RSCH09030 2020 Research Methods

General Details

Full Title
Research Methods
Transcript Title
Research Methods
N/A %
Subject Area
RSCH - Research
CENG - Civil Eng. and Construction
09 - NFQ Level 9
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2020 - Full Academic Year 2020-21
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Tomas O Flaherty
Programme Membership
SG_EGEOT_M09 202000 Master of Engineering in Engineering in Geotechnical / Structural Engineering Joint Programme SG_EGEOT_M09 202000 Master of Engineering in Geotechnical / Structural Engineering Joint Programme SG_EGEOT_M09 202000 Master of Engineering in Engineering in Geotechnical / Structural Engineering Joint Programme SG_EGEOT_M09 202000 Master of Engineering in Geotechnical / Structural Engineering Joint Programme SG_ESTRU_M09 202000 Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering with Geotechnical Engineering SG_ESTRU_M09 202000 Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering with Geotechnical Engineering SG_EGTEC_M09 202000 Master of Engineering in Geotechnical Engineering with Structural Engineering SG_EPOLY_O09 202400 Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering in Polymer Development SG_EPOLY_R09 202400 Master of Engineering in Polymer Development

This module will provide the learner with the necessary research skills to undertake a level 9 research project. The learner will:

  • Study the different paradigms and methodologies of the research study
  • Study the different methods of data collection and data analysis associated with the chosen approach
  • Learn how to analyse research publications
  • Disseminate research in terms of reports and journal publications
  • Effectively communicate their research outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Critically evaluate existing knowledge and its application to the student's chosen research area.


Develop a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, generally informed by the forefront of research in their chosen area.


Analyse paradigms of research enquiry and explicate where chosen paradigms fit within their research area of interest.


Expertly identify, discuss and propose a range of data collection and analysis tools and techniques relevant to their study.


Demonstrate a critical understanding of appropriate project management skills to ensure successful completion of level 9 research project.


Communicate effectively their research outcomes.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will consist of lectures supported by tutorials/design classes, and learning through group and individual projects to further develop expertise in topics.

The lectures will be recorded and made available to the learners through Moodle. Workshops will also be used to bring online learners together for special lectures or design workshops.

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 100% continuous assessment. The continuous assessment is by individual assignments. During the semester, students will have to present on their ideas and plan for the development of proposal and project. This will be developed into a robust proposal for submission at the end of the semester.

Repeat Assessments

The learner must pass the continuous assessment.

Where a learner fails the continuous assessment they will be required to resubmit the assignment(s) again for assessment.

Indicative Syllabus

The indicative syllabus may include:

  1. Learners exploring different sources of evidence and its relevance and application to a research topic. Resulting in the identification of a research area that becomes the foundation of their research project.
  2. Learners engaging with and critically reviewing sources of knowledge inclusive of appropriate databases, journals, conferences, government documents and other relevant evidence sources. This will support the learner to develop new insights and identify potential research areas for further investigation.
  3. Learners having the opportunity to discuss, examine and debate, common and often used methods of research enquiry, evaluating when and where these paradigms, methodologies may be relevant to their future research studies, thus enabling them to select and apply appropriate research strategies.
  4. Learners being given the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding in tools of data collection and data analysis. Research methods will be explored and their potential to given research projects examined, allowing the learner to consider the use of a variety of research tools in their research activities. This may involve attendance at additional workshops on data collection and data analysis techniques, relative to the learner's level of research experience and expertise.
  5. Learners being expected to explore ethical dilemmas relevant to their proposed research topic, in doing so they are expected to develop appropriate strategies and documentation to deal with potential ethical dilemmas.
  6. Learners encouraged in the acquisition and demonstration of project management skills in the area of research, inclusive of all stages of the research process, but also the associated project management tools of successful project completion. This will include but is not limited to, project timelines, work packages, tasks and deliverables with the intention of supporting the student not only with the proposal and projects but also for their research activities into the future.
  7. Learners being engaged in skills to report research, write a research proposal and give research presentations.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Individual Continuous Assignments Coursework Assessment Assignment 100 % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Independent Learning 7 Weekly 7.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 2.00 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Online Lecture Online Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Not Specified Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2013-12-27 Business Research Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 0230301835 ISBN-13 9780230301832

A concise and straightforward guide for students undertaking a research project for the first time. The new edition details the entire research process, from reviewing the literature to writing up results. It features balanced and expanded coverage of collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data, and new chapters on academic decision making and preparing research proposals. Students find this book very practical, as it provides the tools they need to successfully embark on research projects and applies theories to real life scenarios. It also features an excellent glossary and practical troubleshooting section which identifies potential problems and provides likely solutions. A companion website is available providing lecturer and student resources, including PowerPoint slides, datasets and interactive revision questions.

Recommended Reading
2015-07-23 Research Methods for Business Students Prentice Hall
ISBN 1292016620 ISBN-13 9781292016627

Revised edition of Research methods for business students, 2012.

Recommended Reading
2015-07-07 Research Methods for Construction John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 9781118915745 ISBN-13 1118915747

This new edition of a valued guide for construction students will: instil rigour into your problem solving and the production of reports and publications is one of the few books to provide guidance on research formulation, methodologies, and methods specifically for construction students has been extended in scope to cover many areas of debate, e.g. research ethics, and quantitative & qualitative research

Recommended Reading
2014-09-11 Research Methods for Engineers Cambridge University Press
ISBN 1107610192 ISBN-13 9781107610194

Learn how to plan for success with this hands-on guide to conducting high-quality engineering research. Plan and implement your next project for maximum impact: step-by-step instructions cover every stage in engineering research, from the identification of an appropriate research topic through to the successful presentation of results. Improve your research outcomes: discover essential tools and methods for producing high-quality, rigorous research, including statistical analysis, survey design, and optimisation techniques. Research with purpose and direction: clear explanations, real-world examples, and over 50 customisable end-of-chapter exercises, all written with the practical and ethical considerations of engineering in mind. A unique engineering perspective: written especially for engineers, and relevant across all engineering disciplines, this is the ideal book for graduate students, undergraduates, and new academics looking to launch their research careers.

Recommended Reading
2011-03-01 Succeeding With Your Master'S Dissertation: A Step-By-Step Handbook McGraw-Hill International
ISBN 9780335242252 ISBN-13 0335242251

Annotation This new edition of 'Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation' continues to demystify the dissertation writing process. Taking a step-by-step approach to the dissertation life cycle, the book provides clear guidance on how to gain marks, as well as how to avoid losing them.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Will be provided during the course of the module.

Journal Resources

Will be provided during the course of the module.

URL Resources

Will be provided during the course of the module.

Other Resources

Will be provided during the course of the module.

Additional Information

Will be provided during the course of the module.