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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Research Design
Module Code ES585
School 79
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Margaret Farren
Semester 2: Margaret Farren
Autumn: Margaret Farren
Module TeachersMargaret Farren
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

The module aims to prepare you for the construction of a dissertation at masters degree level. You will be introduced to research methodologies and paradigms, and issues around quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, analysis and debates around ethics, validity and rigour. You will learn how to conduct a literature review. The teaching approach taken will include lectures, small group work, workshops and presentations.

Learning Outcomes

1. Construct a research proposal.
2. Critically engage with theory and literature in a chosen field of research
3. Compare and contrast philosophical and methodological approaches to research
4. Describe various research methods
5. Justify approach to the selection of participants.
6. Discuss the role of rigour, validity and ethics in research

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture25No Description
Independent Study100No Description
Assignment Completion125No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Research Paradigms.


Literature Review.

Data Collection Methods.



Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Research PaperWrite a research proposal for a research topic of choice including the research question, research rationale, arguments in associated literature, rationale for choice of research participants, philosophical and/or methodological approach, research methods and issues around rigour, valiity and ethics100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Kemmis, Stephen, et al.: 2014, The action research planner: doing critical participatory action research, Singapore: Springer,,
  • McNiff, Jean,: 2014, Writing and doing action research, Los Angeles: SAGE,
  • Wolcott, Harry F.: 2008, Ethnography -a way of seeing, Lanham, MD: Altamira Press,
  • De Vaus, D. A: 2011, Research design in social research, London: SAGE,,
  • Costley, Carol,: 2010, Doing work based research: approaches to enquiry for insider-researchers, Los Angeles; London: SAGE,
  • Robson, Colin.,: 2016, Real world research: a resource for users of social research methods in applied settings, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley,
  • Gray, David E: 2009, Doing research in the real world, London: SAGE,
  • Yin, Robert K: 2014, Case study research: design and methods, Los Angeles: SAGE,
  • Creswell, John W; Plano Clark, Vicki L: 2011, Designing and conducting mixed methods research, Los Angeles: SAGE Publications,
  • Taber, Keith: 2013, Classroom-based research and evidence-based practice, SAGE,
  • Baumfield, V., Hall, E., Wall, K.: 2012, Action research in education : learning through practitioner enquiry, SAGE,
  • Lambert, M.: 2012, A beginner's guide to doing your education research project, SAGE,
  • Marshall, J.: 2016, First person action research : living life as inquiry, SAGE,
  • Bochner, A.: 2016, Evocative autoethnography : writing lives and telling stories, Routledge,
  • Ravitch, S.M. and Riggan, M.: 2016, Reason & Rigor: How Conceptual Frameworks Guide Research, SAGE,
  • Crotty, M.: 2014, The foundations of social research : meaning and perspective in the research, SAGE,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MEMLMSc in Ed. & Training Mgt (Leadership)

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