Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT The Edward de Bono Institute for Creative Thinking and Innovation

DESCRIPTION This study-unit has three main components:

Qualitative Research Methods

This part of the study-unit will provide an overview of the variety of qualitative approaches, including developing a research strategy and approaches to thematic analysis. Students will be enabled to recognize and address research questions that require a qualitative approach. They will develop skills in the design of qualitative inquiry, in qualitative data collection techniques, and in qualitative analysis skills.

Quantitative Research Methods

This part of the study-unit will aim to equip students with those basic concepts, techniques and skills necessary to plan, conduct and critique quantitative research. The teaching approach throughout this study-unit shall be on active and meaningful student participation. Students will learn to employ quantitative research methodologies to accomplish a defined research objective.

Planning and Structuring the dissertation research

This part of the study-unit will introduce the objectives and scope of a Master's dissertation research. It will provide students with practical and evaluative skills for producing high quality academic texts according to the course requirements. Students will learn how to assess the sources for a literature review in ir area of research. The development of research problems, hypotheses, conjectures and research questions will be addressed. Students will learn to structure the theoretical framework and research methodology, and to develop the discussion of the research findings.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- recognize the main qualitative data collection methods and their advantages and limitations;
- explain the range and potential of qualitative research practice;
- apply principles of qualitative research design to ensure the trustworthiness and rigour of their study;
- describe the basic tenets of quantitative research including distinctions between descriptive, correlational and causal research designs;
- recognize mixed methods and the complementarity in the application of quantitative and qualitative methods;
- discuss the meaning and use of basic summary statistics;
- identify basic data assessment and analysis techniques including statistical significance;
- recognize the distinction between academic and other texts.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- prepare a research proposal including developing research questions and hypotheses;
- conceptualise research theoretically, selecting the right analytical structural model for investigation;
- determine appropriate research designs;
- conduct a literature review and in the process identify appropriate sources including academic journals and other relevant materials and evaluate their relevance to the research topic;
- design data collection or collation mechanisms, including survey data;
- organise data in preparation for analysis using statistical software packages;
- Create a bibliography for their research proposal constituted of sources appropriate for academic work at postgraduate level in general and their discipline in particular;
- communicate results to diverse academic audiences and stakeholders;
- critically evaluate prior research on the subject, synthesize it and identify gaps;
- critically assess the content and process of a research project;
- examine potential ethical issues.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text:

Creswell, J. W. (2013). ‘Research Design (International Student Edition), Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches’ (4th edition). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Supplementary Readings:

Feak, C., & Swales, J. (2009). Telling a research story: Writing a literature review. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Belcher, W. L. (2009). Writing your journal article in 12 weeks: A guide to academic publishing success . London: Sage.

Van Emden, J., & Becker, L. (2010). Presentation skills for students (2nd ed.). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Other readings will be uploaded on the course VLE page.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture, Seminar and Workshop

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Poster SEM2 Yes 20%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 30%
Review Paper SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Marie Briguglio
Lisa Pace
Jonathan Spiteri

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.