Effective management of successful projects is founded on a broad evidence-base. While evidence can be extracted from the disciplinary literature, existing databases or previous project experience, original research may also be undertaken to meet the requirements of a specific project. Research is a process of enquiry and investigation, and takes a systematic and methodical approach to the creation of knowledge-as-evidence. Ineffective decision making can occur when a lack of knowledge leads to project delay and failure.

Research Methods guides participants through the logical steps required for the establishment of a project management research proposal for a professional project or further scholarship. Starting with an overview of the purpose of research, it develops a set of principles designed to build a research proposal based on conceptual issues and different approaches to research design. The collection and review of data, the application of qualitative and/or quantitative methodologies, the analysis of data, reporting of results and conclusion are all considered.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the research process and a systematic approach to the investigation of their specialised area;  
  2. Articulating a relevant research question worth addressing based on identification of a research problem;  
  3. Articulate and apply literature review strategies to critically analyse the existing literature;  
  4. Select and develop the appropriate methods for data collection and analysis;  
  5. Justify the selection and application of research methodology.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Project Individual Assignment 1: research formulation (approx. 1000 words plus 10 minutes presentation/discussion) 15%
Project Individual Assignment 2: literature review (approx. 1500 words plus 10 minutes presentation/discussion) 25%
Presentation Research proposal presentation (approx. 10 minutes) 10%
Report Research Proposal report (approx 4000 words) 50%

Required reading

Reading material will be negotiated in consultation with the supervisor and will be appropriate to the topic under investigation.

Business Research: A practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students 4th ed.
Collins J. & Hussey R., (2014)
Palgrave London

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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