Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics
Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics

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Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics

1.7.1 Research methods in context

Any established discipline has a tradition of practice. Many disciplines have established methodologies which prescribe the selection, combination and sequencing of the methods and techniques to be employed. Others select methods and techniques less prescriptively and borrow more broadly across domain boundaries. All disciplines require an appropriate application of methods, in order to ensure rigour. Hence, one key skill is the demonstration of an appropriate knowledge and competence in choosing and using research methods. This skill includes:

  • knowledge of the main research methods used in your discipline, including data collection, record keeping, and data analysis

  • knowledge of what constitutes ‘evidence’ in your discipline, and of what is acceptable as a knowledge claim

  • detailed knowledge, and competent application, of at least one method

  • critical analysis of a standard method in your discipline that you have chosen to use in your study, showing that you understand both its strengths and its limitations.

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