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7AAICC30 Research Approaches

Module convenor: Dr Red Chidgey and Dr Ruth Adams
Credits: 20
Teaching pattern: Ten one-hour lectures and ten one-hour seminars
Module description:

As academics or practitioners, we are all involved in knowledge production. This module provides students with the skills needed to execute high quality graduate-level research projects, utilising a wide variety of methods, tools and analytical approaches. The module addresses the philosophical underpinnings of knowledge production and key issues in research design, ethics, data collection, analysis and interpretation. At the end of the module, students will be able to plan and critically evaluate their own research projects and a wide range of research connected to arts and cultural management contexts and the cultural and creative industries. 

Draft teaching syllabus 2018/9

Week 1: Introduction to Research Approaches 

Week 2: Developing an Analytical Framework

Week 3: Methodological Approaches

Week 4: Ethnography 

Week 5: Interviewing

Week 6: Textual Analysis

Week 7: Analysing Policy Documents 

Week 8: Survey and Questionnaires

Week 9: Digital Research: Using Digital Resources and Doing Digital Research

Week 10: Reflexivity and Writing Up

Draft teaching syllabus 2019/20

Week 1: Introduction to Research Approaches 

Week 2: Developing an Analytical Framework

Week 3: Selecting an Appropriate Methodology

Week 4: Textual Analysis I: Theory and Themes

Week 5: Textual Analysis II: Discourse Analysis

Week 6: Understanding Research Ethics

Week 7: Ethnography and Participant Observation

Week 8: Interviews and Focus Groups

Week 9: Survey and Questionnaires

Week 10: Reflexivity and Assessment Workshop

Module aims

  • To familiarise students with a wide range of methods for research in the cultural and creative industries, including interviews, focus groups, participant observation, visual methods and questionnaires
  • To make students aware of philosophical and ethical issues in the research process
  • To familiarise students with a range of interpretative frameworks for the analysis of data
  • To provide students with the practical means to devise a research project and to carry out and analyse their own research
  • To provide students with the means to critically evaluate qualitative research

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a Level 7 module and in particular will be able to:

  • Carry out theoretically informed empirical research in the cultural and creative industries
  • Consider ethical and philosophical issues in qualitative research practice
  • Use a range of methods for collecting data, including interviews, focus groups, participant observation, visual methods and questionnaires
  • Analyse data, using interpretative frameworks that match the philosophical underpinnings of their research project
  • Link theory and practice in knowledge production and construct their own research plans
  • Critically evaluate and interpret the evidence they encounter in their MA course reading and research
  • Communicate methodological concepts and issues both orally and in writing, integrating the appropriate literature to support their positions.

Core reading

There is no one set of books that covers the whole of this module. However, the following texts address many of the sessions of this module.

  • Bauer, M. and Gaskell, G. (2000) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound – A Practical Handbook. London: Sage.
  • Bryman, A. (2016) Social Research Methods. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Fielding, N., Lee, R.M. and Blank, G. (eds) (2008) The Sage Handbook of Online Research Methods. London: Sage.
  • Kara, H. (2015) Creative Research Methods in the Social Sciences. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Leavy, P. (2015) Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Patriarche, G, Bilandzic, H., Linaa Jensen, J. and Jurišić, J. (eds) (2014) Audience Research Methodologies. Between Innovation and Consolidations. Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Rose, G. (2016) Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Materials. 4th ed. London: Sage.
  • Seale, C. (2011) Researching Society and Culture. 3rd ed. London: Sage.


Students will be required to write a research proposal for a project in arts and cultural management contexts / the creative industries field (2,000 words) (50%) together with an accompanying critical report, which comments on the strengths and weaknesses of an alternative research design and its constitutive methods (2,000 words) (50%). 

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

 The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

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