Module code: BMS2076

Module Overview

In this module, you will gain essential foundational knowledge and skills required to proficiently plan and conduct research studies. The module focuses on key research skills, including research design, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and critical review, preparing you for advanced exploration in BMS3057 during level 6, where research design strategies and data analytical procedures are further emphasised. Moreover, this module provides a solid foundation to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake your Dissertation module in level 6. By exploring a range of research approaches utilised in the exploration of various phenomena, whether in nutrition or sport and exercise science, you will understand the significance of systematic and rigorous research design as the cornerstone of scientific inquiry, investigation, examination, and exploration. Through practical application and theoretical understanding, you will develop the capabilities to understand, interpret, conceptualise, and apply diverse research methodologies and methods, empowering you to design and execute scientific investigations effectively within your respective disciplines.

Module provider

School of Biosciences

Module Leader

DE CRUZ Nicholas (Biosciences)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 88

Lecture Hours: 20

Seminar Hours: 6

Practical/Performance Hours: 10

Captured Content: 26

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Critical appraisal in research

  • Ethical principles and practice

  • Conducting literature reviews

  • Fundamentals of study design

  • Use of quantitative and qualitative research instruments/analyses

  • Participant recruitment and sampling strategies

  • Communication and knowledge dissemination

  • Quantitative research designs

  • Qualitative research designs

  • Mixed-methods research designs

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Infographic 40
Coursework Research proposal 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy will evaluate your ability to critically engage with academic literature and effectively communicate information via a scientific writing style. Assignments will involve either individual (infographic) or groupwork (research proposal) to foster collaborative learning and mirror the dynamics of research practice in real-world settings. With regard to studying/revision, please note that your focus should be on developing a good understanding of research theories, designs, concepts, and approaches to support their application.


Summative assessment for this module consists of:

Infographic (500 words): You will demonstrate your ability to understand and effectively communicate research findings, a crucial skill for any university student. As researchers, we must grasp complex information and present it in a way that is accessible to our audience. This coursework challenges you to apply your research methods knowledge by evaluating existing literature and selecting one study that you believe would be suitable for educating its respective stakeholders. This assignment provides an exciting opportunity for you to apply your research skills in a real-world context and hone your ability to effectively communicate research findings to a broader audience.

Research Proposal (2,000 words): As part of your university studies, you will be required to conduct research and present your findings in the form of a dissertation.
One of the initial steps in this research journey is crafting a research proposal. This coursework presents an opportunity to learn and navigate the complexities of proposal writing. Through this coursework you can develop a foundational understanding of research fundamentals, gain insights into identifying research gaps, and learn how to structure a bespoke proposal effectively. By the end of this coursework, you will be able to produce a robust proposal that can lay the foundation for your final year dissertation and your readiness to undertake a research project in your field of study.


Formative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Miro Board Activities: As a visual collaborative platform, Miro will be used during seminars following the delivery of slide content and/or practical activities. As a reflective tool and a means to visually map the step-by-step processes that can be used to support ideation, creative thinking, and topic conceptualisation (e.g., drafting possible research questions that can be used in the research proposal), the effectiveness of Miro will be highly dependent on your motivation to actively engage with the platform and share your honest thoughts, comments, perspectives, and understanding of a given topic. Anonymous posting will be available and, following the completion of Miro Board Activities, your lecturer will address every post either during or after each seminar as a means of formative feedback (e.g., discussion and suggestions on the nature and suitability of proposed interview questions). Miro Boards for each seminar will also be saved as PDF documents and shared via SurreyLearn.

  • Discussion Boards: To foster a culture of shared knowledge and understanding, two discussion sections will be set-up to address specific areas, namely (1) General Discussions, Queries, and Clarifications and (2) Assessment Queries and Clarifications. You are recommended to direct your questions to the relevant discussion sections for everyone’s benefit and learning, rather than email your lecturer. Anonymous posting will be enabled and all questions will be addressed in a timely manner.


Working collaboratively with peers not only encourages the exchange of diverse perspectives but also cultivates teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills, essential attributes for success in research endeavours. Moreover, assignments provide a platform for you to collectively tackle complex research tasks, such as research purpose ideation and literature reviews, thereby simulating the collaborative nature of research projects in professional settings.


Feedback on summative and formative assessments will be shared via SurreyLearn. This information (can include individual and/or general feedback) will indicate what was good about your work and what may need attention and can be improved upon. Feedback can help inform subsequent module specific discussions/assessments and include transferable skills for other modules as well (e.g., see BMS3057 module aims and learning outcomes). Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module during in-class lecture/seminar discussions/activities and via online platforms (e.g., Miro notes and discussion boards).

Module aims

  • Demonstrate how various research concepts such as research designs, data collection, data analysis, validity, reliability, criteria, and research quality influence the research process, findings, and interpretation.
  • Evaluate and appreciate the different research designs, strategies, methodologies, and methods to gain a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Examine the key considerations of the research process, including philosophical assumptions, ethical practices, literature review, purpose statements, hypotheses, research questions, research design, and sampling methods.
  • Compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different research approaches, designs, and concepts to develop a nuanced understanding of their applicability in various contexts.
  • Prepare a research proposal encompassing elements such as conceptualising research purposes, stating research objectives, formulating hypotheses/questions, and constructing research instruments like survey questionnaires and interview guides.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Apply knowledge of various elements within the research process to explain research concepts and recommended KC
002 Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate research designs, strategies, methodologies, and methods, considering their appropriateness and effectiveness in addressing research needs. KC
003 Propose appropriate, ethical, and evidence-based research designs, strategies, and methodologies, and methods for different research needs, ensuring adherence to ethical principles and standards. PT
004 Gain a comprehensive understanding of the research process, including philosophical underpinnings, ethical considerations, literature review techniques, hypothesis formulation, and data collection methods. KP
005 Develop proficiency in preparing research proposals by effectively conceptualising research purposes, formulating research objectives and hypotheses/questions, and constructing research instruments to address research aims effectively. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The teaching and learning strategies are designed to:

  • Facilitate critical discussions to demonstrate how various research concepts, such as research designs, data collection, analysis, validity, reliability, and research quality, influence the research process, findings, and interpretation.

  • Engage students in activities that evaluate and appreciate different research designs, strategies, methodologies, and methods to foster a comprehensive understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Students should eventually be able to critically assess the suitability and effectiveness of these approaches in addressing research objectives.

  • Explore key considerations of the research process, including philosophical assumptions, ethical practices, literature review techniques, purpose statements, hypotheses, research questions, design principles, and sampling methods.

  • Facilitate discussions that compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different research approaches, designs, and concepts to develop a nuanced understanding of their applicability in various contexts. Students will be encouraged to analyse real-world examples and case studies to deepen their understanding.

  • Guide students in the preparation of research proposals and provide opportunities for students to apply theoretical knowledge to practical research proposal development, fostering critical thinking and practical skills.

To achieve our module aims and learning outcomes, teaching and learning methods will include (1) lectures, where selected key theories and concepts will be introduced, examined, elaborated on and discussed; (2) seminars, where you can drive your learning experiences by engaging in class discussions and Miro Board activities; (3) discussion boards, where your queries and concerns on theories, designs, concepts, approaches, readings, and assessments can be anonymously shared and communally addressed by your lecturer.


As university students, you are encouraged to be an active participant in lectures and seminars, therefore enabling your growth as an informed, confident, and engaged independent learner. While you will be provided with specific recommended readings at the end of every lecture/seminar, you are expected to read beyond the prescribed module content, explore relevant literature, and troubleshoot some hurdles along your university journey. In this way, you will take ownership of your learning and, in so doing, develop your own perspectives and opinions on a given topic, furthering your understanding, independence, and confidence.

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: BMS2076

Other information

Employability: Through focused attention on key research skills like research design, data analysis, and critical review, students can develop critical thinking, analytical, and problem-solving abilities highly valued by potential employers. Moreover, by gaining practical experience and theoretical understanding of various research methodologies, students can acquire transferable skills applicable across diverse industries, making them adaptable and versatile in the job market. The emphasis on groupwork in both formative and summative assessments can foster teamwork, communication, and interpersonal skills, which are not only vital for success in research endeavours but also for thriving in professional environments.


Digital Capabilities: The use of multiple learning tools such as Panopto (a video recording platform), Miro (a visual collaboration platform), and SurreyLearn Discussion Boards enables students to gather and impart knowledge via different learning preferences. This multifaceted approach not only enhances students' digital proficiency but also trains them to confidently engage and communicate knowledge effectively to a variety of stakeholders with a range of needs and preferences, thus preparing them for success in both academic and professional endeavours.


Global and Cultural Capabilities: As students explore various research approaches used in fields such as nutrition and sport and exercise science, they gain insights into how different cultures and regions approach scientific inquiry. Moreover, the module emphasises critical discussions on ethical practices, philosophical assumptions, and literature review techniques, encouraging students to consider the cultural implications of research methodologies. Through activities like group discussions and collaborative assignments, students engage with peers from diverse backgrounds, enhancing their cross-cultural communication and teamwork skills. This exposure prepares students to navigate global research landscapes and collaborate effectively with international stakeholders, thereby enriching their global and cultural competencies essential for success in today's interconnected world.


Resourcefulness and Resilience: By engaging in critical discussions, practical application, and collaborative activities, students develop problem-solving abilities and adaptability to address challenges encountered in research endeavours. The emphasis on community/groupwork in both formative and summative assessments cultivate resilience by simulating real-world research dynamics and encouraging students to overcome obstacles collectively. Additionally, through the use of various learning platforms such as Miro Boards and Discussion Boards, students learn to leverage diverse resources and support systems, enhancing their resourcefulness in tackling research tasks and developing innovative solutions. This comprehensive approach equips students with the resilience and resourcefulness needed to thrive in academic and professional settings, empowering them to overcome challenges and achieve success in their research pursuits.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Nutrition and Dietetics BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Food Science and Nutrition BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Sport and Exercise Science BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

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 2025/6 academic year.