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

6,550 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


May 9, 2022

Really easy to follow and great advice from all the experts! It has helped me organise from the beginning of my dissertation and I feel more comfortable getting started on what is a big project ahead.


Jul 26, 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.

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Sep 28, 2020


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Sep 21, 2017


By Neha k V B

Dec 19, 2020

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

Neha kumari

By Abena B

Feb 21, 2018

I really enjoying this course and found it very accessible. It was much less demanding in terms of time than I expected, so perhaps that was a bonus. The readings were well-chosen and really cleared up some misunderstandings for me. The only criticism I have is that the final e-tivity (in Week 4) is not graded. I feel if it was, people would take it a bit more seriously and apply themselves to produce a good submission. Many of the submissions were not genuine attempts. I would also like to have been challenged to produce a halfway decent research proposal (rather than some anecdotal notes) and get quality feedback (as far as can be expected on a MOOC.) I would also request weekly PDFs of the transcripts for easy download and annotation. Overall, the course is definitely worth doing and I would love to see it extended into a Specialisation or series of courses on research. Thank you for providing this learning experience.

By Rose M W

Jun 11, 2020

Materials provided for study are excellent, including writings by Booth and Creswell. A glitch in the system allows unintended bypassing of the final assignment. If a student submits all required peer reviews, the system indicates course completion, even though the E-4, 800-word assignment remains to be submitted. It could be reasoned that I had already completed the outline of a plan (fulfilling in essence the E-4 assignment ahead of time) when I submitted the previous, E-3 assignment. I would give this course 4.5 stars. It is what one makes of it. It the student isn’t interested, the course will seem lacking. If the student is self-motivated and driven, the course seems to offer what is needed to learn more. You get out of this course what you put into it. I am pleased with the course and happy with my investment of tuition. Thank you.

By Marie A

Feb 6, 2022

The course materials are really helpful and as someone who has been out of academia for a long time it has been really valuable to have access to this overview of things to consider when approaching a research question. Taking this course has helped me to hone my ideas regarding a PhD proposal and I am now confident in the next steps I need to take in order to create a successful proposal. On the negative side I would say the student feedback element has been completely worthless. It is obvious that lots of people take this course without any interest in learning something and put in minimum effort into their ownwork and their feedback of others.

By Juma N A

Aug 31, 2020

Thank you for offering this course! I've crafted several research proposals, and it was refreshing to learn something new about familiar concepts from different perspectives of the "interviewee" researchers and from the readings provided. The peer evaluation process was helpful only if the peer left detailed comments. Evaluations from the instructors would have been appreciated, too. Suggestion: improve the audio of some videos, and make the instructions of assignments clearer (i.e., Week 2 Instructions and Submission prompt are different; Week 3's "respond to Chapter 1" is a bit vague).


May 4, 2020

The course brings interesting views to understand your own research problem, questio, approach, design and methods. The course is definitely applicable for social sciences and less for pure sciences. However it helps understanding the research views of the world which is useful to understand how your personality influences the research approach. There is little reading support but enough to articulate with the interviews. To improve: provide tests / assessments where you have multiple choice to have a real grading and increase the difficulty of the class.

By Murray E

Aug 6, 2020

A good short course that introduces some of the fundamentals of research. It is marred slightly by the poor description of what's required for the e-Tivities that end each week's work. In one week, the question to be answered was different on the Submission page from what it was on Instruction page; on another, it was too vague to understand. In both cases, clarification was to be found in the Discussion forum, but it's a pity the course itself wasn't edited to correct these errors. Otherwise, the videos and reading materials were good.

By Brayan J M A

Mar 16, 2022

Es un excelente curso, corto pero que aportar mucho para el entendimiento de los métodos de investigación y ver un panorama amplio de las distintas perspectivas de investigadores respectos a estos. Las lecturas son certeras a pesar de ir más dirigido a un ámbito de ciencias sociales, pero se llega a entender la esencia del curso. Finalmente, me agradó el tipo de evaluación por pares, ya que es una forma de ir introduciéndonos a la investigación. Creo que podría mejorar el curso con una actualización de las entrevistas.

By Abdelrahman A

Jan 8, 2021

The course's instructors and content is really interesting, noting its short timeline required to complete. This is an introductory course which intends for beginners to understand how research prompt is and really useful and shall give students the kick-off for research world. Course instructors and facilitators are great of help. Maybe the course needs an update as it may seems out date little bit, and some practical examples of research papers. Overall I really enjoyed my time and worth it.

By Atiq A K

Nov 10, 2022

It was good experience to have a course online. There are many good things that I learned but still it needs many practical things to be included like statistical analysis of the data etc. However I took too much time to complete this course and I suggest that it should be completed within short time otherwise you usually forget things what you did in the previous sections and you have to review it again which usually I think has negative affect on learning.


Apr 23, 2020

Frankly speaking, I had joined this course as a compulsion, but soon I came to know that it was a great course. I always had this problem with Research related courses that I often would go repulsive to any of such courses in my past. But this course has taught me various techniques to make my research, a good piece of work, presentable and unique. I thank coursera and University of London for providing such a nice, unique platform for amateurs like us.


Oct 8, 2020

While opting for this course i had many expectations to explore aspect of research and management and other basic elements of research as a college student but this course could have been better with respect to content of course. design course outline and elaborative understanding of gateway for research opportunities.

COURSERA is the best online learning platform with no doubt.

instructor have put good positive efforts to design course .