DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This five-credit module provides an introduction to research and research design. The overall aim is to provide foundational understanding that will inform the development of a research proposal for an MA thesis/dissertation. The lectures will examine key concepts underpinning academic research, major approaches to research design and methodology, and issues effecting the reliability or generalisability of research results. As far as possible, these topics will be explored through case studies of research in areas relevant to your MA programmes. Seminars and coursework will provide an opportunity to workshop the development of a research proposal. You will develop the skills and knowledge to formulate research questions, search and evaluate scholarly literature, design a research study, and prepare for the collection and analysis of research data.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the principal methodological approaches to the study of mass communication.
2. Discuss critically the strengths and weaknesses of particular research methods as applied in published studies.
3. Select reliable information sources, including principal archival repositories and on-line journals.
4. Prepare and present a research project outline, with particular attention to information sources and the clear statement of research questions.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Details at lectures and/or on Moodle
Seminars10Details on Moodle
Independent Study93Reading
Total Workload: 125

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 Foundations I

Research Foundations II

Research Design I

Research Design II

Quantitative Data I

Quantitative Data II

Qualitative Data I

Qualitative Data II

Reporting Results

Research Ethics

Research Proposals

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • J. Biggam: 2008, Succeeding with your Master's Dissertation, OUP,
  • M. Denscombe: 2010, The Good Research Guide, OUP,
  • I. Furseth &E. Everett: 2013, Doing Your Masters Dissertation, Sage,
  • C. Hart: 2005, Doing Your Masters Dissertation, Sage,
  • D. Gray: 2009, Doing Research in the Real World, Sage,
  • G. Thomas: 2013, How to do Your Research Project, Sage,
  • R. Kumar: 2013, Research Methodology, Sage,
  • M. Schreier: 2012, Qualitative Content Analysis in Practice, Sage,
  • P. D'Angelo & J. Kuypers: 2010, Doing News Framing Analysis, Routledge,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes