Business Research Methods

Course code BUSN4100
Available in 2016
2016 Course Timetables


Business Research Methods provides the theoretical and practical base for a straightforward research project such as Honours. It consists of six modules which cover the fundamentals of the research proposal, literature review, and qualitative and quantitative methods. The course first emphasises the research process and the importance of the literature review. It then focuses upon the appropriateness of specific research methods. Students are encouraged to critically evaluate different strategies and methods by identifying both the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative methods. Overall, this course equips students with the skills and expertise to develop and implement a research dissertation.



  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Engage in research environments critically appraising the research of others.

2. Perform a literature review in a specific area

3. Explain scientific method as it relates to quantitative research

4. Outline the principles of hypothesis testing, and identify appropriate analytical strategies to test specific hypotheses

5. Evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

6. Plan a qualitative or quantitative research design

7. Develop, present and defend a research proposal as a possible basis for their dissertation project

8. Outline the major ethical issues involved in research and, if applicable, prepare an ethics application for approval

9. Report and communicate analytical findings and recommendations in a manner conducive to the profession or discipline.


Module 1 - Research Proposal

  1. Research proposals
  2. Research paradigms
  3. Scope and limitations of projects
  4. Contributions of research to theory and practice
  5. Ethics in research
  6. Writing, presenting and defending proposals
  7. Timelines, budgets and practical considerations

Module 2 - Literature Review

  1. Accessing sources of information
  2. Identifying scholarly literature
  3. Styles for citations and referencing
  4. Bibliography managers
  5. The steps in a literature review
  6. Definitions
  7. Using the literature - outlining an argument for a selected topic
  8. Using the literature - critiques of past studies
  9. Using the literature - developing research questions and hypotheses
  10. Getting structure and balance in the literature review

Module 3 - Qualitative Methods 1

  1. The Research Process and Planning
  2. Preliminary Information Gathering: The Research Problem
  3. The Nature of Qualitative Research
  4. Overview of Qualitative Research Methods
  5. Interviews
  6. Focus Groups
  7. Observation Methods
  8. Online Methods

Module 4 - Qualitative Methods 2

  1. Language in Qualitative Research and Documents as Sources of Data
  2. Data Analysis and Interpretation
  3. Displaying Qualitative Data
  4. Ethical Considerations in Research
  5. Criteria for Judging Qualitative Research
  6. Reporting a Qualitative Study

Module 5 - Quantitative Methods 1

  1. Data and Variables
  2. The Nature of Quantitative Research
  3. Descriptive and Influential Statistics
  4. Sampling
  5. Designing and Coding Questionnaires
  6. Data Entry and Screening

Module 6 - Quantitative Methods 2

  1. Hypothesis Testing
  2. Association: Correlation Coefficients
  3. Bivariate Regression
  4. Association - Chi-square Tests
  5. Difference: t-tests
  6. Difference: ANOVA
  7. Reliability, Validity and Rigour
  8. Reporting a Quantitative Study


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Business (Honours) or Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) programs.

Assumed Knowledge

Appropriate undergraduate degree.

Assessment Items

Literature Review: Individual Literature Review

Report: Research Methods Report

Presentation: Research Proposal Presentation

Written Assignment: Research Proposal

Contact Hours


Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks

Computer Lab for 3 Hours per Week for 6 Weeks (Modules 5 and 6) (18 hours)


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Seminar for 3 Hours per Week for 6 Weeks (Modules 1 and 2) (18 hours) Seminar for 3 Hours per Week for 6 weeks (Modules 3 and 4) (18 hours)