module specification

LN7077 - Research Methods (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Research Methods
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
200 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Poster presentation
Coursework 60%   2500 word research proposal
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

The module explores the range of approaches, methods and traditions in research in Applied Linguistics. You will explore competing and complementary research paradigms found in the field and their corresponding approaches to research design. You will examine the opportunities and challenges that quantitative approaches offer as well as issues of validity, reliability, and sampling. Similarly, you will be introduced to a wide range of qualitative approaches to research in language and language teaching.

You will discuss issues surrounding the use of questionnaires as research tools and the uses of interviewing and observations. You will also investigate current approaches, issues and debates in classroom research, with a particular focus on Action Research.
In this module you will also be encouraged to explore issues and current approaches to collecting and analysing naturalistic language data as well as, more broadly, communication research.

The ultimate aim of this module is to prepare you for the Dissertation module that follows by giving you a solid grounding in both current research methodology in language teaching and Applied Linguistics and the theoretical paradigms from which they arise and to understand, identify and evaluate different research methodologies.

Prior learning requirements



The module introduces the main research paradigms in applied linguistics and invites students to explore their epistemological and ontological differences. Quantitative, qualitative and mixed approaches to research are studied in detail with particular focus on the exploration of research questions that address issues related to language, language learning and language teaching (LO1, LO2).

Students will study a range of data collection techniques and their suitability for different approaches, including questionnaires, interviews, focus, groups, and observations (LO3, LO4). Ethical considerations in the design of research projects will also be discussed (LO5). Students will explore a range of data analysis strategies and will also be trained on the use of computer-assisted data analysis software (SPSS and NVivo) (LO3, LO6).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students enrolled in this module will be encouraged to engage with recommended readings in preparation for unit. As the module adopts a blended-learning approach, students will have access to a dedicated module site (Weblearn) where they will find learning activities, class materials, lecture recordings, and online forums where they can interact with peers and tutors in synchronous and asynchronous ways.

Our students will have access to the university library website and make use of electronic journals, e-books, databases and full text journals. Support for developing and improving IT skills as well as information on other web based study support, is available on the library website. Students will have a nominated tutor who will support and guide them through the module and who they can consult in person, by email, or designated video-conference software.

Learning outcomes

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

1) identify a range of research methods that are used in language teaching, learning and other language-related disciplines

2) critically consider, select and apply an appropriate research method for their own MA dissertation

3) select data collection tools that are effective and appropriate to the purpose of their research

4) identify various sources of reliable information and build up a relevant theoretical background to their research at an advanced level

5) understand ethical considerations and issues in their research

6) confidently discuss their research ideas and provide solid justifications for their methodological decisions

Assessment strategy

The assessment element of the module is focused explicitly on developing an appropriate and manageable dissertation project, and considering how best to approach it in terms of research methods, objectives and potential outcomes.

The first summative assessment takes the form of a poster presentation where students present their research topic with the key aspects of the proposed research study and provide justifications for their choices. Building on the tutor and peer feedback they develop a proposal which is pre-recorded and submitted online by the student.

The second summative component of assessment is a 2,500-word research proposal which will demonstrate their understanding of the research methods and issues explored in the module and applied to the design of a viable and methodologically well-founded study.