Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Research Methods for Strategic Communication
Code COMM523
Coordinator Dr RV Palmieri
Communication and Media
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 15


The module had the following aims:
1. To introduce students to principles and methods of academic research in communication and media, with a particular focus on the field of strategic communication studies.
2. To provide students with research methods knowledge and skills to undertake independent research
3. To support student in planning and preparing their dissertation project
4. To give students critical awareness of issues of research ethics and familiarity with the procedures needed for undertaking ethically compliant research

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will gain critical understanding of the importance of rigorous methods in academic research

(LO2) Students will learn how to identify research problems and formulate relevant questions and hypotheses

(LO3) Students will learn how to select appropriate methods and data to investigate a research problem

(LO4) Students will learn how to discuss and present research results

(LO5) Students will gain awareness of ethical implications of social research

(LO6) Students will have the ability to prepare and outline a dissertation proposal

(S1) Numeracy (application of) manipulation of numbers, general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing, estimating and applying formulae)

(S2) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions

(S3) Research management developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, applying ethics

(S4) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

(S5) Positive attitude/ self-confidence A 'can-do' approach, a readiness to take part and contribute; openness to new ideas and the drive to make these happen



The module content will be delivered in three blocks of lectures. The first of these (weeks 1-4) is delivered to all PGT students registered on Communication and Media programmes and provides broad foundational knowledge required for research methods design, philosophy and pathway towards preparation of a research project proposal, which is the common assessment across all Communication and Media PGT programmes.

Week 1 – Introduction to module: 'what is research?'
Week 2 – Research methodologies: philosophical principles and frameworks
Week 3 – Research in practice: understanding primary and secondary research and analysis
Week 4 – Research ethics – issues, policy, best practice

BLOCKS TWO AND THREE will include lectures that address the following methods and approaches:

• Overview of strategic communication research and its methods
• Discourse/text analytic methods ( argumentation, rhetoric, critical discourse analysis, etc.)
• Creating corpora for automatic and semi-automatic text analysis
• Annotation tools and other software for the analysis of strategic communication
• Content analysis, tone and sentiment analysis
• Ethnographic methods for strategic communication research
• Questionnaires, interviews, and surveys
• Basic quantitative methods for data analysis

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Summary of Learning and Teaching Methods:
Teaching method: workshop
This activity may be online or on campus and could be subject to changes.
Description: weekly lecture combined with interactive discussion
Schedule directed student hours: 24
Unscheduled directed student hours: 126
Attendance recorded: YES
Description of how self-directed learning hours may be used: reading module learning materials (key and suggested literature, lecture slides, additional reference material provided); assessment preparation

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           24

Timetable (if known)           120 mins X 1 totaling 24
Private Study 126


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Research project proposal Resit opportunity = Yes Anonymous = No  -2000 words    100       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.