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Certificate in Research Methods

Status: Closed




12 Weeks


Flexible Learning

Start Date


Course Type

Flexible & Professional



The aim of this module is to provide learners with the necessary skills to further develop their research skills. It aims to develop their knowledge and understanding of research approaches and methodologies and gain the skills required for developing a research proposal.

This programme explores the different research methodologies that can be implemented across disciplines. Its aim is to further develop an understanding and appreciation of research methods and the techniques and approaches used. It promotes principles of good research practice and facilitates the development of scholarly research.

Programme participants will examine the approaches that can be applied in the context of developing and supporting their research and the research of others. The programme also explores the applications of different research processes including quantitative and qualitative techniques, formulating research questions, and writing a research proposal.

Key Module Features:

  • Evaluate various research methods.
  • Examine different approaches used across disciplines.
  • Critically discuss and evaluate published sources of information.
  • Develop a research proposal that is supported by the use of suitable research methods.

What are the entry requirements?

ACADEMIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Level 8 degree in any discipline

ENGLISH LANGUAGE: Applicants who do not have English as their first language must ensure they satisfy English Language requirements. For entry to undergraduate courses, a minimum score of 5.5 in an IELTS exam is required. For postgraduate courses, a minimum of 6.0 is required. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their English proficiency meets these requirements.

JULY STIMULUS FUNDING ELIGIBILITY: Funding for this programme has been approved by the HEA for eligible applicants under the July Stimulus Provision.

Eligible participants are listed below:

  • Unemployed

Those in receipt of PUP or a jobseekers payment or other qualifying DEASP payments can participate on approved July Stimulus part time modular courses.  Participants falling under this category will be 100% funded.  Applicants must provide proof of payment.

  • Returners

Returners are those who are not in receipt of a payment from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection but who have been out of the work environment for a number of years due to childcare or other caring obligations. They have a previous history of employment but may require upskilling, reskilling or cross-skilling to transition back to the workforce.

To be eligible the applicant must have been:

  • A Homemaker or on other caring duties for a minimum period of 9 of the previous 12 months prior to their application
  • Ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme
  • In addition, the applicant will need to provide supporting documentation to confirm their status as a Homemaker.
  • Applicants must swear a declaration before a Commissioner for attesting to their status.

Participants falling under this category will be 100% funded. It should be noted that acceptance on to a postgraduate course does not confer any entitlement to DEASP payments or childcare supports.  


  • The Employed

Applicants who are employed will need to meet the residency requirements, i.e. that the applicant has been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme.

This category of applicant will also be required to provide a copy of their most recent ‘Employment Detail Summary’ or other relevant revenue documentation.  Applicants will be required to pay 10% of the course fee.


  • Formerly Self-employed

To be eligible those who are formerly self-employed must provide a letter/statement from Revenue confirming that the applicant is no longer trading or a similar letter from the applicants (former) accountant should be sufficient.

Alternatively, a participant can swear a declaration stating that they are no longer self-employed.  Applicants will be required to pay 10% of the course fee.


  • Recent graduates 

This programme is open to recent graduates. However, to participate in these courses, 2020 graduates will be required to pay 10% of the course fee.

Applicants who are normally resident in Ireland should also meet the nationality and EU residency rules. They are:


  • Applications for admission to July Stimulus courses should be accepted from suitably qualified applicants who hold EU/EEA/UK/Swiss nationality in their own right or who are:
  • Persons who have official refugee status in this State. Time spent from date of official lodgement of application papers for refugee status will be included for the purpose of meeting the three-year residency requirement; or
  • Family members of a refugee who are granted permission by the Minister for Justice and Law Reform to enter and reside in the State under Section 18 of the Refugee Act 1996; or
  • Persons who have permission to remain in the State as a family member of a Union citizen under the provisions of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and 2008 and Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council; or
  • Persons who have been granted Humanitarian Leave to Remain in the State (prior to the Immigration Act 1999); or
  • Be a person in respect of whom the Minister for Justice and Law Reform has granted permission to remain following a determination not to make a deportation order under section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 or;
  • Be a non-EU/non-EEA/non-UK/non-Swiss citizen legally entitled to work full time in Ireland without having to seek an employment permit. These residents may be here as the spouse/civil partner or family member of an Irish or EU citizen and will have Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM on their residence cards from Garda National Immigration Bureau.


  • Applicants must have been ordinarily resident in an EU/EEA/UK/Swiss state for at least three of the five years preceding their entry to the programme.

Note: The period of residency for holders of Stamp 4 or Stamp 4 EU FAM is calculated from the date of receipt of the Stamp 4. Any period of residency in the state before this date will not be taken into consideration.

Who can I contact?

What modules will I study?


The Role of Research and the Researcher

This module will look at the part that research has to play and the attributes and importance of research within society. The content will focus on the role that research takes within the academic and professional development of academic staff.

Conducting a Review of the Literature and Evaluating Information Sources

Identifying the key information to gather when reviewing published sources of information. Further develop search techniques and working with databases in order to Learn how to present an evaluation of a set of published sources of information in oral and written format.

Writing a Research Question

Developing the skills to identify an area of research and refine a research you research interest into a question. Explore the potential methods for answering your research question. Understand Epistemological and Ontological Debates in research and be able to evaluate your own approach to research design based on these debates.

Research Design

A review and evaluation of the different research designs and identify appropriate methods for a chosen research question. Develop an awareness of the various approaches for conducting quantitative and qualitative data analysis and evaluate different methods of data collection, analysis and visualisation.

Research Proposal Writing

Develop a comprehensive research proposal based on an area of research within a specific discipline or in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Appraise funding opportunities and identify opportunities relevant to a discipline area

Research Ethics, Integrity, Funding and Publication

Develop an understanding of the ethical, integrity and safety elements that are associated with research and learn how to deal with these requirements appropriately. Learn how to identify potential National and European sources for Research funding and understand the key components of a funding application. Understanding the ethical obligation to share research results with the community through the publication process.

Literature Review Presentation

Participants must give a presentation based on an evaluation of selected published research papers and communicate the findings through a written report and a presentation to their peers.

Research Proposal Development

Develop a comprehensive research proposal based on an area of research within a specific discipline or in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Participants on the programme will be encouraged to publish research outcomes through a possible Research Colloquium.

The research plan will contain:

  • The Research questions that have been identified
  • Identify any ethical and health elements to the research proposal and how to address these.
  • Overview of the research approach that will be use and an explanation of the research methodology chosen for the proposal.

Are there opportunities for further study?

The completion of a proposal could lead to further research in an MA or PhD programme.

What are the career prospects?

Career opportunities include the possibility of advancing the participants research and potential for academic and professional career advancement.

More Information


This programme will run over 12 Weeks, 2 evenings per week, Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm (Asynchronous) and Wednesday afternoons from 2pm to 4pm (Live).

What will the time commitment be?

Each 5 credits will normally equate to approximately 100 Total Learning Hours. Total Learning Hours includes the time you spend in class (lectures, tutorials, practical elements) and the time you spend completing work outside of college.  The balance between these two varies by discipline, and by level of study. You should bear in mind that the workload will increase at particular times e.g. when assignments are due.


100% Continuous Assessment – The participants finish the course with a project / research proposal.


Application Deadline

11th December 2020

For Queries Relating to the Course Content

Contact Name: Matthew Cannon



The total fee for this programme is €1065. Funding for this programme has been approved by the HEA for eligible applicants under the July Stimulus Provision. 

This programme is 90% funded for employed applicants and graduates and the subsidised fee to be paid is €106.50.

The programme is 100% funded for unemployed applicants on a qualifying payment and returners. 

Application Process

All applicants must complete the application form which can be downloaded from this page. Completed application forms, along with supporting documentation as outlined below must be emailed to

Incomplete application forms or applications with outstanding supporting documentation will not be considered. 

To complete your application process you must include the following with your application. 

1. Current CV
2. Proof of existing educational qualifications
3. Proof of nationality i.e. passport
4. Proof of employment status i.e. payslip/P60 (amounts can be redacted) / social welfare payment i.e. receipt/letter

Please note that places are LIMITED and only COMPLETE applications can be assessed. Any missing documents will lead to a delay in processing.

EMPLOYED APPLICANTS: ONE of the following: A recent payslip / most recent P60 / revenue documentation letter from employer confirming this (amounts may be redacted from financial documents) / letter/email from employer / proof from company website etc.

UNEMPLOYED APPLICANTS: Proof of social welfare: Written confirmation from the Department of Employment Social Protection (DEASP) that you are a Social Welfare recipient at the commencement of the course. Name of payment. Receipt from Post Office may suffice.

RETURNERS: If you are a returner who has been on home or other caring duties for 9 of the last 12 months OR you are economically dependent on a partner or spouse and have been unemployed for 9 of the last 12 months you must supply a notarized affidavit confirming this. Please email to request this form.

FORMERLY SELF-EMPLOYED: Provide a letter/statement from Revenue stating that the applicant is no longer trading or a similar letter from the applicants (former) accountant should be sufficient.



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