module specification

BA5004 - Business Research Methods (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
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
30 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
180 hours Guided independent study
90 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 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Morning
Year North Monday Afternoon
Year North Thursday Morning
Year North Friday Afternoon

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 LO1
• Validity and Reliability in qualitative research LO2
• 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 LO3
• Questionnaire design, validity and reliability in quantitative research LO4
• 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

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

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]

Assessment strategy

In describing the assessment strategy, describe how:
• Students will be asked to use appropriate techniques of quantitative data analysis for business concepts. They will either collect or be given data to respond to research questions or test hypotheses.
• Students will be asked to use appropriate techniques of qualitative data analysis to explore business concepts or organisations. They will either be asked to interview (and record), or be given transcription of interviews to analyse.


Identify core and additional reading
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.


Core Text: 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


Websites: To be added

Electronic Databases:

Social Media Sources

Other (E-books)