Working through this theme

How to approach this theme

How to approach this theme

It is expected that this theme will require approximately 30 hours to complete, including time for independent study and reading around the subject. You should work through each section in the order in which it is presented. You may be more interested in quantitative research analysis or you may find a qualitative approach a more attractive proposition, but the boundaries between these areas are fuzzy and we recommend that you work through the material in both sections at this stage so that you are able to make an informed choice about your methodology in the future.

Some activities can be completed both on and offline, so that you can receive immediate feedback and record your answers to the activities in an electronic log book. Some activities involve using excel spreeedsheets, while others involve using only the log book to record answers that can later be seen by your tutor and that enables you to reflect on your own progress. You will need to save a copy of the logbook to your personal file space if you want to keep the contents once you have added your own text to it. Full instructions for using the log book are given in the Introduction module. You can download your electronic log book here.


There is no formal assessment for this theme. You will receive feedback either automatically or from your tutor on some of the tasks and activities.

Key reading

It is always difficult to suggest a key text book or resource for data analysis as each discipline has its own preferred texts and each student will have their own style and previous experience. Your academic tutor may have recommended some key texts for your discipline and we suggest, in addition, that the following resources could be helpful for this theme:

Burns, R.B. 2000. Introduction to Research Methods. Sage, London

Robson, C. 2002 2nd Edition. Real World Research. A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner Researches. Blackwell, Oxford