Research Methods of Religious Studies

Subject code ABS903
Lecturer Dr Nadine Levi, Dr Elizabeth McDougal
Delivery mode Online, live
Duration 10 weeks
Next start date Visit timetable

Subject Overview

This subject is an introduction to critical thinking and the various modes of research used in Applied Buddhist Studies. The basic skills and processes associated with developing research questions, reviewing relevant literature and conducting research will be discussed. Qualitative and quantitative research methods will be reviewed. The subject will also cover key basic principles in academic writing, including referencing and citation methods. As part of the subject, students will be encouraged to develop their own original ideas and formulate research proposals that demonstrate their understanding of applied research.

This subject particularly focuses on the principles of research and critical evaluation, which are key skills required in the process of reviewing and expanding the literature base on Buddhism and its applications. The subject also covers the basics in academic writing to help students present discussion and arguments effectively in written form.


Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate understanding of a range of approaches to religious research in the relevant discipline, their strengths and weaknesses and situations in which they can be applied.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of research ethics and the requirements for ethics approval.
  3. Demonstrate the capacity to search and critically review the literature, appraise evidence relating to a research topic, draw conclusions about the significance of the evidence and make suggestions about further research development. 
  4. Develop specific research questions suitable for research projects and write a research proposal.
  5. Learning the skills of research paper writing and reporting.



  • Assessment 1: Group work and presentations (20%)
  • Assessment 2: Assignment on research methods, critical analysis and proposal (30%)
  • Assessment 3: Research proposal and literature review (50%)


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