Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Research Methods
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Summative on line assessments  50%
Semester Assessment Online Test  5%
Semester Assessment Data Report  25%
Semester Assessment interpreting results/solutions for agri-food supply chains  25%
Semester Assessment Research Proposal  25%
Semester Assessment Literature Review  25%
Semester Assessment Research Proposal  45%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure  100%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to the failure of the module  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Apply statistical knowledge in the context of postgraduate research.

2. Identify appropriate methods for different types of data.

3. Anaylse and interpret the results from a range of different statistical analyses.

4. Generate appropriate research hypotheses and research objectives.

5. Assimilate and synthesise information from published research and databases.

6. Clearly describe and communicate research findings.

Brief description

This module provides the tools necessary for carrying out independent research. Covering statistics for analyzing data and building towards the students identifying a suitable dissertation topic. The student will also be taught to evaluate existing research published in a range of different sources and will also evaluate the different knowledge exchange mechanisms that are appropriate to the audience.


The aim of this module is to provide training relevant to assessments within other modules, including the Masters dissertation. The module will cover the following principal areas:
• Basics (populations, significance, descriptives)
• How to choose the correct test
• How to use statistics in experimental design
• A statistical test suitable for the student’s chosen dissertation topic
Research skills
• Introduction to scientific research
• Principles of research design
• Research and the wider world
• How to write a proposal

The module will follow the standard distance learning format leading the students through weekly units. Guided teaching will be through a combination of lectures, podcasts, reading and tutor/supervisor meetings. As the module progresses the level of guided learning will decrease and the student will be increasingly expected to increase their self-guided learning to finally finish with the submission of a research proposal. Students will also be taught the basic theory of statistics and basic concepts before focusing on a particular type of statistical test relevant to their research proposal. The student will also be given previously published data to analyze present in tabulated or figure form and discuss the findings of as part of a data assignment.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be taught statistical techniques and expected to complete both formative and summative assessments
Communication Students will be expected to be able to express themselves appropriately in their assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assignment work. The student will be encouraged by the module tutor to work closely with their supervisor to develop a clear and robust research proposal.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases and be taught to use specialist statistical software.
Personal Development and Career planning Research Proposal – developed in collaboration with employer and supervisor.
Problem solving Online quizzes and the data report will be used to help develop and improve students problem solving skills
Research skills Students will be required to undergo directed self-study and so will develop their literature research skills.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 7