Research Methods

The details
Essex Business School
Southend Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
09 January 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC N10012 Entrepreneurship and Innovation,
MSC N100MO Entrepreneurship and Innovation,
MSC N20912 Global Project Management,
MSC N209MO Global Project Management,
MSC N12012 International Business and Entrepreneurship,
MSC N120MO International Business and Entrepreneurship,
MSC N55012 International Marketing and Entrepreneurship,
MSC N550MO International Marketing and Entrepreneurship,
MSC N11112 Business Analytics,
MBM N21012 MBM,
MSC N21612 International Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Module description

This module will help the student to acquire key skills and competencies to carry out management research or prepare a business plan, suitable for the completion of a Masters level programme. The module will address philosophical issues underlying management and business research and explain how to select research strategies and designs.

It will offer a comprehensive view of methods of data collection and analysis to support the quality and value of research outcomes. In addition, and especially, for those opting for the business plan route, the module will provide a platform for evaluating the quality of relevant, market-oriented research designs, methods for business planning, researching the task environment and set-up of new ventures.

Module aims

The aim of the module is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to carry out either a sound academic research project (dissertation) or prepare a practical and comprehensive business plan supported by critical understanding of the use value of research methods and techniques. Through this process the student will develop a sense of involvement with the research community that supports academic research and reflective practice.

Module learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the Research Methods module will be able to:

1. Understand different methods of investigation under consideration of different research perspectives

2. Select appropriate research strategies and designs in quantitative, qualitative and mixed method research

3. Choose specific data collection methods for quantitative, qualitative and mixed method research

4. Identify appropriate secondary sources of information, and access several publicly available databases (especially for business data)

5. Critique the research methodology of published papers

6. Apply a variety of statistical tests and interpret the results of those tests

7. Choose a computer package (e.g. SPSS) for the statistical analysis of data

8. Perform textual analysis such as thematic analysis in qualitative research

9. Write a research proposal to successfully complete a Masters level dissertation or a business/marketing plan

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

The following learning and teaching methods will inform the pedagogic structure of the course: Lectures Seminars (for discussion of case studies, journal articles, presentations) Complementary workshops for training specific skills, particularly in relation to business plan research and development Signposting to additional resources


  • Joseph Covello; Brian Hazelgren. (2006) The complete book of business plans : simple steps to writing powerful business plans, Naperville, Ill.: Sourcebooks.
  • Kawasaki, Guy. (2015) The art of the start 2.0 : the time-tested, battle-hardened guide for anyone starting anything, UK: Portfolio Penguin.
  • John Duignan. (2014) Quantitative methods for business research: using Microsoft Excel, Australia: Cengage Learning.
  • Silverman, David. (2017) Doing qualitative research, Los Angeles: SAGE.
  • Easterby-Smith, Mark. (2018) Management and business research, London: Sage Publications.
  • Charles A. Scherbaum; Kristen M. Shockley. (2015) Analysing quantitative data for business and management students, Los Angeles: SAGE.
  • Brian R. Ford; Jay M. Bornstein; Patrick T. Pruitt. (2007) The Ernst & Young business plan guide, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.
  • Bell, Emma; Bryman, Alan; Harley, Bill. (©2019) Business research methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Creswell, John W. (2015) A concise introduction to mixed methods research, Los Angeles: SAGE Publications.
  • Jean-Claude Usunier; Hester van Herk; Julie Anne Lee. (2017) International & cross-cultural business research, Los Angeles: SAGE.
  • Donald Cooper; Pamela Schindler. (2013) Business Research Methods: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Matthew B. Miles; A. Michael Huberman; Johnny Saldaña. (2019) Qualitative data analysis: a methods sourcebook, Los Angeles, California: Angeles.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Research Proposal    100% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Rebecca Li, email:
Dr Giovanni Serafini, email:
Giovanni Serafini, Yu Li



External examiner

Dr Ping Zheng
Canterbury Christ Church University
Available via Moodle
Of 24 hours, 22 (91.7%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Business School

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