RDEV40450 Research Methods Part I

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module is designed for Masters students on the Graduate Programmes in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development; Agricultural Innovation Support; and Agricultural Extension and Innovation. It is directed at researching the social aspects of agricultural, rural and sustainable development. It focuses on developing students' own research skills in planning and implementing data collection and on their ability to critique research reports. These are skills which students will apply to developing their own theses.

This module serves as a precursor to RDEV40460 (Research Methods - Part 2), which focuses on analysis and presentation of collected data.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of the role of social research in development
- demonstrate an understanding of and apply the principles of social research (including research ethics)
- understand the theories underpinning qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches to social research
- develop and defend a research proposal
- plan and implement various research designs, methods and instruments
- plan and defend a sampling strategy
- critique research papers and reports.

Indicative Module Content:

Role of social research in development
Research process
Principles of good research
Establishing research questions, objectives or hypotheses
Developing a research proposal
Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches
Research types (eg participative, action, codesign research)
Research designs
Data collection tools
Research ethics

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning


Online Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The content for this module will be delivered through class based lectures and task-based workshops as well as Brightspace-facilitated groupwork. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:


Learning Exclusions:


Learning Recommendations:


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Approximately 4 short individual projects Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Group Project: Group report on the preparation and implementation of primary data collection tools (submission week 11). Grading will incorporate peer assessment of contribution of each student to the group. Week 11 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Individual continual assessment will be graded using a rubric and class feedback given within two weeks of submission. For the group project, formative feedback will be given at various stages of project's development. The group project will be graded using a rubric, and class and group feeback will be given prior to the end of the semester. Peer assessment of the contributions of individuals to the group will be taken into account for an individual grade. Each group member will receive feedback on their peers' assessment of their contribution.