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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Understanding Research Methods by University of London

7,326 ratings

About the Course

This MOOC is about demystifying research and research methods. It will outline the fundamentals of doing research, aimed primarily, but not exclusively, at the postgraduate level. It places the student experience at the centre of our endeavours by engaging learners in a range of robust and challenging discussions and exercises befitting SOAS, University of London's status as a research-intensive university and its rich research heritage. The course will appeal to those of you who require an understanding of research approaches and skills, and importantly an ability to deploy them in your studies or in your professional lives. In particular, this course will aid those of you who have to conduct research as part of your postgraduate studies but do not perhaps have access to research methods courses, or for those of you who feel you would like additional support for self-improvement. No prior knowledge or experience in research is required to take this course and as such, the course is for everyone. This MOOC draws on a wealth of existing course material developed to support research training across SOAS, University of London and particularly drawing from the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy (CISD). In 2015, the course was nominated for the prestigious Guardian University Award for its innovative approach to online learning. Participation in or completion of this online course will not confer academic credit for University of London programmes...

Top reviews


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It is worth to add research knowldge via different approaches like using these well framed Online courses. Congratulation to the team who designed and made it work for the majority of needy groups.


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The course was very simple and easily understandable. The assignments were very interesting. The peer review activity provided scope to learn from the others too. It was a great learning experience.

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1 - 25 of 2,362 Reviews for Understanding Research Methods

By Armin S

Jul 12, 2019

Although there are some nice insights to grasp, the focus and practical means is totally missing. There is no clear objective for the course and it's not going make you to either know the theories considering research methods nor is going to make you able to use them solely by following the course.

By Anithamol B

Sep 10, 2019

very good course. The last e-activity was proposal preparation. It will be good if they add something about sampling in reading materials. Very good experience for me.....I will recommend this course


Sep 13, 2019

It was a perfect course for understanding the research methods. It helps me a lot, thanks to the University of London and Coursera for providing this opportunity to enhance our Knowledge in research.

By Jean V

Nov 29, 2020

A well made lesson with focus of what matters the most in research. The university of London along with Coursera did a great job at pointing out how research topics should be approached.

Thank you

By Allwyn .

Jul 27, 2017

This is wonderful course especially for research scholars, one suggestion is instead of giving articles from books, please provide a PPT which will be more effective ! thank you for wonderful session.

By Manal M

Sep 30, 2018

Good Day,

This is my first Coursera ever! I am working on a course titled Understanding Research Methodology and I have to say that I'm fully enjoying it as it is very well presented, very user friendly, and above that the videos and assignments are of great quality and thus benefit. I was surprised that it was so easy to go through yet so rewarding in terms of gained outcome, and i'm still in Week 1!

I know I might be a bit over enthusiastic about Coursera as a newly joined member, yet I do value such great tools that enables us to grasp knowledge, share ideas, and get connected and interact with thousands of members via a virtual platform that resembles real life lectures.

I cannot wait to finish this course and take more courses simply for the sake of acquiring knowledge, not only in the fiend of research methodology but in other interesting fields as well.

I would like to Thank all mentors, especially Maryam Mahdavipour who has been fully and continuously responsive to my questions. Her amazing attitude was key in making my first course go smooth and be of great value.

The world is indeed a nutshell, this is what Coursera has shown me so far, and I'm sure more knowledge and exciting learning experiences is yet to come.

Thank you Coursera and the University of London and the mentors for such an inspiring course and also thanks to Dr. Noora Fetais from Qatar University for advising us to enroll in this course in my Ph.D. program. You all are helping me and fellow colleagues to set the right tone for our successful journey in research.

Thank you

Manal Mansour

By Ramya K P

May 1, 2020

The course was very simple and easily understandable. The assignments were very interesting. The peer review activity provided scope to learn from the others too. It was a great learning experience.

By Chandresh D

Jan 25, 2017

I got to learn a lot about various research methods which i did not know previously. The timing of presentation of various ideas was excellent. Reviewing classmates was a good learning experience.

By Sambeet P

Apr 16, 2017

It was a great course.Dr.Simon and Dr.Yenn did a great work in summarising and preparing great etivities.Dr.Sandra Halperin's research methods and views will stay for a long time with me.

By Atsushi K

Feb 6, 2020

I am a doctoral student. Our research often loses the purpose; however, if we think about the purpose of the literature review and the research question as this course "Understanding Research Methods", we will no longer be lost. It was a very good course that could be used for the actual research method. Thank you.

By Rachana R D

Jun 7, 2020

The course was very efficient and well written. The sources gave some amazing opinions. I hope I will be a able to make a good research paper using these guidelines. Thank you so much for you time.

By M. I

Jun 27, 2016

Content is good. I found the information in the videos valuable, albeit short and leaving me wanting more. I suppose that's what research is for. In general great and short course to get one on track with research methods.Take this course, as it is good.

So why three stars?

I know it is a long review, and feel free to remove it from the list, if you deem it appropriate. I have learned a lot in the course, and it is a valuable experience still.

My problem lies with the design of the course, that seems to have started with great vigour at then lost the steam at the end. I would like to suggest few pointers. Especially since the presenters have another courses in the catalogue with similar issues.

1. Help learners to focus - Body language, and position in the room. Standing in front of windows with the traffic outside may seem a minor thing, but it detracts form you and the content. As a course designer it is a responsibility to set it right. Same applies for hands in back pockets, posture when sat down, lens flare etc.

2 - As instructors you have offered very little teaching. All was left to the guest speakers. All very good and knowledgeable. Some graphic and own mini lecture would help to establish you as experts (not that you are not, but we would not know that from the videos), rather than mere interviewers. (Summary of what was said).

3 - match the video and e-tivity focus. And think about the accessibility of the material to your learners, especially if no previous knowledge is required. Week three was about managing research and planning. The reading, was surprisingly different (week 4 activity would be more suitable here) and really hard to access to someone, who hasn't done much reading in theories of knowledge etc. This would be more accessible as a guided lecture and quiz, rather than 400 words response.

I hope I was not offensive to anyone. I was trying to help you to help us learn better, if that makes sense.



May 13, 2020

I love the course content and time flexibility of this course. The assignments are very good and especially the open discussion and review processes are great. Overall I like this kind of course.

By Sofiane A

May 30, 2019

The course is weak, we have a lot of discussion and opinions with no much guidline and tools.

The readings are specific to social sciences, it should be clear in the title.

By Iftikhar A A

Jun 25, 2016

It is like for kids, I think all courses must mention their target audience. Contents, Videos, talks nothing was value for time.

By Adam Z

Apr 15, 2019

I do not find almost anything valuable in this course. It's a bunch of random interviews without any clear learning process. Completing whole course can be done in 30 minutes.

By Yogesh K S

May 26, 2017

it did not add any value to existing knowledge.

By Moustafa a f e

Aug 30, 2015

thanks a lot for this course i think that it will help me to progress in research practice

and to publish researches and to learn how to find answers to burning questions in my mind

By Armani A

Mar 29, 2020

The course was informative and stimulating. The reading materials were valuable and easy to follow. The interviews were short but meaningful.

More reading materials, and instruction on how to search the web and data bases will be a good elementary skill to learn for a novice researcher like myself.

Thank you

By Nigar F

Aug 7, 2020

This course is the best experience I ever have had although before the start, of course, I thought maybe the course outline will not be sufficient for me but as I proceed ahead, I was very much impressed by the dedications of researchers. The instructors of the course were amazing. Overall, I must recommend every learner to have this course as it is the best one I came across to help you "What is research with deep understanding. I must enjoy researching by now just because of this course offered by "University of London." Thank you, Coursera for giving us this amazing platform to polish our skills.

By Arthur A P

Jan 31, 2018

Although it may seem a simple course, and it is focused on social sciences, it accomplishes what it purposes and can be tried for students of every area. It helps the learners to develop necessary skills in research, reflecting on the pertinence of a research question, the relevance of the literature review, the approaches the inquirer can use to conform his or her investigation, and the importance of time management. It contains interesting interviews with professionals researchers, who contribute for the learning process from different perspectives and experiences. An enriching course!

By Syed Z A S

Oct 20, 2023

Understanding Research Methods is an interesting basic course regarding research, clarifies many queries of students, academicians and researchers. Looking forward to get advanced courses on Research Methods.

By Linus I

Sep 19, 2020

The best of its' kind in online courses. Highly motivational and innovative. Increased my leaning curiosity. Course materials and video presentations were excellent. Thank to those who made it so good.


Jul 31, 2022

After finishing this course, I've had a deeper understanding of what doing research means, how to do a research work. Thank for all the interviewers to share their thought alongside the whole course.

By Stephane P R

May 21, 2019

This was my very first course online, and I enjoyed it a lot. I was very surprised by the teaching approach, through interviews of several professors -- each presenting his/her own perspective on the respective topics -- and I found that a very judicious way to avoid the "death by PowerPoint". The transliteration of the content of the interview ("karaoke-like") below the screen is also a very helpful tool. Thanks also for the reading materials; I'll keep them as good references.

All in one, that was worth the experience!

Warm thanks to you all!

-- Stéphane (Bangkok)