module specification

ST5F51 - Research Proposal in Sport and Exercise (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Research Proposal in Sport and Exercise
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Ethical approval documentation (500 words)
Coursework 50%   Written research proposal (2000 words)
Coursework 40%   Research presentation (20mins)
Running in 2019/20

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

Module summary

This module will introduce the learners to the scientific principles relating to research in the area of sport and exercise.  Learners will explore the considerations that have to be made when planning to perform research, including experimental design, ethical considerations and data collection/analysis.  Learners will apply the knowledge they have gained to research scenarios and critique the research methodology required to ensure the validity and reliability of data collected.  Learners will review the literature relating to an area of interest to them and produce a research proposal.  This module will prepare the learners wishing to progress to the 3rd year of a degree programme by providing the knowledge, skills and experiences required to perform a research project.

Module aims

Learners will develop an understanding of and apply the principles of scientific research in sport and exercise.  Learners will perform a literature search and literature review on a chosen field of research relating to sport or exercise.  Learners will collect information/literature from a range of sources and summarise their findings.  Learners will explore the considerations that need to be made when designing a research methodology to ensure that date collected will be valid, reliable, accurate and precise.  During the module learner will work independently on a research project of their choice and produce a research proposal that includes an introduction, literature review, hypotheses and methodology.  Finally, learners will be able to communicate their research in different modes (written and oral).


Purpose of research
Types of research (Qualitative and quantitative research), types of hypotheses, research aims and objectives, the research process/cycle, inductive and deductive research.

Literature searching
Searching techniques, literature selections, critical analysis.

Purpose of ethics, ethical committee, participant information sheets, informed consent,

Research design
Designs for qualitative and quantitative research, randomised ordering, cross-over design, control groups, placebo controls, longitudinal vs. cross-sectional design, field testing, laboratory testing.  Importance of maintaining validity, reliability, accuracy and precision during research.

Maths in research
Types of data, data distribution, measures of central tendencies, parametric/non-parametric data.

Data collection, presentation and analysis
Practical lab sessions, data collection, data presentation (tables, figures, graphs), statistical analysis of qualitative and quantitative data (tests for difference, correlation analysis)

Learning and teaching

Students will have lectures on research methods beginning with reflection on their use of qualitative and quantitative methods throughout the course.  Students will acquire a deeper knowledge of research methods and then use these to investigate a topic negotiated with their tutor.  The delivery of the module will be a blend of scheduled teaching, practical application and independent study.  Scheduled teaching will comprise of lectures.  Practical application will consist of learners conducting basic field and laboratory testing, collecting, presenting and analysing data.  Independent study will include literature search and review.  Resources on Moodle will support independent study.  Learners will be encouraged to reflect on and enhance their own learning during periodic independent study weeks.

Learning outcomes

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific principles relating to research design in sport and exercise.
2. Critically review the literature, from a wide range of resources, relating to an area of interest within sport and exercise.
3. Produce a research proposal to test a research question relating to sport and exercise to include Ethical approval documentation and method(s) of statistical analysis.
4. Demonstrate an ability to communicate your findings in a variety of scientific forms (written and oral format).

Assessment strategy

Learning outcomes will be assessed by via a combination of two written assessment (10 and 50%) and oral presentation (40%).  Summative assessment will consist of one 2000 word research proposal on and area of research that appeals to them, which must approved by the tutor and a 15 minute presentation on their research topic followed by questions.  Learning outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4 (partial) will be assessed in the two written assignments and outcome 4 (partial) will be assessed during a presentation.  An aggregate mark of 40% or higher is required to pass this module.


Essentail reading:
Nelson, L., Groom, R. and Potrac, P. (2014).  Research Methods in Sports Coaching.  Routledge

Recommended reading:
Armour, K. and Macdonald, D. (2011).  Research Methods in Physical Education and Youth Sport.  Routledge

O'Donoghue, P. (2012).  Statistics for Sport and Exercise Studies: An Introduction.  Routledge

Sparkes, A. C. and Smith, B. (2013).  Qualitative Research Methods in Sport, Exercise and Health: From Process to Product. Routledge

Thomas, J., Nelson, J. and Silverman, S. (2010).  Research Methods in Physical Activity, 6th Edition.  Human Kinetics

Journal of Sports Science
Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise
International Journal of Coaching Science