Purpose of the Course

The course introduces research concept, methodology, proposal development, data analysis and report writing.

Course Description

This course addresses the basic definition and concepts of research methodology. It covers definitions and basic concepts, purposes of environmental research; Ethics in research: codes of ethics, government regulations, ethical principles and procedures for protecting study participants. Key concepts and steps in qualitative and quantitative research: experimental and non-experimental studies; steps in a quantitative study; steps in a qualitative study. Research problems, questions and hypotheses; Literature reviews; Theoretical and conceptual frameworks; Research designs: Experimental, Quasi experimental and non-experimental designs, cross sectional study, longitudinal study; characteristics of good research design; Qualitative designs and approaches; Sampling techniques designs: Target population, representative samples, sampling bias, strata, non-probability sampling, probability sampling, sample size; Data collection methods; Measurement and data quality: reliability, validity, sensitivity, specificity; Data analysis and interpretation: Quantitative data- descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, bivariate statistical tests, multivariate analysis; Qualitative data management and organization of data, methods of analyzing qualitative data – ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory. Integrity in qualitative research: strategies to enhance quality; credibility of qualitative results.   

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, learners should be able to:

  1. Outline the importance of environmental research;
  2. Describe the importance of observing research ethics;
  3. Compare the experimental and non-experimental studies;
  4. Describe the process of developing a good research proposal;
  5. Discuss the different types of research designs and their application;
  6. Explain data analysis, data presentation and report writing; and
  7. Prepare a proposal for project of choice under the guidance of supervisor.