Foundation in Social Research
Run by Bangor Business School
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Prof Doris Merkl-Davies
Overall aims and purpose
The aim of this module is provide students with an understanding of the principles and practice of research design and methods. Students will learn how to formulate appropriate research questions and how to develop an approach to finding answers. The module provides an understanding of a variety of research philosophies, principles of research design, methods of data collection and analysis, and approaches to theory construction and advancement. Students will gain key insights and skills for doing academic research and successfully completing a research project at a doctoral level.
This module will outline alternative methodological positions (and their relations to ontological and epistemological positions) that can be taken by researchers and cover their impact on the research process. The research process will be covered in detail and includes a focus on developing research aims, objectives, and questions that that underpin a research problem. The use of theory in the research process, including ways of making a theoretical contribution will be introduced in addition to developing conceptual models. Methods and skills for data collection and analysis will also be covered, including qualitative and quantitative approaches, such as case study design, survey research design, grounded theory analysis, and critical discourse analysis.
Excellent standard (A- to A*): An outstanding performance, exceptionally able. The relevant information accurately deployed. Excellent grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practice elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Strong evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.
Satisfactory standard (C- to C+): No major omissions or inaccuracies in the deployment of information/skills. Some grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Integration of theory/practice/information present intermittently in pursuit of the assessed work’s objectives.
Average Standard (B- to B+): Much of the relevant information and skills mostly accurately deployed. Adequate grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Fair integration of theory/practice/information in the pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Some evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.
High Standard (65-69%): Very good performance Most of the relevant information accurately deployed. Good grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.
Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of the scientific method.
Develop an understanding of the rationale in choosing particular methods and analysis techniques and critically analyse how such choices influence theory generation and testing.
Understand the basic principles of research design and strategy.
Develop a critical understanding of the formulation of the research problem. Including demonstrating the ability to clearly detail and critically evaluate research aims, objectives, questions, and hypotheses.
Critically analyse alternative epistemological positions that provide the context for theory construction, research design, and the selection of appropriate analytical techniques.
|REPORT||Report on initial research ideas||
A 1,000 word report developing the student’s research aims, objectives, questions and hypotheses for potential research topic, including discussion which evaluates alternative objectives/questions/hypotheses. This report should develop the initial ideas for what could be the dissertation topic undertaken by the student. The focus of the report is on the research problem and its associated aim, objectives or research objectives, and appropriate hypotheses.
A 2,000 word report on research approach and methods that could be taken for the student’s proposed research question with critical analysis of key choices made. The report should focus on whether a qualitative or quantitative approach is best suited to the problem and provide a detailed justification for the chosen method alongside a plan of how the chosen method could be implemented.
|ESSAY||Research philosophy essay||
A 1,000 word essay that critically reflects on and analyses the philosophical approaches which are dominant in the field of study and discusses how the proposed research fits/does not fit with these approaches.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Weekly lectures (3 hours per week for 10 weeks in semester one) that encompass presentations, videos, and class discussions
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
Subject specific skills
- Problem solving and critical analysis: analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting appropriate solutions.
- Research: the ability to analyse and evaluate a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies, which includes the need for strong digital literacy, and to use that research for evidence-based decision-making.
- Conceptual and critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.