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Critical Research - Foundation, Futures + Skills

Update your skills or gain the insight, language and techniques required to carry out empirical research in a range of disciplines.

This Certificate provides an overview of the empirical research process, theories and methods so as to provide students with the insight, language and skills required to carry out empirical research in a range of disciplines. Traditionally, research approaches could be categorised in ways such as science, humanities or art-practice based research. Increasingly, inter-and multi-disciplinary movements are calling for more collaboration between these areas, while preserving an empirical (i.e. evidence-based) approach. Throughout the course, the research methods are discussed in the context of real research studies. The course emphasises questions, discussion and debate around the content.

You will discover how to:
• Develop appropriate and interesting research questions.
• Design an empirical research study (e.g. experiment,
• survey, observation, interview, use of tests and scales).
• Identify and evaluate alternative research designs.
• Critically evaluate empirical research findings and reports.
• Communicate the findings of an empirical research study to a wider audience through alternative methods (e.g. poster, website, oral presentation, empirical APAstyle report).

Entry requirements

Min Entry Requirements
• Undergraduate qualification of 2nd Class Honours or higher at Degree level.
• Applicants may also be considered provided they can demonstrate Degree equivalence, which can be verified through the RPL (recognition of prior learning) process.
• Shortlisted applicants may be called for interview.


20 weeks; 1 evening per week.

Number of credits


Careers or further progression

Future careers
• The knowledge and skills acquired will be invaluable in a wide range of careers and activities, and so can be applied to virtually any research related endeavour.

This course is highly relevant if you:
• Wish to update or develop your research skills.
• Want to become familiar with the latest trends or debates in research.
• Are currently engaged in an on-going research project.
• Would like to engage in multi-, cross- or inter- disciplinary work.

Further enquiries

Dr Olivia Hurley, Course Co-ordinator
E -

Subjects taught

What topics will I study?
• The Research Process
• What makes good research?
• Research Paradigms
• The role of the Internet in supporting research
• Research Ethics
• Hypothesis generation + testing
• Research design
• Surveys + Online Questionnaires
• Ethnographic research
• Experimental designs
• Observation studies
• Tests + Scales
• Mixed-method approaches
• Analysis + Interpretation (Qualitative + Quantitative)
• Proposal writing
• Publishing Research
• Communication of results
• Critical thinking skills

Assessment method

Two written pieces of continuous assessment work, submitted by students at the end of Term 1 (Week 10) and Term 2 (Week 20).

Application date

Application Date: 22 August 2018, 4pm.

Course fee


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