Skip to main content

Research Methods and Design


  • Credit value: 30 credits at level 7
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Assessment: a 3500-4000-word essay (100%)

Module description

In this module we provide you with training in the principles and practice of research methods and design in applied linguistics and communication. We will also help you develop information skills to access the research literature and critical skills to evaluate the research design and methodology employed in the current research. You will develop your knowledge of particular types of research design and methodology and learn about the rationale for, and implications of, particular methodological choices.

The aim is to equip you with the tools to critically address the current research literature by providing a deeper knowledge of how research is carried out and the consequences of methodological design choices on research hypotheses, predictions and interpretation of results.

Indicative syllabus

  • Aims and objectives of research
  • Critical thinking and argumentation
  • Research tools for information retrieval
  • Research method and design techniques
  • Qualitative and quantitative techniques for analysing evidence

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have developed core research skills and specific research abilities in:

  • library and e-library database searching, use of keywords and abstracts, bibliography construction, record keeping
  • attribution of ideas, quoting and paraphrasing, referencing sources
  • critical skills for reading, interpreting, analysing and evaluating research literature
  • synthesising ideas and integrating evidence across the research domain
  • formulation of research questions, implication of the selection of method and design, presentation of findings and interpretation of evidence, argumentation
  • the interrelationship between theory, method and research design, knowledge of the subject base and methodological foundations.