Research Methods module (BU52015)

Learn Research Methods to understand the techniques to gather, analyse, and interpret data to undertake research and prepare dissertations.

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Module code


This module is designed to help you learn about modern research techniques and the important ideas and concepts that these build on.

The material is designed to help you when you work on your own research, whether this is a summer dissertation or a full PhD thesis.

You will learn about the research process and the methodological ideas that this builds on; the important theories and main methods used in business research; the importance of ethics in research; the skills needed to to write up a dissertation; and the importance of plagiarism and referencing.

By the end of the module you will also have developed the subject-specific practical and intellectual skills and attributes (SPI) needed to produce a concise, coherent and robust research proposal; recognise the varying applicability of different research methods in business; and use online databases to search for and collect financial data.

What you will learn

In this module, you will:

  • gain an appreciation of generic research perspectives, concepts and methods
  • develop your subject-specific knowledge of the principal research methods employed in accounting and finance
  • explore a range of practical research skills
  • learn the skills necessary for further study.

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • understand the principal methods used in accounting and finance research
  • show your knowledge of ethics in research
  • write up a dissertation
  • discuss plagiarism and referencing
  • produce a concise, coherent and robust research proposal

Assignments / assessment

  • Research Proposal (100%)

This module does not have a final exam.

Teaching methods / timetable

Each week expect two lectures of two-hours to support your own study to complete your Research Proposal.

Week Topics covered
1 No teaching

Introduction. What is research and theory, and why do we need it?



Reviewing the literature

Writing a Research Proposal


Theories in business research



Introduction to research methodology

Library resources

6 Reading Week

Theory in finance research

Completing a dissertation


Ethics in research

Disseminating Your Research


Event Studies

Plagiarism and Referencing


Content Analysis

Interviews and Questionnaires


Case Studies

Review Q&A

There are 10 weeks of teaching. For this module, the exact dates of teaching and/or reading weeks are to be confirmed.


This module is available on following courses: