SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code MHN222558
Module Leader Margaret-Anne Houston
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Normally successful completion of level 3 or equivalent

Summary of Content

-108 The major element of the project is submission of a Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project of c10,000 words on an independent examination of a topic selected by the student. Research Methods (RM) taught at the start of Trimester 1 imparts to students the quantitative and qualitative skills necessary for successful completion of a piece of independent research. The Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project accounts for 75% of The Project assessment. The remaining 25% is based on performance in the RM course. 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.


The taught RM course embraces: Data Sources and library-based research facilities. Project topic 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. Limitations to research design and ethical issues. The Project Module Handbook issued to students provides detailed instruction about how to prepare a Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project. Further formative feedback will be provided by individual supervisors throughout the academic session.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should gain knowledge, skills and experience of research methods and techniques, and should be able to demonstrate ability to: RM" Identify and generate primary and secondary data required to achieve the stated aims. " Identify and utilise appropriate qualitative data analysis techniques and where applicable, applications packages. " Identify and utilise appropriate statistical techniques and applications packages. " Weigh evidence, maintain and develop an argument, thesis or test a hypothesis." Understand and apply sampling theory.Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project: " Initiate and design a research project and present a Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project. " Plan and work independently and systematically over an extended time period on the Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project. " Identify, review and critically evaluate theory and empiricism relevant to the Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project. " Demonstrate the ability to identity relevant limitations of the research process and ethical considerations." Form appropriate conclusions from their research findings. " Clearly express and present the dissertation within a fixed deadline.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

-360 RM : Students will participate in a weekly series of student led research methods workshops and labs to ensure their ability to critically discuss appropriate research strategies and data analysis techniques. The Tri A workshops will be based upon applied research methodology case studies with membership clustered by themed routes/topic areas to provide a supportive and collaborative learning environment for all participants. The labs will allow students to apply their knowledge of statistics to the statistical data analysis package, SPSS and on-line survey generators, e.g. SNAP and SurveyMonkey. The workshops and practicals especially will allow for on-going formative feedback throughout the academic session to ensure student engagement and understanding with topic areas. The classes will be supported through GCU Learn, on-line Discussion Boards and formative assessment of their own topic choices through presentation of their work to-date in week 5. The class contact time for RM will all take place during Tri A. Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project : independent learning with supervisory assistance. In some instances, a Viva Voce will also be undertaken after submission of the Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project in order to ensure issues such as the student's understanding of the work and to ensure authenticity.

Indicative Reading

-567 Books: Essential: Field, A. (2013) Discovering statistics using SPSS statistics: and sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll . 4 th Edition. Sage: London McMillan, K. & Weyers, J. (2011) How to write dissertations & project reports . 2 nd Ed. Prentice-Hall: UK (E-BOOK) Wilson, J. (2014) Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing Your Research Project. Sage: London -720 Supplementary: Babbie, E.; Halley, F.; Wagner, W. & Zaino, J. (2010) Adventures in Social Research: Data Analysis using IBM SPSS Statistics , 7 th Ed. Pine Forge Press: London. Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project . 5 th Ed. OUP: London (E-BOOK) Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2011) Business Research Methods . 3 rd Ed. UK: Oxford Press. Clough, P. & Nutbrown, C. (2012) A Student's Guide to Methodology . 3 rd Ed Sage: UK -720 Cottrell, S. (2011) Critical thinking Skills. Developing Effective Analysis and Argument . 2 nd Ed. Palgrave Study Skills. Palgrave MacMillan: UK Creswell, J (2008) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches . 3 rd Ed. Sage: London. Deane, M. (2010) Academic Research, Writing & Referencing . Pearson: UK. Easterby-Smith, M.; Thorpe, R. & Lowe, A. (2012) Management Research: an Introduction. 4 th Ed. Sage: London. -720 Fink, A. (2009) Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper . Sage: London -720 Fisher, C. (2010) Researching and Writing a Dissertation: An Essential Guide for Business Students . 3 rd Ed. Pearson Education: UK (E-BOOK) Flick, U.; von Kardoff, E. & Steinke, I. (2004) A Companion to Qualitative Research . Sage: London. Gill, J. and Johnson, P. (2010) Research Methods for Managers . 4 th Ed. Sage: London. Goldacre, B. (2009) Bad Science . Harper Perennial: London. Gray, C. & Kinnear, P. (2011) IBM SPSS 19 Made Simple . Psychology Press: UK -720 Hubberman, A.M. & Miles, M.B. (2002) A Qualitative Researcher's Companion . Sage: London. -720 Jesson, <> J.; Matheson, L. & Lacey, F. (2011) Doing Your Literature Review. Traditional and Systematic Techniques. Sage: London (E-BOOK) -720 Kozinets, R.V. (2009) Netnography: Doing Ethnographic Research Online. Sage: UK Levin, P. (2011) Excellent Dissertations! 2 nd Ed. McGraw Hill Open University Press: UK (E-BOOK) Miles, M.B. & Hubberman, A.M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis . Sage: London. -720d3Dochartaigh, N. (2012) Internet research skills: how to do your literature search and find research information online. 3 rd Ed. Sage: London -720 Pears, R & Shields, G. (2010) Cite them right. The essential referencing guide . 8 th Ed. Palgrave Study Skills. Palgrave MacMillan: UK Poynter, R. (2010) The Handbook of Online and Social Media Research: Tools and Techniques for Market Researchers. John Wiley & Sons: UK Robson, C. (2011) Real World Research . 3 rd Ed. OUP: Oxford. Salkind, N.J. (2010) Statistics for People Who (think they) Hate Statistics. 4 th Ed. Sage: UK. Saunders, M.; Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students . 6 th Ed. Pitman Publishing: London. (E-BOOK) Seale, C.; Gobo, G.; Gubrium, J.F. & Silverman, D. (Eds) (2006) Qualitative research practice . Sage: London. Silverman, D. (2009) Doing qualitative research: a practical handbook. 3 rd Ed. Sage: London. -720 White, P. (2009) Developing Research Questions . Palgrave MacMillan: UK Yin, R K (2009) Case Study Research Design and Methods 4 th Ed. Sage: London Online sources: 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.

Transferrable Skills

By the end of this module students will have gained competence in the following key areas: -360b7 Analytical and critical thinking skills b7 Interpretation and critiquing of written work b7 Communication skills (oral and written) including interviewing skills b7 Discussion skills b7 Research Proposal writing b7 Quantitative and qualitative data analysis and problem solving skills b7 Interpersonal skills b7 Time management skills -360b7 Problem solving; -360b7 Personal motivational skills; b7 IT skills. Students will therefore be able to demonstrate their ability to plan & successfully research a topic (Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project) using appropriate techniques (RM).

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 14.00
Independent Learning (FT) 316.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Practicals (FT) 10.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 02 n/a 75.00 n/a Dissertation Thesis or Honours Project:-10,000 words Week 12Tri B
Course Work 01 n/a 25.00 n/a Research Proposal:-2000 words Wk 7 Tri A