Module code: ENG2130

Module Overview

This module builds on Understanding sustainability:  Methods, tools and skills 1 and further develops students’ knowledge and experience of the research methods used to gain understanding of human society and its interaction with the environment. Via a case study approach, students are introduced to a range of research methods including surveys and questionnaire design. Students will gain experience in designing, collecting, producing, and analysing their own research data on case studies relating to sustainable development. The questionnaires students design will be required to demonstrate research ethics and other considerations, such as potential cultural differences amongst research subjects and compilance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules as introduced in the Understanding sustainability:  Methods, tools and skills 1 module.

This module introduces students to quantitative data analysis and the use of SPSS and R. Students can use research methods learnt in this module in subsequent modules and their dissertation for data gathering and data analysis.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader


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: 111

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Laboratory Hours: 6

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

  • Research methodologies

  • Literature reviews

  • Designing research and finding participants

  • Questionnaire design

  • Sampling theory and practice

  • Excel and SPSS for statistical analysis

  • R for statistical analysis

  • Challenges of interdisciplinary working

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Questionnaire design 30
Coursework Research Report (1500 words) 70

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the collection, analysis and reporting of qualitative data using one qualitative research method.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:
Questionnaire design: Students prepare a short questionnaire on a topic of their choice.

Research report: Students prepare a research report based on data analysis.
Formative assessment and feedback:

Students present an outline of their survey design to their peers in small groups and receive formative feedback from their peers. Students subsequently test their draft survey on their peers and receive feedback. Students can prepare a draft research report to discuss with the lecturer and receive verbal feedback on the planned structure.

Module aims

  • Provide students with a basic understanding of a range of approaches to data collection and data analysis
  • To give students the opportunity to apply research methods by collecting data and analysing the data on a case study topic relating to sustainable development.
  • Introduce students to statistical data analysis via SPSS and R.
  • Explore the challenges of interdisciplinary research and working

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand how to formulate research questions CPT
002 Understand the basics of questionnaire design CPT
003 Be able to analyse quantitative data in SPSS CPT
004 Be able to analyse quantitative data in R CPT
005 Be able to write a research report incorporating quantitative data analysis CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
Develop skills in research through the development of and running of a small quantitative survey.
The learning and teaching methods include:
Lectures (11 hours), captured content (11 hours), seminars (11 hours) and computer labs (6 hours).

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: ENG2130

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas: Sustainability: A range of sustainable development related case studies are tackled in this module. Global and cultural capabilities: Having intercultural awareness is critical when collecting data via questionnaires. The importance of being aware of intercultural differences when planning and conducting quantitative research is discussed in lectures. Digital capabilities: Students are encouraged to consider the use of digital technologies when collecting research data. Issues relating to the use of digital tools when collecting data, such as the impact of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules on the use of such tools are discussed in class. Students are taught basic programming in R in this module along with the use of SPSS.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Environment and Sustainability BSc (Hons) 1 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.