertation ) using appropriate techniques ( RM )

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 327.00
Workshop 12.00
Assessment (FT) 50.00
Lectures (FT) 1.00
Independent Learning (PT) 327.00
Lab 10.00
Assessment (PT) 50.00
Lectures (PT) 1.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 75.00 n/a Dissertation
Coursework 1 n/a 25.00 n/a Research Methods Proposal