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Postgraduate Research Techniques Diploma

Level 3 / ABC Awards / ODL87

This Quality Assured Level 3 Diploma course is aimed at providing the necessary instruction for those students who wish to obtain a postgraduate level of study in conducting research.

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online course

pay in full

monthly payments

WAS £618.00

NOW £432.60 or only £290.50 initial deposit

course duration: 200 hrs

study type: online

Course Description

This Diploma will be of much benefit to students looking to complete a PhD where collecting and analysing research plays a very important role.

The course will be of particular benefit to graduates who are contemplating continuing their studies into postgraduate research and wish to obtain a solid foundation in the methods and techniques for conducting research. The course will also appeal to anyone who has an occupation where research is considered a vital part of that job function.

Materials can be studied online or students have the option to have the materials delivered for an additional charge.

The course ends with an online examination once the student has studied all ten modules.

Course Content:

Module One - Introduction to Postgraduate Research

Provides the foundation in terms of understanding how postgraduate research is conducted, an early introduction to the varying methods and techniques employed and quality expectations from both University and Research Institutions in conducting field research programmes.

Module Two - Conducting Quantitative Research

A study that aims to quantify attitudes or behaviors, measure variables on which they hinge, compare, and point out correlations. It is most often conducted via a survey on a sampling that must be representative so that the results can be extrapolated to the entire population studied. It requires the development of standardised and codifiable measurement instruments (structured questionnaires). Deals with facts, figures and measurements, and produces data which can be readily analysed. Measurable data is gathered from a wide range of sources, and it is the analysis and interpretation of the relationships across this data that gives the information researchers are looking for. These data are collected using numbers, perhaps through answers to questionnaires. The numbers are then examined using statistical tests to see if the results have happened by chance.

Module Three - Conducting Qualitative Research

Research that gathers information, which is varied, in depth and rich. The information sought is about how something is experienced and not specifically about facts and figures. Information from qualitative research is often more difficult to interpret, partly because it cannot be 'measured'. The emphasis is on the quality and depth of information. These data might be collected in the form of in-depth interviews with participants. In addition, An exploratory study (to explore an unknown sector, identify the main dimensions of a problem, draw assumptions, understand motivations) or operational study based on in depth analysis of interviewee responses (in a group or individually), typically in what's known as "focus groups." It most often deals with a restricted sample of individuals that does not necessarily need to be representative. It may be the preliminary phase of a quantitative study or stand alone research.

Module Four - Conducting Empirical Research

Empirical Research is any research that bases its findings on direct or indirect observation as its test of reality. Such research may also be conducted according to hypotheticodeductive procedures, such as those developed from the work of R. A. Fisher. The researcher attempts to describe accurately the interaction between the instrument (which may be as simple as the human eye) and the entity being observed. If instrumentation is involved, the researcher is expected to calibrate her/his instrument by applying it to known standard objects and documenting the results before applying it to unknown objects.

In practice, the accumulation of evidence for or against any particular theory involves planned research designs for the collection of empirical data. Several typographies for such designs have been suggested, one of the most popular of which comes from Campbell and Stanley (1963). They are responsible for popularizing the widely cited distinction among pre-experimental, experimental, and quasiexperimental designs and are staunch advocates of the central role of randomized experiments in educational research.

Module Five - Conducting Case Study Research

A case study is a particular method of qualitative research. Rather than using large samples and following a rigid protocol to examine a limited number of variables, case study methods involve an in-depth, longitudinal examination of a single instance or event: a case. They provide a systematic way of looking at events, collecting data, analyzing information, and reporting the results. As a result the researcher may gain a sharpened understanding of why the instance happened as it did, and what might become important to look at more extensively in future research. Case studies lend themselves especially to generating (rather than testing) hypotheses.

Module Six - Basic and Applied Research

Basic Research Basic research (also called fundamental or pure research) has as its primary objective the advancement of knowledge and the theoretical understanding of the relations among variables (see statistics). It is exploratory and often driven by the researcher's curiosity, interest, or hunch. It is conducted without any practical end in mind, although it may have unexpected results pointing to practical applications. The terms "basic" or "fundamental" indicate that, through theory generation, basic research provides the foundation for further, sometimes applied research. As there is no guarantee of short-term practical gain, researchers often find it difficult to obtain funding for basic research. Research is a subset of invention. Examples of questions asked in basic research:

  • Does string theory provide physics with a grand unification theory?
  • Which aspects of genomes explain organismal complexity?
  • How can computational methods be efficiently applied to larger and larger molecular systems?

Applied Research - Applied research is done to solve specific, practical questions; its primary aim is not to gain knowledge for its own sake. It can be exploratory, but is usually descriptive. It is almost always done on the basis of basic research. Applied research can be carried out by academic or industrial institutions. Often, an academic institution such as a university will have a specific applied research program funded by an industrial partner interested in that program. Common areas of applied research include electronics, informatics, computer science, process engineering, and drug design. Examples of question asked in applied research:

  • How can Canada's wheat crops be protected from grasshoppers?
  • What is the most efficient and effective vaccine against influenza?
  • How can communication among workers in large companies be improved?
  • How can the Great Lakes be protected against the effects of greenhouse gas?

There are many instances when the distinction between basic and applied research is not clear. It is not unusual for researchers to present their project in such a light as to 'slot' it into either applied or basic research, depending on the requirements of the funding sources. The question of genetic codes is a good example. Unraveling it for the sake of knowledge alone would be basic research - but what, for example, if knowledge of it also has the benefit of making it possible to alter the code so as to make a plant commercially viable? Some say that the difference between basic and applied research lies in the time span between research and reasonably foreseeable practical applications.

Module Seven - Evaluative Research

The purpose of evaluative research is to gather data to make decisions about the effectiveness or desirability of a program or a practice.

Module Eight - Glossary of Research Methods and Techniques

Glossary of the many different approaches to conducting postgraduate research. This list is fairly comprehensive and is provided for those students that require to go to the next level of detail in this subject matter.

Module Nine - Conducting Research on the Internet

The Internet provides access to a wealth of information on countless topics contributed by people throughout the world. On the Internet, a user has access to a wide variety of services: vast information sources, electronic mail, file transfer, interest group membership, interactive collaboration, multimedia displays, and more. The Internet consists primarily of a variety of access protocols. These include e-mail, FTP, HTTP, Telnet, and Usenet news. Many of these protocols feature programs that allow users to search for and retrieve material made available by the protocol. For background information on Internet access protocols, see A Basic Guide to the Internet.

The Internet is not a library in which all its available items are identified and can be retrieved by a single catalog. In fact, no one knows how many individual files reside on the Internet. The number runs into a few billion and is growing at a rapid pace. The Internet is a self-publishing medium. This means that anyone with little or now technical skills and access to a host computer can publish on the Internet. It is important to remember this when you locate sites in the course of your research. Internet sites change over time according to the commitment and inclination of the creator. Some sites demonstrate an expert's knowledge, while others are amateur efforts. Some may be updated daily, while others may be outdated. As with any information resource, it is important to evaluate what you find on the Internet. For more information, see Evaluating Internet Resources. Also be aware that the addresses of Internet sites frequently change. Web sites can disappear altogether. Do not expect stability on the Internet. One of the most efficient ways of conducting research on the Internet is to use the World Wide Web. Since the Web includes most Internet protocols, it offers access to a great deal of what is available on the Internet.

Module Ten - Research in Commerce and Industry

An examination of conducting research in a business setting. This unit will look at a variety of different business settings and the role in which research plays a key component in the business.

Modules

Module One - Introduction to Postgraduate Research
Module Two - Conducting Quantitative Research
Module Three - Conducting Qualitative Research
Module Four - Conducting Empirical Research
Module Five - Conducting Case Study Research
Module Six - Basic and Applied Research
Module Seven - Evaluative Research
Module Eight - Glossary of Research Methods and Techniques
Module Nine - Conducting Research on the Internet
Module Ten - Research in Commerce and Industry

Previous Knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.

Assessment

Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis. The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade. We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.

Awarding Organisation

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course). 

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. 

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

 The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

Support

12 Months Tutor Support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.

course description

Course Description

This Diploma will be of much benefit to students looking to complete a PhD where collecting and analysing research plays a very important role.

The course will be of particular benefit to graduates who are contemplating continuing their studies into postgraduate research and wish to obtain a solid foundation in the methods and techniques for conducting research. The course will also appeal to anyone who has an occupation where research is considered a vital part of that job function.

Materials can be studied online or students have the option to have the materials delivered for an additional charge.

The course ends with an online examination once the student has studied all ten modules.

Course Content:

Module One - Introduction to Postgraduate Research

Provides the foundation in terms of understanding how postgraduate research is conducted, an early introduction to the varying methods and techniques employed and quality expectations from both University and Research Institutions in conducting field research programmes.

Module Two - Conducting Quantitative Research

A study that aims to quantify attitudes or behaviors, measure variables on which they hinge, compare, and point out correlations. It is most often conducted via a survey on a sampling that must be representative so that the results can be extrapolated to the entire population studied. It requires the development of standardised and codifiable measurement instruments (structured questionnaires). Deals with facts, figures and measurements, and produces data which can be readily analysed. Measurable data is gathered from a wide range of sources, and it is the analysis and interpretation of the relationships across this data that gives the information researchers are looking for. These data are collected using numbers, perhaps through answers to questionnaires. The numbers are then examined using statistical tests to see if the results have happened by chance.

Module Three - Conducting Qualitative Research

Research that gathers information, which is varied, in depth and rich. The information sought is about how something is experienced and not specifically about facts and figures. Information from qualitative research is often more difficult to interpret, partly because it cannot be 'measured'. The emphasis is on the quality and depth of information. These data might be collected in the form of in-depth interviews with participants. In addition, An exploratory study (to explore an unknown sector, identify the main dimensions of a problem, draw assumptions, understand motivations) or operational study based on in depth analysis of interviewee responses (in a group or individually), typically in what's known as "focus groups." It most often deals with a restricted sample of individuals that does not necessarily need to be representative. It may be the preliminary phase of a quantitative study or stand alone research.

Module Four - Conducting Empirical Research

Empirical Research is any research that bases its findings on direct or indirect observation as its test of reality. Such research may also be conducted according to hypotheticodeductive procedures, such as those developed from the work of R. A. Fisher. The researcher attempts to describe accurately the interaction between the instrument (which may be as simple as the human eye) and the entity being observed. If instrumentation is involved, the researcher is expected to calibrate her/his instrument by applying it to known standard objects and documenting the results before applying it to unknown objects.

In practice, the accumulation of evidence for or against any particular theory involves planned research designs for the collection of empirical data. Several typographies for such designs have been suggested, one of the most popular of which comes from Campbell and Stanley (1963). They are responsible for popularizing the widely cited distinction among pre-experimental, experimental, and quasiexperimental designs and are staunch advocates of the central role of randomized experiments in educational research.

Module Five - Conducting Case Study Research

A case study is a particular method of qualitative research. Rather than using large samples and following a rigid protocol to examine a limited number of variables, case study methods involve an in-depth, longitudinal examination of a single instance or event: a case. They provide a systematic way of looking at events, collecting data, analyzing information, and reporting the results. As a result the researcher may gain a sharpened understanding of why the instance happened as it did, and what might become important to look at more extensively in future research. Case studies lend themselves especially to generating (rather than testing) hypotheses.

Module Six - Basic and Applied Research

Basic Research Basic research (also called fundamental or pure research) has as its primary objective the advancement of knowledge and the theoretical understanding of the relations among variables (see statistics). It is exploratory and often driven by the researcher's curiosity, interest, or hunch. It is conducted without any practical end in mind, although it may have unexpected results pointing to practical applications. The terms "basic" or "fundamental" indicate that, through theory generation, basic research provides the foundation for further, sometimes applied research. As there is no guarantee of short-term practical gain, researchers often find it difficult to obtain funding for basic research. Research is a subset of invention. Examples of questions asked in basic research:

  • Does string theory provide physics with a grand unification theory?
  • Which aspects of genomes explain organismal complexity?
  • How can computational methods be efficiently applied to larger and larger molecular systems?

Applied Research - Applied research is done to solve specific, practical questions; its primary aim is not to gain knowledge for its own sake. It can be exploratory, but is usually descriptive. It is almost always done on the basis of basic research. Applied research can be carried out by academic or industrial institutions. Often, an academic institution such as a university will have a specific applied research program funded by an industrial partner interested in that program. Common areas of applied research include electronics, informatics, computer science, process engineering, and drug design. Examples of question asked in applied research:

  • How can Canada's wheat crops be protected from grasshoppers?
  • What is the most efficient and effective vaccine against influenza?
  • How can communication among workers in large companies be improved?
  • How can the Great Lakes be protected against the effects of greenhouse gas?

There are many instances when the distinction between basic and applied research is not clear. It is not unusual for researchers to present their project in such a light as to 'slot' it into either applied or basic research, depending on the requirements of the funding sources. The question of genetic codes is a good example. Unraveling it for the sake of knowledge alone would be basic research - but what, for example, if knowledge of it also has the benefit of making it possible to alter the code so as to make a plant commercially viable? Some say that the difference between basic and applied research lies in the time span between research and reasonably foreseeable practical applications.

Module Seven - Evaluative Research

The purpose of evaluative research is to gather data to make decisions about the effectiveness or desirability of a program or a practice.

Module Eight - Glossary of Research Methods and Techniques

Glossary of the many different approaches to conducting postgraduate research. This list is fairly comprehensive and is provided for those students that require to go to the next level of detail in this subject matter.

Module Nine - Conducting Research on the Internet

The Internet provides access to a wealth of information on countless topics contributed by people throughout the world. On the Internet, a user has access to a wide variety of services: vast information sources, electronic mail, file transfer, interest group membership, interactive collaboration, multimedia displays, and more. The Internet consists primarily of a variety of access protocols. These include e-mail, FTP, HTTP, Telnet, and Usenet news. Many of these protocols feature programs that allow users to search for and retrieve material made available by the protocol. For background information on Internet access protocols, see A Basic Guide to the Internet.

The Internet is not a library in which all its available items are identified and can be retrieved by a single catalog. In fact, no one knows how many individual files reside on the Internet. The number runs into a few billion and is growing at a rapid pace. The Internet is a self-publishing medium. This means that anyone with little or now technical skills and access to a host computer can publish on the Internet. It is important to remember this when you locate sites in the course of your research. Internet sites change over time according to the commitment and inclination of the creator. Some sites demonstrate an expert's knowledge, while others are amateur efforts. Some may be updated daily, while others may be outdated. As with any information resource, it is important to evaluate what you find on the Internet. For more information, see Evaluating Internet Resources. Also be aware that the addresses of Internet sites frequently change. Web sites can disappear altogether. Do not expect stability on the Internet. One of the most efficient ways of conducting research on the Internet is to use the World Wide Web. Since the Web includes most Internet protocols, it offers access to a great deal of what is available on the Internet.

Module Ten - Research in Commerce and Industry

An examination of conducting research in a business setting. This unit will look at a variety of different business settings and the role in which research plays a key component in the business.

previous knowledge required

Previous Knowledge

No previous knowledge or experience is essential to study this course.

assessment

Assessment

Final online multiple choice examination counts for 100% of the final grade. Throughout the course there are ten SAPs (coursework) and a thesis. The course clearly states that this is not mandatory to complete as it has no bearing on the final grade. We do suggest that students complete these as this will not only assist them in examination preparation but also will give the student the skill set should they wish to continue their studies (continuous professional development) at a higher level.

support

Support

12 Months Tutor Support. Tutors are available to answer student questions relating to course materials and to comment on the assignments that are sent in to state how well students have understood the unit content.

modules

Modules

Module One - Introduction to Postgraduate Research
Module Two - Conducting Quantitative Research
Module Three - Conducting Qualitative Research
Module Four - Conducting Empirical Research
Module Five - Conducting Case Study Research
Module Six - Basic and Applied Research
Module Seven - Evaluative Research
Module Eight - Glossary of Research Methods and Techniques
Module Nine - Conducting Research on the Internet
Module Ten - Research in Commerce and Industry

awarding organisation

Awarding Organisation

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course). 

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future. 

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

 The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.