Research Questions to Research Design

Module code: SY7049

Research design consists of choices necessary to transform a research question into actual research. These choices relate to strategies and modes of case selection, data collection and modes of analysis, and they pertain equally to qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods studies. Every research question can be elaborated in different ways; none of these will be ideal in all respects, so that design choices have implications in terms of costs and benefits. The module will discuss these implications, considering the kinds of conclusions that can reliably be drawn from the different kinds of evidence produced by different designs.

This module will also teach you to:

  • Identify and engage with key literature in your chosen area of research.
  • Design usable research questions arising meaningfully from existing literature and underpinning feasible and coherent data collection and analysis.
  • Explain how the research method chosen is appropriate to the research question and how design decisions relevant to that method (such as sample size and sampling strategy) are justified in giving rise to feasible and informative research.
  • Identify and address the possible ethical issues that might arise during the course of the research process.

You will be introduced to key design features such as groups, timing and measurement and they will be illustrated through a range of research designs including experimental and quasi experimental, case study design and longitudinal design. Design elements will be linked into the full cycle of research activity, from knowledge synthesis through to policy or practice.