MCH2069 : Research Methods

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module has three key aims:

First, the module provides a critical introduction to the philosophical foundations of researching media, communication and cultural studies, with an emphasis on what can be known and how can this be known.

Second, the module aims to provide a varied knowledge of the methods that are used in researching media, communication and culture.

Third, the module aims to provide students with theoretical and conceptual foundations necessary for the undertaking of the final year research project.

This module builds upon the core Stage 1 module ‘Introduction to Critical Practice’ and is pivotal to connecting Stage 1 and Stage 3. It focuses on the whole process and practice of research, looking at the fundamental philosophical issues of research and inquiry and practical information on data collection techniques. In the second semester the module gives information on how to put a research proposal together and enables students to undertake preliminary work for their Stage 3 research/film project.

Outline Of Syllabus

Semester One
Ontology & Epistemology
Quantitative Research Methods
Sampling and Statistics
Qualitative Research
Strategies for Collecting Qualitative Data
Digital Research
Ethics in Research
Analysing Data
Constructing a Literature Review/Analysing Secondary Sources

Semester Two
Designing a Research Proposal: Theoretical Frameworks
Designing a Research proposal: Appropriate Strategies & Practice
Designing a Research Proposal: Professional Communications
Research Proposal Surgery

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion230:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars and workshops.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study144:0044:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module uses a wider range of teaching and learning methods as the aims that it intends to meet are both intellectual and practical. Formal lectures will be used to explore the ways of making sense of the methodological issues involved in the research process. They will also be used to provide students with a formal introduction of the different kinds research practices and the relevance of that practice to their area of study. The practical sessions will provide students with the opportunity to connect methodological issues with practical research skills. Thus they provide an important means of translating often abstract ideas into research practice. Students private study will also involve them materialising research methodology into a realisable research proposal.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1A25Literature review 1500 words
Research proposal2A70Research Proposal, 2500 words
Prof skill assessmnt2M5Student contribution and attendance
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first part of the assessment covers the specific skills students need to acquire (Information Literacy, compiling the literature review, understanding of methodological frameworks, familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methods in order to be able to progress to the second part of the assessment strategy.

The second form of assessment involves the students using the knowledge that is provided across the two semesters to identify a research problem and design a feasible research proposal. Specific elements from semester two lectures and practicals will be addressed through students responding to a research proposal template. Furthermore, the research proposal will contain some evidence of primary research in the form of designing archive research techniques, interviews, questionnaires.

Reading Lists