School of Environment, Resources and Development, (SERD)

ED52.9005 : Selected Topic: Introduction to Research Design  2(2-0)
Course Objectives:

The course is intended to introduce students to the main components of a research framework i.e., scientific inquiry, problem statement, research design, ethical issues in research, report writing, and presentation.Once equipped with this knowledge, the students would be wellplaced to conduct graduate level research under supervision in an area of their choosing in the Department of Development and Sustainability.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the course, the students will be able to:
-          Identify key research components essential for preparing a research proposal
-          Develop an understanding of various research designs and techniques
-          Identify various sources of information for literature review and data collection
-          Comprehend and practice research ethics and responsible conduct in research


Course Outline:
I.      Introduction to scientific inquiry
1.     Research paradigms
2.     Types of research designs
II.    Research ethics
1.     Conducting an ethical research
2.     Plagiarism
III.   Conceptualization and literature review
1.     Formulating problem statements, research questions and hypotheses
2.     Literature review
3.     Theory and conceptual frameworks
IV.   Developing research proposals
1.     Structure and requirements
2.     Theory of change and monitoring and evaluation frameworks
3.     Budget, timeline, practical considerations
V.    Writing and presenting research findings
1.     Discussion and conclusion
2.     Publishing a scientific paper
Laboratory Sessions:



There is no designated textbook for this course, but lecture notes and reading materials will be provided.

Reference Books:
1.     Punch, K. Developing Effective Research Proposals. SAGE, London, second edition, 2006.
2.     Brady, H. and Collier, D. Rethinking Social Inquiry: Diverse Tools, Shared Standards. Rowman & Littlefield, Maryland, 2010.
3.     Vanderstoep, S. and Johnson, D. Research Methods for Everyday Life: Blending Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, 2009.
4.     Bryman, A. Social Research Method. Oxford University Press, Oxford,second edition, 2004.
5.     Healey, J. Statistics: A Tool for Social Research. Thomson Wadsworth, Belmont, seventh edition, 2005.
Journals and Magazines:
1.     Qualitative Social Research (On-line Journal)
2.     International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Taylor & Francis
3.     Journal of Writing Research, University of Antwerp
4.     Journal of Mixed Methods Research, SAGE
Time Distribution and Study Load:

Lecture (25 hours), guided class discussion (10 hours), self and group-study (90 hours).

Teaching and Learning Methods:

Lectures through PowerPoint presentation, students’ class participation and discussion.

Evaluation Scheme:
The final grade will be computed from the following constituent parts:
-          Midterm exam (closed book): 30%
-          Final exam (closed book): 30%
-          Quiz/Assignments: 20%
-          Class participation and attendance: 20%
“A” would be awarded if a student demonstrates excellent understanding on concepts of social and scientific research. A “B” would be given if a student shows an overall understanding of topic covered in class. A “C” would be given if a student meets below average expectation on both understanding and application. A “D” would be given if a student does not meet basic expectation in analyzing or understanding issues covered in the course.