Module Identifier DSM0720  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Christine J Urquhart  
Semester Available all semesters  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Report SPSS report25%
Semester Assessment Critical appraisal report  50%
Semester Assessment Report NVivo report25%

Learning outcomes

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

Brief description

This module is designed to give you a flavour of doing research, as well as helping you critique other people?s research. Some of the guidelines provided should help you in designing a project of your own. The module introduces the concepts and practice of research and evaluation, including the use of data analysis software, to help you understand how the results on the pages of a research article, or research report, might have been obtained. Unit 1 introduces various philosophical approaches to research, and contrasts quantitative and qualitative approaches to research design. Various types of research design (e.g. experimental, cross-sectional, longitudinal, case study, meta-analysis) are discussed in the Unit 2. For information systems, evaluation is important, and various evaluation philosophies and approaches are considered in Unit 3. Unit 4 deals with the principles of research design (comparison, standardisation, measurement, validity, sampling). Unit 5 deals with methods for collecting data, and Unit 6 covers some of the ethical issues to be considered when planning and conducting research. Unit 7 provides guidance on using SPSS, and Unit 8 provides guidance on using qualitative data analysis software (NVIVO), for the tutorials on the CD enclosed in the pack. Unit 9 concludes the module by discussing how to critique research articles.

Reading Lists

** Essential Reading
Brace, N, Kemp, R and Snelgar, R (2000) SPSS for psychologists: a guide to data analysis using SPSS for Windows Basingstoke : Palgrave Publishers Ltd
Brynman, A (2001) Social research methods Oxford : Oxford University Press
Hart, C. (1998) Doing a literature review London: Sage Publications
In addition, the resource pack for the module contains essential readings for each Unit, and the module conference area contains Web site links.


This module is at CQFW Level 7