MY401      Half Unit
Research Design for Studies in Digital Innovation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Chrisanthi Avgerou NAB 3.22 and Dr Eleanor Power COL7.09


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation. This course is available on the MSc in Applied Social Data Science. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course is compulsory on the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation.

Course content

This course will deliver the core methodological training for students completing a dissertation for the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation.  It covers issues of research design and research methods for information systems studies, including sessions on the collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data.  Lectures will introduce the principles of a range of research design issues and methodological approaches, while classes will contextualise this teaching in relation to information systems research.  Drawing on a variety of examples in Information Systems, the course will provide the platform for students to consider a range of design options, as well as methodological techniques, to adopt in their own dissertations.  By the end of the course, students will be familiar with a range of research design options and will be better equipped to not only design, but also to collect and analyse data for, their own dissertations.


The topics covered will include discussions of the alignment between research question and research design, questions of inference, and the relationship between theory and data, as well as brief introductions to particular methods, with a focus on when they will be appropriate to particualr questions and projects. 


20 hours of lectures, 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars and 3 hours of workshops in the LT.

Students will also be encouraged to attend additional non-compulsory workshops in LT which will offer more specific advice for their research proposals.

Lectures for this course will be delivered by staff by the Department of Methodology.  To help to contextualise the materials covered in the course for the students, and to ensure a good fit with the requirements of the MISDI dissertation, the seminars will be led by staff from the Department of Management.  

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the LT.

A formative assignment will be assigned for the middle of the teaching term (LT) for which students will be expected to submit a 1,000 word initial proposal for their dissertation.

Indicative reading

Agresti, A. and Finlay, B. (2009) Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences [4th edition].  Prentice Hall.

Bauer, M. and Gaskell, G. (2000) Qualitative Researching with Text, Image and Sound.  Sage.

Flick, U. (2014) An Introduction to Qualitative Research [5th edition]. Sage.

King, G., Keohane, R. and Verba, S. (1994) Designing Social Inquiry. Princeton University Press.

Robson, C. and McCartan, K. (2016) Real World Research [4th edition].  John Wiley.

Seale, C. [ed.] (2004) Social Research Methods: A Reader.  Routledge.



Essay (70%, 2,500 words) in the LT and ST.

Group Essay (30%, 3,000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Methodology

Total students 2018/19: 89

Average class size 2018/19: 15

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills