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

6,543 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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1576 - 1600 of 2,119 Reviews for Understanding Research Methods

By Andres D

Aug 2, 2022

Great start for beginners! I would retitle the course as an "Introduction to Understanding Research Methods" as it tackles big overarching concepts in a generalized view through interviews with leading experts, and the title seems a little misleading as is. I recommend it for someone putting their foot through the door for the first time - probably not for long-term researchers unless you'd like an excellent refresher!

By Ali A

May 8, 2020

this course has actually helped in the ways of starting and organizing a research.

it is going so well for me from now, with all of the topics and required reading doing a great job in making an actual usefulness, a small example on an actual research was to be seen useful, in order to teach everyone how to make the best paper and what are the practical steps in organizing our knowledge and readings in the paper itself.

By Clive N

Jul 19, 2020

I took this course because I intend embarking on PhD studies soon, and wanted to brush up on research skills almost 20 years after my Master's project. It gave me the right direction. I suggest that as an improvement, the course includes some discussion on the last three parts of research document, namely, the research results, conclusion and recommendations. Without these, the course feels incomplete.

By Andrea C V F

Nov 17, 2020

Perhaps it does not fully delve into the necessary parts of a research project, however, it provides the fundamental bases to be able to think about an adequate project, it allows us to know the opinions of several experts and advises us to be able to ask ourselves the correct questions and write in a better way our project, I am very grateful for the things I have learned throughout this course.

By Diptiman B

Sep 5, 2016

The course gave a very good introduction to what research is about, how to plan your research, and the basics of doing research. Good discussions with faculty members from different departments are shown, and they are quite rich. In my opinion, some written course materials summarizing the key points would have helped a lot to consolidate the key points. Nonetheless, I enjoyed doing the course!

By C K

Jun 19, 2016

This was a great introductory course. I particularly appreciated the text book chapter being included as it was a really useful resource. Compared to some other Coursera courses (quantitative and qualitative research methods) there were many fewer lectures and resources. That's why I rated it a 4/5. I'm getting more out of the other two, but this was a fantastic introduction to get me thinking.

By Benilde G

Sep 7, 2022

Es un curso muy bien organizado, conciso, breve y sustancioso.

Los videos son ilustrativos pero hay algunos que realmente no agregan informacinó relevante.

Pienso que podraín omitirse.

Las retroalimentaciones que aportan los compañeros en general son pobres; hay pocos alumnos que se esfuerzan, tanto para hacer bien sus tareas y que constituyan un aporte para los demsá, como para dar feedback.

By Mayowa J A

Nov 21, 2020

The course was very enlightening and gave insights that help understand the reasons for research and how to go about one systematically. I looked forward to the assignments because they challenged my understanding of the modules and exercises. however, I think the exercises/ assignmney=t questions can be better phrased as not confuse students of this course on what is required of them.

By Goutam R

Apr 21, 2020

The outline of the course is great, however, I was expecting a bit more. For instance, it would be better if I get some clear guidelines with examples, it would help me. The discussions with the researchers are good, but along with this, there should be some reading topics, instructions and guidelines on how to manage the research, or how to write research questions etc.

By Tamara N

Feb 24, 2021

Appreciated it very much, in particular hands' on exercises. I do think that the review of assignments could be improved by having them reviewed by mentors/teachers. I believe that feedback from experienced researchers would help a great deal in better understanding the topic and for a more immersive learning. This way, the course is a bit sterile. Thanks a lot!

By Fadzlie W F W

May 8, 2020

It is a basic course on research methods. The subject of research methods can be rather broader, which include further delve into the research methodology/design, data collection, analysis and interpretation. Nonetheless, this course will be very useful for those who needs introductory concept to research methods, as it is generally simple and easy to follow.

By Arunachalam V 

Apr 24, 2020

The starting of the course could have been a little less basic. In the middle it really picked up and gave me a refresher on what I had learned in my masters, especially in concepts that I had not used in my own research endeavours. But for people who are familiar with the basics of research methods, they might find something new to learn in this course.

By Lucy E

Oct 15, 2015

It's a really good course to learn general parameters of research. However I think the E-tivity 3 wasn't clear some people did a summary from the reading, some others answered the questions from the reading and me tried to do a connection between the videos and the reading. These misunderstandings can have impact in the evaluation from the partners

By Jem C

Jun 14, 2016

I like the first E-tivity where we were asked to do the reading and listen to the video then come up with our own research question. I wished the rest of the course had continued along the same line where we can create a possible framework of what our research would have looked like by utilizing the ideas developed during the videos and readings.

By Shahrzad M

Aug 28, 2022

It was overally a good course. But you should put more focus on how to form research question bcz by the end of the course, a lot of people still had trouble forming their research question and purpose in their assignments. It is better to also provide verg simple examples for better understanding. Thank you. It was a good experience: :)

By Robin S M

May 3, 2021

I like the format of completing the assignments then also providing constructive feedback on others work/assignments. reviewing and providing feedback helps reinforce understanding. Only critics would be the quality of the feedback received personally. Received considerable one word responses, “good”, “great”, which are not constructive.

By Samir B

Apr 2, 2020

Course was really interesting, very thought provoking and hitting the right buttons. Just that the course was too short. Very limited number of videos, limited number of readings. It's like having a good meal, but so little, you remain hungry and ultimately question your decision. Hope the quantity of content will be increased next time.

By Nicholas A B

Nov 20, 2022

The videos and reading materials were very useful. The graded activities did help to push students to understand more, however they seemed too basic and informal to be overly effective. I suggest having stricter rules regarding feedback from peers (minimum word counts must be met) and to raise the difficulty level of the assignments.

By Sathvik

Aug 1, 2017

A very good introduction to the basics of research questions and designing a research framework. The notes and video lecture are succinct and contains all the necessary concepts, definitions and examples from reliable sources. The four week duration of the course is properly divided to fit in the timetable of a busy college schedule.

By Yasir K

Mar 7, 2020

This course is good for beginner student of research and recommend too. But i would suggest to add more visual content to the course, understand how can literature review be done systematically, replace chap data with presentation slides and elaborate the research methods with good examples. That's will become a complete package.

By Russell K B

Jan 25, 2021

I highly recommend this course to anyone seriously considering a career in academia whether you are barely starting research or have been doing so for a while but never got trained.

While the emphasis, texts, and examples lean heavily on the social sciences field. There is still something to be learned for all areas of academia.

By kathryn

Aug 16, 2015

Great introduction to research methods for anyone contemplating a research masters of Phd. I haven't studied for a while, so found the course content particularly useful. Course is taught through a combination of videos, readings and weekly assignments which are peer reviewed. Weeks 2 and 3 of the course are particularly useful.

By Rida A

Nov 8, 2020

The course was more towards social research and innovation, but still had considerable content to add on to the skill set of students with science backgrounds. Simple and elegant course structure. Would have been better if the entire book was provided for reference rather than individual chapters needed in the course syllabus.

By Sohila A G

Sep 1, 2020

Great course... The most enjoyable part is the interaction with each other. The peer-review assignments were very nice. I have learned a lot from others. Our professors were very nice and the videos were short and very useful. If you want to improve anything; the voice of the videos should be louder especially of dr Simon.

By Malathi J

Jul 18, 2022

It is good. I learned how to do the research, process, types etc. Able to know the difference of the three research methods qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods.

Also understand about the scientic research and other research methods. And learned about surveys, questions (open and close ended) case studies etc.