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Research Methods Theory - ELE00123M

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  • Department: Electronic Engineering
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Bidyut Baruah
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module summary

The development of any idea of product needs to begin with researching what has already been done by others, and gathering new information where needed. This module explores engineering and business decision making where new information is required to inform those decisions. You will learn the fundamentals of research, enabling you to build on existing knowledge and to understand the issues involved in gaining new information.


Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

Subject content aims:

  • Ensure the student is able to carry out appropriate research into identified issues using a robust and ethical approach;

  • Underpin the need for a thorough and critical literature review before any new research activity is initiated;

  • Allow students to fully understand the range of research approaches, methodologies and strategies available to them;

  • Give students the tools or knowledge by which they can collect data for analysis;

  • Clarify evaluation methods for collected data; and

  • Give feedback on chosen research methodologies for MSc projects to follow.

Graduate skills aims:

  • Capacity for analysis and synthesis

  • Capacity for applying knowledge in practice

  • Planning and Time management

  • Report writing

  • Communication skills

  • Research skills

  • Information management skills

Module learning outcomes

Subject content learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Generate research ideas (L6)

  • Undertake a critical literature review (L3)

  • Evaluate appropriate research methodologies (L5)

The L number in brackets after the learning outcome is its cognitive level according to Bloom’s taxonomy.

Graduate skills learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Analyse and synthesise data evidenced through the module assignment.

  • Apply knowledge in practice – evidence of application in the assignment

  • Plan and manage their time – plan their own activities and manage their own time to achieve the required deliverables

  • Write a journal style report to a commercially acceptable standard

  • Communicate – through the report

  • Research independently – the student will need to identify the information they need and the find it through desk research and by talking directly to people

  • Manage information – need to search for information from a number of sources, analyse and synthesise it from a relevance and usefulness point of view

Module content

Lectures will cover elements of critical literature review, hypothesis formulation, methodology selection, research ethics, data gathering and analysis (including statistical aspects), evaluation and writing up..


Task Length % of module mark
Individual Report
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Individual Report
N/A 100

Module feedback

'Feedback’ at a university level can be understood as any part of the learning process which is designed to guide your progress through your degree programme. We aim to help you reflect on your own learning and help you feel more clear about your progress through clarifying what is expected of you in both formative and summative assessments. A comprehensive guide to feedback and to forms of feedback is available in the Guide to Assessment Standards, Marking and Feedback. This can be found at The Department of Electronic Engineering aims to provide some form of feedback on all formative and summative assessments that are carried out during the degree programme. In general, feedback on any written work/assignments undertaken will be sufficient so as to indicate the nature of the changes needed in order to improve the work. Students are provided with their examination results within 20 working days of the end of any given examination period. The Department will also endeavour to return all coursework feedback within 20 working days of the submission deadline. The Department would normally expect to adhere to the times given, however, it is possible that exceptional circumstances may delay feedback. The Department will endeavour to keep such delays to a minimum. Please note that any marks released are subject to ratification by the Board of Examiners and Senate. Meetings at the start/end of each term provide you with an opportunity to discuss and reflect with your supervisor on your overall performance to date.

Indicative reading

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Students, 5th edition, Harlow: Pearson Education. ISBN 9780273716860

Taylor, S. (2001) Business Statistics, London: Palgrave-McMillan, ISBN 0333794451.

McNeill, P. (2005). Research Methods, 3rd Ed, London: Routledge. ISBN: 0415340764

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.