Research Methods

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
01 February 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MRESQ14512 Analysing Language Use,
MA Q11012 Applied Linguistics,
MRESQ10412 Experimental Linguistics,
MA Q10012 Linguistics,
MA QX1312 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL),
MLINQA15 English Language and Lingistics (Including Placement Year),
MLINQA16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Year Abroad),
MLINQQ14 English Language and Linguistics

Module description

This module will introduce students to research methods in language and linguistics and will cover a range of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method tools and approaches. It will introduce students to different data collection techniques and analysis. It will help them plan and conduct their MA dissertation projects and perhaps other research projects later on. The module will first explain what research methods are and which methods (qualitative, quantitative or mixed) are appropriate for various types of research questions. The rest of the sessions will provide examples of research work within and across the different areas of linguistics and provide you with hands-on experience of handling and analysing data.

Module aims

This module will introduce you to some of the main ways in which research is conducted with language and linguistics. The module will help you to understand the differences between quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method tools and approaches and will help you to critically evaluate approaches taken in your own research as well as others’. The module will introduce you to some of the different techniques for collecting and analysing data. The module aims to give you practical experiences of working with different ideas and techniques and to enable you to understand more about the work done by colleagues within the different fields of linguistics.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this modules students will be able to:
A. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the research processresearch methods, including the use of quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method tools
B. Critically evaluate and decide on whichdetermine which method(s) would be most appropriate for specific research questions
C. Analyse and discuss methodology and research findings of published studies
D. use terminology related to research methods.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be made up of 10 2-hour lectures and 10 1-hour seminar slots. Weekly, this will mean 3 hours of classes. The lectures are designed to cover the different content for each week with the seminar designed to be more practical sessions. These practical sessions will give students the opportunity to explore and work with the approaches/methods/tools covered in the lectures. They may be lab-based and students will be required to work with data and analytical tools in some of these seminars. All classroom materials will be available on Moodle.


  • Dörnyei, Zoltán. (2007) Research methods in applied linguistics: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies, Oxford: Oxford University Press. vol. Oxford applied linguistics
  • Mann, Steve. (2016) The research interview: reflective practice and reflexivity in research processes, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Field, Andy P.; Hole, Graham. (2003) How to design and report experiments, London: Sage.
  • (2018) The Sage handbook of qualitative research, Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Cohen, Louis; Manion, Lawrence; Morrison, Keith. (2018) Research methods in education, London: Routledge.
  • Mackey, Alison; Gass, Susan M. (2012) Research methods in second language acquisition: a practical guide, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

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 Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay  23/04/2021  100% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Laurel Lawyer, email: l.lawyer@essex.ac.uk.
Laurel Lawyer



External examiner

Prof Ianthi Maria Tsimpli
The University of Cambridge
Chair of English and Applied Linguistics
Dr Vivienne Esther Rogers
Available via Moodle
Of 540 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
540 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Language and Linguistics

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