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Research Methods

Research Methods

Release Date: Each January, May and September

Lead Organisation: IBERS, Aberystwyth University

The Research Methods module is compulsory for anyone wishing to complete an MSc or MRes. It provides a framework for developing your research skills in the context of your own research question, and as such is generally, but not always, the last taught module taken. You should have a clear idea of at least a broad research topic before undertaking this module. If you are stuck for an idea, you might want to look at some of the ideas that IBERS' researchers have put forward. The Distance Learning team will match you up to a tutor and to an academic supervisor whose research field is in your area of interest. Your tutor and academic supervisor will then guide you as you develop your ideas.

Alongside evolving your own research ideas, you will develop skills in:

  • Research design
  • Scientific literature reviews
  • Looking at the wider context of your research
  • Ethical considerations in research
  • Statistics
  • Evaluating and planning data collection

The module will culminate with you designing a research proposal, in collaboration with your employer and supervisor, which you can use as the basis of your dissertation.


Tutors Name
Dr Peter Wootton-Beard


Grace Gay

I really enjoyed the opportunity to go through the process of formulating my own project from the very early stages through to the research proposal. Having very little knowledge of statistics, this [module] helped me to gain a better understanding of the reasoning behind the statistics used currently in work and the methods I can apply in future research.

Grace Gay Plant Breeder - IBERS
John Molloy

I really enjoyed the interaction with the lecturers over planning the dissertation and the knowledge gained from the conversations. I will use what I have learned practically in work for presentation data and knowledge transfer

Downloadable Resources