Research Methods and Theories in HCI

Module code: CO7221
Module coordinator: Dr Effie Law, Dr Nervo Verdezoto

In this module we will cover fundamental theories, methods and models essential for building a solid foundation in HCI. We will look at classical and contemporary theoretical concepts include affordances, cognitive modelling, human needs and motivation, activity theory and situated cognition.

We will discuss potential research methods including questionnaires, ethnographical observation, interviews, focus groups, statistics, content analysis and narrative-based methods. The strengths and limitations of each method will be explored by applying it within a specific domain such as games, healthcare or education. You will carry out a mini project to acquire hands-on experience in this field.

Topics covered

  • Core theories and models in HCI
  • Quantitative data collection and analysis methods
  • Qualitative data collection and analysis methods
  • Case studies in different application contexts


  • 20 one-hour lectures
  • 4 one-hour tutorials
  • 10 one-hour practicals
  • 6 hours of fieldwork


  • Practical exercise (20%)
  • Technical report (20%)
  • Mini project report of an exploratory case study (30%)
  • Exam (30%)