Module code: MAN3160

Module Overview

The Business Research Methods module aims to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to determine the information necessary to address the identified basic or applied research problem and, using these skills and knowledge, develop an actionable research proposal. Students will gain an understanding of relevant approaches, elements, and stages of undertaking a research enquiry to provide insights to solving a relevant business problem. Students will develop core competence required to carry out a research enquiry, including identifying and formulating research problems, setting appropriate research objectives, selecting and applying appropriate research approaches, secondary and primary data collection and instruments, sampling and analysis methods, as well as the importance of ethical conduct in business research. This module discusses different methods and techniques essential to the execution of effective, coherent, and rigorous research for informed business decisions and practices.

Module provider

Hospitality & Tourism Management

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 105

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 1

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  • Role of business research: informed business decisions and practices

  • Business research process: types of business research and stages of the research process

  • Defining a research problem: the foundation of business research  

  • Formulating research aims and objectives 

  • Critically reviewing the literature

  • Developing a conceptual framework

  • Qualitative and quantitative research tools 

  • Obtaining secondary data in the digital age 

  • Collecting primary data

  • Survey research

  • Observation methods

  • Experimental research 

  • Measurement and scaling concepts

  • Questionnaire design 

  • Sampling design and sampling procedure 

  • Working with data 

  • Analysing qualitative data

  • Quantitative statistical analyses 

  • Negotiating access and ethical issues in research

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Research brief (1000 words) 30
Coursework Research proposal (2500 words) 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is based on an individual Research Brief of 1000 words and an individual Research Proposal of 2500 words.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Assignment 1, Research Brief, is constructed to allow students to demonstrate their ability to identify business problem, the nature of information that needs to be sourced, and actionable research objectives which will be useful for managers to decide a strategic direction to address the problem.

  • Assignment 2, Research Proposal, is designed to be the culmination of the students' work in this module, allowing them to demonstrate their ability to develop and communicate a business research plan.

Formative feedback for will be provided at the first supervision meeting to allow students to continue with the preparation of Research Brief and Research Proposal submission.

Module aims

  • Critically assess the role of research in business decisions.
  • Introduce the fundamentals of business research process.
  • Enable students to define research problems and formulate research questions.
  • Provide students with an introduction to qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Explain the differences between quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques and analysis procedures.
  • Develop an ability to compose a detailed research proposal on a relevant research topic.
  • Identify ethical aspects of research and understand how to embed them into research practice.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain how research contributes to business decisions and practices. KC
002 Discuss and apply an advanced understanding of business research process. KCP
003 Demonstrate proficiency in identifying a good research topic and defining relevant research problems. KCPT
004 Demonstrate proficiency in conducting a critical literature review that deals effectively with relevant concepts/theories/models. CP
005 Compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative research methods and the suitability of different methods of gathering data. CPT
006 Construct and document an appropriate research design, including argumentation for data collection tools and analysis method/techniques. CPT
007 Discuss the ethical issues applicable to business research. KT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The teaching and learning strategy for this module is designed to encourage students to think critically about the different stages of the business research process and to engage in evaluating the different research methods and techniques.

A. The principal teaching and learning methods are lectures and seminars including several elements that achieve to module learning outcomes:

  • Lectures delivered by the module tutors designed to develop an understanding of theory.

  • Student-led class discussions of mini case studies and research scenarios to put theory into application and transform the acquired knowledge into practice.

B. Students are expected to support the work undertaken during each lecture by undertaking a number of independent learning activities:

  • Preparatory reading with questions to guide their note taking.

  • Follow up exercises to consolidate their learning, where appropriate applying this to new situations.

  • Guided further reading to enable them to extend their knowledge and understanding.

C. The University’s virtual learning environment (SurreyLearn) will be used to support student learning by providing them with additional resources and links to useful websites. SurreyLearn will also be used for further discussion of the module topics between the students and the lecturers as well as the students and their colleagues. Additionally, PowerPoint presentations and case studies used by the lecturers will be placed on SurreyLearn before the lecture so that students may print off copies in time for the lecture.

The ethos of this module is that students will learn best when they become active participants in the learning process and this is reflected in all elements of the module design. For example: Students will be expected to participate in lectures and undertaking a range of other tasks. Students will be expected to actively engage in any statistics practical classes held in the computer labs. Not all elements of the curricula will be covered in detail in the lecture programme, students will be expected to find things out for themselves. Students will be expected to prepare for all lectures by undertaking the pre-reading.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures

  • Seminars

  • Computer workshops

  • SurreyLearn online materials and training

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MAN3160

Other information

This module adopts the University curriculum framework, which aims to develop learners with strong capabilities in Digital Capabilities, Employability, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module contributes to the development of the following capabilities:

Digital Capabilities: This module focuses on developing students’ capabilities in research methods. They will learn how to collect primary and secondary data from various online sources and how to use various software to analyse qualitative and quantitative data. Students will use the virtual learning environment, SurreyLearn, and data analysis software, i.e. SPSS and Nvivo to facilitate learning.

Employability: The assessments in this module are THE industry focused and will help students to gain knowledge and skills about how to do identify and resolve industry problems through applied research, i.e. how to solve a real business problem using rigorous research methods, how to collect data and analyse data to facilitate business decision-making. This will increase students' employability when they work in the industry.  

Global and Cultural Capabilities: Students will learn how to identify important research problems that are relevant to the tourism, hospitality or event industry, and these problems can be related to consumer behaviors, organisational behaviors and strategic decision-making. Students need to pay attention to the study contexts of their research problems, and strive to understand the influences of sectoral, national, regional and cultural differences on the focal research topic.

Sustainability: Students will learn how to reflect on how to conduct research to support sustainability in the tourism, hospitality and events industry.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Students will be required to use a range of sources to identify and justify research problems, conduct a critical literature review, develop rigorous research design, identify primary and secondary data sources, and analyse the data to answer the research questions. Finding solutions during the research process is the key learning aspect of this module that will develop students’ resourcefulness and resilience.  

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.