Professional/Short Course Research Design and Methodologies

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
School of Architecture and Environment
49 sessions over 32 weeks
On campus seminars and online self-guided learning
Course Director
Dr Juliet Jain

Page last updated 12 October 2023


This course is suitable for professionals who are currently undertaking research, or intending to undertake research, as part of their job or further study (e.g. Postgraduate Research).  Research can be in any applied setting, for example transport, housing, sustainability, public health, social prescribing. 

This course focuses on the tools for planning a research project and the different approaches to data generation and analysis.

Research Design and Methodology will provide you with the foundations for taking forward your own research.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Explain the purpose and characteristics of key qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Critically evaluate research within its appropriate methodological context.
  • Demonstrate a rigorous and critical understanding of the assumptions underpinning key concepts such as validity, reliability, representativeness, generalisability, subjectivity and reflexivity.
  • Justify the use of key research designs and associated methods of analysis.
  • Show competence in the use of key research methods.

Entry requirements

Participants are expected to have a first degree at 2.1 level or above (or equivalent), or alternatively have relevant work experience .

If you are a non-UK student you will need to show your valid passport on entry to the UK. Please check your eligibility to visit and study in the UK here. If you are a non-Irish EU national currently resident in Ireland please contact us for further advice.

If English is not your country's first language, you will be required to provide evidence to show you meet the UK Border Agency and the University's minimum English Language requirements.

We strongly recommend that you speak to the course tutor prior to the course if you are unsure about your suitability to complete the assessment.

Careers / Further study

If the assessment is successfully completed this module counts towards a MRes Award in Social Research (Sustainable Futures) or Social Research (Health and Wellbeing).



This module will cover the main approaches to research design, data collection and data analysis; including:

Qualitative methods:

  • Foundations of qualitative research epistemological/ontological assumptions and key theoretical concepts, qualitative research design (recruitment and sampling, research ethics), ensuring quality and rigor.
  • Introduction to collecting qualitative data key methods such as interviews, focus groups, qualitative surveys (core assumptions and implementation).
  • Introduction to analysing qualitative data key methods such as thematic analysis and interpretative phenomenological analysis (key assumptions and implementation).

Quantitative methods:

  • Introduction to the scientific method - epistemological/ontological assumptions and key theoretical concepts, formulation of research questions, scientific hypotheses, study design, statistical hypotheses.
  • Data sampling, reliability, replicability.
  • Exploratory data analysis, statistical inference, power, external and internal validity, scientific inference.
  • Understanding relationships in data using the most commonly used statistical techniques.

Learning and Teaching

The courses are taught through a mixture of face-to-face and independent learning, comprising weekly lectures, workshops and group discussion. 

The pattern of contact sessions (see dates and times below) is highly accessible for those who wish to study part-time.

This is a highly participative course. Delivery methods are primarily experiential and participant centred, engaging you in practical exercises, personal study, and critical reflection upon the relationship between theory and practice.

Study time

The course is structured around 32 hours of in class workshops, 2 x 1:1 tutorials, 12 hours pre workshop recorded material, and around 252 hours of self-guided study, including assessment preparation. 

Students undertake a significant amount of directed and independent study between and after the contact sessions. To complete the course and assessment (if taken), we recommend students allocate approximately 300 hours including taught sessions and personal study time. This is only a guideline and will depend on the participants' motivation and learning abilities.


Assessment for this module will take the form of two written assignments and an individual presentation.


Study facilities

UWE Bristol is superbly equipped with libraries and computer labs, and an excellent campus environment. Our online learning environments deliver an integrated learning experience to you and you also have access to a vast number of professional and academic journals and databases online through the UWE Bristol library. 

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Course dates

Cohort September 2024TimeLocation
TBCTBCFrenchay Campus

Course fees

All prices are VAT exempt.

CohortAs a guide the previous year's fees are below - there may be a small increase for 2024
UK participants£1,583
International participants£2,666

For information on fees, managing your money and determining your fee status, please go to our fees and funding pages.

Course location

UWE Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY

How to find UWE Bristol

How to apply

How to apply

As this module carries university accreditation, please note that once you have submitted your booking form, you will be required to provide the following supporting information for the Programme Leader to review and formally accept your application as required by the university:

  • An up-to-date copy of your Curriculum Vitae (including contact details of a work or academic reference)
  • A brief personal statement to support your application
  • A copy of your highest qualification certificate and transcript of modules studied
  • For UK students, a copy of your photographic proof of ID (i.e. driver's licence/passport)
  • For non-UK students, a copy of your passport. Please note you may need a Visitor Visa to come to the UK to study. Visit UWE's Visas website for more information.
September 2024 Enquire Now

For further information

  • Email: For specific questions in relation to the course, i.e. content, suitability, assessments, etc. please contact the Programme Leader, Dr Juliet Jain ( For queries regarding administration aspects of registration, i.e. dates, fees, etc. please contact us using the online enquiry form link or telephone number below.
  • Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 81043 (option 1, then option 3)