Methods of Research

ECTS Value: 6 ECTS

Contact Hours: 30

Self Study Hours: 72

Assessment Hours: 48


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

Research, which involves the gathering of data from carefully identified sources, is useful; particularly when the ultimate aim of every research is to acquire knowledge that will contribute to the area of discipline of the researcher. Hence, the prospect for students to do a research project is growing in many areas of study, one of which is in STEM. Conducting a research project has become synonymous with programmes for postgraduate students pursuing a Master Degree. The scope of this module is to introduce participants following a degree in STEM Education and Engagement to research methods and delve into the different styles of doing qualitative or quantitative or mixed method research. 

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Initiate, devise and conduct qualitative, or quantitative research, or mixed methodology approach;
b. Evaluate and critique the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative or quantitative research, or mixed methodology approach ;
c. Have a comprehensive understanding of the different styles of qualitative, or quantitative research, or mixed methodology approach and the different instances when each can be used in the context of STEM Education and Engagement;
d. Become sensitive to the general ethical issues related to research in STEM Education and Engagement.


a. An array of qualitative, quantitative research methods, or mixed methodology approach;
b. Related theories;
c. Notions of validity, positionality, reliability, ontology, and epistemology, generalisation and its limits, replication;
d. The research problem/question, hypothesis and null hypothesis;
e. Correlational research;
f. The importance of piloting a study;
g. Critically assess the process of sampling for reliability;
h. Comprehensively identify the ethical responsibilities of the researcher and knowledge of ethical issues as identified by Accreditied Research Bodies;
i. Understand what plagiarism is and how it can be avoided.


a. Critique the different methodologies and their application;
b. Devise and conduct interviews;
c. Compiling items on the self-completion questionnaires and response styles;
d. Initiate and manage different methods of qualitative and quantitative research, or mixed methodology approach in the context of STEM education and engagement ;
e. Systematically analyse qualitative and quantitative data, and interpret results;
f. Comprehensively identify the most relevant literature for the research and develop a coherent link between the research question/s, the literature, research design and discussion of the findings;
g. Interpret the results obtained from the data.


Assessment Methods

This programme adopts continuous and summative methods of assessment including assignments, online tasks, reflective journals, projects and video presentations. For further details, kindly refer to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment Policy and Procedures.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List

1. Greenfield, T., & Greener, S. (Eds.). (2016). Research methods for postgraduates. ProQuest Ebook Central
2. Hammond, M., & Wellington, J. (2012). Research methods: The key concepts. ProQuest Ebook Central
3. Martin, W. E., & Bridgmon, K. D. (2012). Quantitative and statistical research methods : From hypothesis to results. ProQuest Ebook Central
4. Norman K. Denzin and Ynonna S. Lincoln (Eds) (2011); The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research (Fourth Edition); Sage; London
5. Various (2019). SAGE mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi: 10.4135/9781526498137
6. Walliman, N. (2010). Research methods : The basics. ProQuest Ebook Central

Supplementary Reading List

1. Bogner, A., Littig, B. & Menz W., eds. (2009). Interviewing Experts. Palgrave Macmillan, UK
2. Oppenheim, A.N., (1999); Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement, Pinter London
3. Wiland, E. (2012); Reasons; Continuum International Publishing Group, London.

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