module specification

BA5004 - Business Research Methods (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Business Research Methods
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
48 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
180 hours Guided independent study
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   A literature review of a current business concept
Coursework 30%   A thematic analysis of a business concept
Coursework 50%   A quantitative data analysis of a current business concept.
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module introduces students to the essential methodologies, approaches and tools for business research. The module takes over from the skills picked up at level 4 in particular, the quantitative and qualitative skills taught and assessed in various modules. It explores some of the philosophies and theoretical perspectives underpinning the many different ways of conducting research as well as providing practical examples and guidance on how research should be planned and implemented. This module also provides a grounding to the final year dissertation for the Business and Management and related courses.

The module enables students to gain lifelong and employability skills such as planning, searching, reading, gathering and analysing data, writing and referencing. It provides students with technological tools to achieve the necessary results efficiently.

The module helps students to reflect on how research has enabled global organisations with their integrated and interdependent challenges to adapt to the uncertain world.
The module introduces students to the key and current business concepts and their operationalisation through a simple review of the literature. In doing so, it enables students to deal with conflicting issues of ethics and equality.

The key skills taught and assess on the module will include advanced use of Excel and/or SPSS, data analysis (Statistical and Thematic) and reporting.


Qualitative research methods
• Research philosophies - The interpretivist and other paradigms
• Purpose and method of literature review in qualitative research
• Interviews, Focus groups and transcription
• Validity and Reliability in qualitative research
• Qualitative data analysis techniques
• Using Nvivo – Coding and Nodes. Using Nodes to organise/manage data
• Analysing secondary data
• Content analysis
• Thematic analysis
• Reporting and report structure

Quantitative research methods
• Research philosophies and the positivist paradigm
• Purpose and method of literature review in quantitative research
• Questionnaire design, validity and reliability in quantitative research
• Quantitative data analysis techniques
• Using SPSS – Editing, Coding and transforming data into information
• Basic data analysis -  Descriptive
• Univariate statistical analysis
• Bivariate statistical analysis
• Communicating research results – Reporting and Oral presentation

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The business research module is designed to encourage students to work independently to some extent. A significant aspect of the module is carried out in class.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Learning Outcomes must be Constructively Aligned to demonstrate:
• Apply a qualitative methodology based on a published literature [LO1]
• Formulate research questions and use an appropriate qualitative analysis [LO2]
• Apply a quantitative methodology based on a published literature [LO3]
• Formulate research questions and use an appropriate quantitative analysis [LO4]



Core Texts:

David E Gray, Doing research in the business world, 2017, Sage publication

Other Texts: Zikmund & al, Business research methods, 2009, Cengage publication.
Saunders M & al, Research methods for business students, 2016, Pearson

Liaise with Library Services to confirm availability of on-line licenses in academic year

Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.


Websites: To be added

Electronic Databases:

Social Media Sources

Other (E-books)