SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Research methods in management

Module Code:
FHEQ Level:
Taught in:
Term 2

This course focuses on dissertation research skills. In preparing students for their MSc dissertation, the two main objectives are:

  • to enable students to interpret and critically appraise published research in the field of international business, and
  • to enable students to design and conduct their own theoretical and empirical research in international business.

The course consists of three parts: Applying Scientific Thinking to Management Problems, Qualitative Research Methods and Quantitative Research Methods (including computer laboratory sessions).

Topics addressed include: basic concepts related to research, deduction versus induction, exploratory studies versus formal studies, causal studies, hypothesis, models; data collection, surveys, sampling, interviews, case studies, database management, statistical analysis, hypothesis testing and introduction to the EVIEW or SPSS computer program.

The final session of the course will be devoted to the discussion of students’ research proposals for their dissertation. Students will be set an essay consisting of a research proposal that must be presented at the end of the course. Students might apply their proposals to planning and writing their MSC dissertation.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The course is designed to provide basic knowledge of conducting research. The content of the course consists of the following elements: 

  • applying scientific thinking to management problems; 
  • research proposal and literature review; 
  • data collection methods, including surveys, interviews, experiments, observation, case studies, and secondary data; 
  • data preparation and descriptive statistics; 
  • hypotheses tests; 
  • the basics of regression analyses; 
  • presenting research results. 

The course covers issues related to all essential steps in the research process, which combines the qualitative and quantitative approaches of conducting research. Another important feature of the course is to include at least three sessions of computer practice in the environment of SPSS.

The learning outcomes of the course can be summarised as the following: 

  • To learn how to interpret and critically assess published research in the field of business and management
  • To learn general skills of writing a master degree dissertation 
  • To learn how to solve management problems in a structural and systematic way
  • To learn how to conduct an independent research


This module consists of a 2-hour weekly lecture over 10 weeks of term plus a revision lecture in term 3 as preparation for the final examination. Students will be supplied with a syllabus with a breakdown week by week of required and additional reading. Reading materials are usually accessed electronically from the BLE and students should come to class prepared.

This module also has a weekly 1-hour tutorial where the questions posed by the tutor relevant to the lecture are explored and discussed by the students. Students also prepare and deliver a short presentation.

Total Work load:
Students on this module will have 3 taught hours each week. Additionally, adequate personal study time should be allocated for reading and class preparation.

Method of assessment

Assessment for this module is in three elements:

  1. One tutorial presentation at 10%
  2. One essay of 2,500 words at 30%
  3. One unseen 2-hour written examination at 60%

All elements except the presentation may be resubmitted

Suggested reading



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