Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Advanced Research Techniques

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit brings to the fore perspectives of research project design and management from the academic and market research practice viewpoints. The contents of the study-unit relate to established world standards as well as latest research methods employed in academic as well as marketing research.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit seeks to assist participants to:
a) develop a proficiency in identifying research problems in management and marketing research practice;
b) understand the steps required to formulate and implement research programmes in different academic and market contexts.

This unit further seeks to provide a comprehensible approach for students to understand:
1) approaches in research projects by relating to ethics, the philosophical underpinnings of research, theory development, sources of data (literature, individuals) and the application of different methodologies (separately or in one study);
2) strategies in implementing studies by relating to sampling, measurement and exploration;
3) data collection methods that underpin quantitative and qualitative methods (like surveys, experiments, case studies, interviews, observation and other methods that engage with individuals as sources of data).

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to devise research questions and evaluate the suitability of different quantitative and qualitative methodologies in best answering a research question. Students will learn how to choose, plan and conduct qualitative and quantitative studies in a diversity of industrial, organisational and consumer segments. From a qualitative perspective, students will become familiar with established strategies like grounded theory, phenomenology, ethnography or narrative studies. From a quantitative perspective, students will become conversant with advanced methods like experiments and surveys that required advanced approaches in data analysis like factor analysis, regression modeling and structural equation modeling.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1) construct research questions and differentiate between different methodologies that best satisfy the requirements of such questions to produce a robust and rigorous study;
2) distinguish and apply different advanced quantitative analysis techniques intended to simplify yet bring out rigorous interpretation of quantitative data;
3) differentiate, plan and administer different field approaches like telephone, face-to-face, online, observation or diary methods;
4) explore and plan study designs like case studies, comparative studies, retrospective or longitudinal studies;
5) formulate and justify triangulation in studies using multi-method, multi-sample approaches;
6) recognise the ethical implications of any approach in research and avoid harm to study participants and researchers.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Buchanan, D.A. and Bryman, A. (2011). The SAGE handbook of organizational research methods. SAGE Publications Limited, London ISBN 9781446200643.
- Flick, U. (2014). An introduction to qualitative research. 5th Edn. SAGE Publications Limited, London. ISBN 9781446267790.
- Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students (Fifth Edn). Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. ISBN 9780273716860.

Supplementary readings:

- Bazeley, P., Jackson, K., (2013). Qualitative Analysis with NVIVO. Sage Publications Ltd, London. ISBN 9781446256565.
- Creswell, J.W., (2012). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches 3rd Edn., Thousand Oaks, USA: Sage Publications Inc. ISBN 9781412995306.
- Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics. 4th Edn. Sage Publications Ltd, London. ISBN 9781446249185.
- McGivern, Y., (2013). The practice of market research: An introduction 4th Edn., Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd. ISBN 9780273773115.
- Miles, M.B., Huberman, M.A. and Saldana, J., (2014). Qualitative data analysis: A methods sourcebook 3rd Edn., Thousand Oaks, CA, USA: Sage Publications Inc. ISBN 9781452257877.
- Zikmund W.G., Babin, J., Exploring Marketing Research (2010), Cengage South-Western. ISBN 9780324788617.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM1 No 50%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Frank H. Bezzina
Vincent Cassar
Vincent Marmara
Robert Micallef
Emanuel Said
Carmel Tabone

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 study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2018/9, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.