MY401      Half Unit
Research Design for Studies in Digital Innovation

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Eleanor Power COL.8.03


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

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. 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 course is also intended to help students become more informed and critical readers of social scientific, and specifically information systems, research. The course therefore has the dual aim of helping students become both critical “consumers” and “producers” of information systems research. In doing so, it should make positive contributions to students’ learning experience both in their dissertation process, and in other courses they take at the LSE.

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 research methods, with a focus on when they will be appropriate to particular questions and projects.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 30 hours across Lent Term.  This course has a reading week in Week 6 of LT.

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 Week 8 (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%, 2500 words) in the ST.
Group essay (30%) in the LT.

Group essay (30%) is 3000 - 4200 words depending on group size.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Methodology

Total students 2020/21: 111

Average class size 2020/21: 19

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

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