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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4G7JN: Research Methods in Marketing

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to N5K609J Marketing (commencing in January) (suspended for 21/22)


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To equip students with an in-depth understanding of key principles of research design and methodology in marketing, and to develop their skills in conducting and disseminating research at an advanced level.


  • Introduction: approach to social research.
  • Formulating a research question appropriate to the marketing problem.
  • Developing a research design that fits your question.
  • The nature of qualitative research.
  • The nature of quantitative research.
  • An overview of data gathering methods, including interviews; questionnaires; experiments.
  • The analysis of quantitative and qualitative data with data analysis tools such as SPSS and Nvivo.
  • Ethics of research.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should have developed:
  • A critical appreciation of the range of philosophical approaches to research from across the social sciences;
  • An advanced knowledge of the nature, scope and relationships between quantitative and qualitative research methods in marketing; their appropriate use and rationale for selection;
  • An advanced understanding of the possible relations between data collection, sampling and theory-generation;
  • A critical understanding of a range of data-gathering methods for conducting qualitative and quantitative research including, for example, questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups;
  • A critical understanding of a range of methods of data analysis including the use of qualitative and quantitative data sets, methods of qualitative analysis along with descriptive statistics and the use and interpretation of multivariate statistics.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students should have developed:
  • the ability to formulate meaningful marketing research questions;
  • the ability to develop theory deductively, or where appropriate, devise and test hypotheses and identify and correct for bias and error;
  • the ability to interpret and evaluate research results;
  • high-level skills in devising, structuring and managing a research project and presenting research findings to professionals.
Key Skills:
  • Effective written communication;
  • planning, organising and time management;
  • problem solving and analysis;
  • the ability to use initiative;
  • advanced computer literacy.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures, practical sessions, individual exercises and guided reading.
  • The module is summatively assessed by individual written assignment to promote, and test, the development of key skills. The research proposal assignment will test students’ knowledge and critical understanding of different research methodologies, the process of designing a research project at an advanced level and the formulation of appropriate research questions.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Practicals 4 fortnightly 2 hours 8
Preparation & Reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment 4000 words (maximum) 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

In-class research question formulation exercise. In-class qualitative and quantitative data analysis exercises. Verbal formative feedback will be given to students as a group throughout the module.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University