Professional course Applied Research Skills

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Applied Sciences
Online course
20 weeks

30 credit Masters level module

Page last updated 4 October 2021


This online module will provide you with the knowledge and skills required to design, carry out and critically analyse research in science communication. The taught skills will be relevant to anyone wanting to conduct social research using both quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as those seeking to the skills to evaluate public engagement initiatives.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Critically apply the principles of effective research design and its relationship to research questions, as well as analysis;
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding, of the purposes and limitations, of a range of quantitative and qualitative research approaches;
  • Critically evaluate research within its appropriate methodological context;
  • Recognise, illustrate and understand the need for ethical considerations in research;
  • Identify and explain means to effectively share research via dissemination;
  • Understand the contexts and approaches that can be taken for research to demonstrate impact.



In this module, you will examine key topics including methodologies for research, how to design a research project, criticality in research, ethics, and how to share research effectively. You will also study a number of key research methods such as secondary and desk-based research, experimental approaches, questionnaires and surveys, content and discourse analysis, observations, interviews and focus groups, as well as social media analytics and analysis. Core to the module will be teaching on the use of quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques, as well as other potential impact indicators.

On completion of this module, you will be able to critically reflect on the quality of research designs, as well as having acquired knowledge on a range of research methods which can be used as a standalone approach, for example in evaluation, or combined in order to perform academically rigorous research.

Learning and Teaching

The module will be taught through 20 weeks of online content. This will include narrated presentations, self-directed learning activities (including designated reading), problem-based learning, discussion forums, wikis, asynchronous feedback opportunities and/or live interactive seminars.

You will also be expected to undertake independent learning to build specialist knowledge in aspects of research design of your particular interest/relevance.

Study time

The taught time will include four private study weeks when you will have an opportunity to carry out independent study and review previous weeks' contents and materials. A variety of electronic resources will be provided via Blackboard to present supplementary support for you during your periods of independent study.Due to the online nature of the module, you will be given very clear guidance on contact times for the module team, as well as dedicated online spaces (including discussion forums) in order to ensure you feel fully engaged as a cohort, despite working at a distance.


The assessment comprises two elements - a 3,000-word critical appraisal (due 8 February 2022) and a 15-minute narrated presentation (due 22 February 2022).


Study facilities

You'll have access to a range of online facilities to support your learning, including the University Library.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

£1,170 per student.


The online course runs from 6 September 2021 to 26 January 2022.


How to apply

How to apply

You are required to apply online for this CPD online module.

For further information