Courses Catalogue

Advanced Research Methodology

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Science
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Natural and Applied Sciences
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The course is designed to equip students with knowledge of frameworks, processes and approaches for designing a qualitative and/or quantitative doctoral research study in the natural, humanities, social sciences and engineering. The course unit grounds the doctoral student in the theoretical and practical aspects of the two approaches/paradigms in research – Qualitative and Quantitative paradigms. The course exposes the doctoral student to concepts such as the theoretical and conceptual models, research ethics, gender in research and analysis. The choice of the research approach and design largely depends on the subject area of inquiry. It introduces the essential aspects of designing, supporting, and conducting a research project using scientific approaches. Those who successfully complete the course will be able to: produce a well-developed research proposal by selecting an appropriate method with which to conduct the research and defend the method of their selection; parameterize the various tasks required to carry out the research; find the resources needed to guide them through the research process and the documentation of its findings.


To provide knowledge and skills related to research inquiry through a focus on quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research, strategies of inquiry used in published qualitative and quantitative research and active application. The course is geared toward broadening an advanced understanding of research approaches in ways that can be explored through diverse models of research design and methodology. Special emphasis is given to the emerging and mixed method approaches to educational research and exposure to various computer mediated tools (e.g., synchronous and asynchronous tools for communication, repository and databases, tools and technologies for data collection and analysis, etc.) available for research in distance education.


By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Recognize scientific writing and the science of scientific writing
  • Prepare students for practical research work that will culminate into the production of a thesis at the end of their training
  • Focus on a research problem using scientific methods
  • Describe methods to devise and design an experimentation set-up focus on basic instrumentation and data collection method draft a preliminary research proposal


A student completing the course is expected to:

  • Establish appropriate quantitative and qualitative methods to provide sufficient evidence to effectively respond to research questions.
  • Communicate methodological paradigms, approaches, and tests to justify and explain alignment with research questions.
  • Justify resource requirements for proposed methods to ensure equilibrium between project costs, benefits, and risks.
  • Navigate requirements for full and informed consent to ensure human dignity and autonomy is protected during the process of inquiry.
  • Become active in the process of seeking, analyzing, and synthesizing information by applying course material to own research.
  • Have an understanding about the relationship between research questions, methodologies and paradigms present and relate research literature to his/her own work