We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

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
No such Code for pgprog: N1A360

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI54060: Research Design Workshop (Level 5)

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 60 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to N1A360 Doctor of Business Administration


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To ensure that students are familiar with the most up to date version of the theories they want to contribute to.
  • To ensure that students are aware of all the neighbouring theories that they can take advantage of in terms of borrowing insights and/or research methods.
  • To develop the level of integration of students’ field knowledge.
  • To develop students’ ability to identify a suitable research topic, and generate theoretically relevant research questions that can be answered rigorously and scientifically.
  • To develop students’ ability to identify suitable research methods to answer their research questions.
  • To develop students’ ability to appreciate ethical issues in research


  • Models and methods
  • Logic and argumentation
  • Suitability of different analytical methodologies
  • Observation plans
  • Data structures
  • Data collection methods: Participant and non-participant observation; Unstructured, semi structured and structured interviews; survey data; archival data
  • Ethical challenges associated with the conduct of research into organisations
  • Under supervision, students will deliver the most up to date overview of their field and an up to date survey of neighbouring fields together with an empirical pilot study

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Have an up-to-date knowledge of the relevant theories
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of neighbouring fields
  • Understand contemporary developments in subject specific research methods
  • Understand ethical challenges and the appropriate responses
  • Have an advanced understanding of research design issues
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of subject specific methodological considerations
  • Understand limitations on data availability and management of research access
  • Understand the time demand of different data collection methods
  • Understand issues concerning research and confidentiality
  • Understand ethical challenges associated with the conduct of research into organisations, and the appropriate responses
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to skilfully conduct research
  • Ability to critically assess existing research
  • Ability to develop novel theory
  • Ability to test newly developed theory
  • Ability to unify or synthesise theories
Key Skills:
  • Ability to make an initial formulation and articulation of a research problem
  • Ability to transform the research problem into a set of research questions
  • The ability to design the research to answer a particular research question
  • Ability to design and execute data collection.
  • Ability to design data coding
  • Ability to design the data analysis
  • Effective oral communication skills

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

  • The module will be delivered in a workshop format over two intensive three-day teaching blocks. Workshops will bring the students through all the relevant phases of research design.
  • By commenting on each other’s suggestions students will acquire both the capability and the attitude to critically evaluate and improve research designs
  • Learning will also occur through tutor-supported, as well as self-support learning groups. There will also be on-line teaching support through a module blog. Finally, the module enables the students to develop their own research design. •
  • The assessment of the module is by a combination of: an oral examination of the students on research design issues by an independent panel.; a 10,000 word written assignment based on an extensive literature review and field knowledge. The assessment is designed to test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to articulate a researchable issue.; The module is assessed on a pass/fail basis and students must pass both components.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshop (see above) 6 Daily 8 hours 48
Tutor-supported Learning Group Varies As needed 52
Research design 250
Preparation & Reading 250
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Oral Examination Component Weighting: 0%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual oral examination on research design issues 30 minutes % Same
Component: Written assignment Component Weighting: 0%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment based on an extensive literature review and field knowledge 10,000 words % Same

Formative Assessment:

Students will receive the RDW assignment brief and pre-reading at least 2-weeks prior to the module being delivered and will produce a formative piece of work in preparation for the main module assignment. When in attendance at the module, students will be required to deliver an individual presentation to a group of Module Leaders, relevant Faculty and members of their respective cohort and feedback will be provided.

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