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Durham University

Postgraduate Modules 2019/2020

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Department: Economics and Finance

ECON48415: Research Methods and Methodology in Accounting

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2019/20
Tied to L1T509 Accounting


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To ensure that students understand the main research assumptions based on various ontologies and epistemologies of research in accounting, leading to a critical appreciation of the appropriate research methods and techniques for achieving different research aims and objectives.


  • Accounting Research philosophies
  • Methods of accounting research
  • Techniques of critical analysis
  • Accounting Research ethics
  • Using programming software for accounting research purposes (e.g. STATA)

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have an advanced knowledge and critical appreciation of:
  • the philosophy of financial research;
  • alternative philosophies of accounting research;
  • interpretations of positive research;
  • traditions of research in management accounting;
  • traditions of research in financial accounting;
  • methods of empirical research;
  • methods of analysis, including case study analysis, the analysis of literature and the critical analysis of reasoning;
  • the outputs of research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students should be able to:
  • identify appropriate research methods and analytical techniques for application in an accounting context.
Key Skills:
  • data capturing and analysis
  • written communication
  • planning, organising and time management
  • problem-solving and analytical skills

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

  • Learning will be based on knowledge transfer from lectures, supervision meetings and personal study; investigation of cases and real world organisations which will underpin the seminars will encourage students to develop awareness of cultural differences and apply these to development of their skills in managing themselves and others in such contexts.
  • Practical activities and discussions will develop students’ technical awareness and their analytical skills.
  • The formative assignment will provide feedback to students regarding their understanding of the main concepts and technical treatments.
  • The summative assignment will require students to produce a written research proposal in order to test their knowledge and critical appreciation of accounting research methodology and analytical techniques.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 1 per week 2 hours 20
Seminars 3 1 per fortnight 2 hours 6
Practical session 1 1 2 hours 2
Preparation & Reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written research proposal 2,500 words max 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Students will receive written comments on a formative written Research Methodology assignment of 1500 words maximum. Additional formative assessment, and feedback, may take a number of forms such as oral feedback on work prepared by students for seminars; answers to questions either discussed during a seminar, or posted on DUO; discussions with teaching staff during consultation hours, or via e-mail. ________________________________________

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

    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.