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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Improve the value of your research to industry

Hone the research skills obtained in Research Project I and learn specialised techniques to improve the value of your reports to business and industry. Select an industry or business that interests you and explore the research needs of the organisation in a real workplace setting. You will learn how to plan a research project and how to implement your plan in order to maximise the value of the information you collate. You will then use this information to produce a descriptive report that could be very valuable to the development of the organisation’s business and operational practices.

Prerequisite: Research Project I or equivalent.

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Your research makes a difference in the real world

  • Improve your ability to undertake better research
  • Develop skills for better career or business opportunities
  • Build on past studies, or past experience. 
The better your research, the greater the value of your findings to any industry.
Your data can actually help to optimise the activities of businesses and even entire industries. Improve your research techniques, find out how to plan your project more effectively and gather data that can prove valuable in informing the current operations or future planning of a business.



To monitor, analyse and evaluate a common process (or processes) relevant to their stream studies.  (For the purpose of this unit, a "process" is defined as any distinct series of events or changes over a period of time, and which is directly related to the area of study).



There are 6 lessons in this module as follows:

1. Identifying research issues
  • The nature of research
  • Finding research ideas
  • Experience
  • Literature
  • Requests for research
  • Curiosity and imagination
  • Considering all options
  • Formulating a research project
  • Is the research topic feasible
  • Terminology
  • Types of questions: descriptive, rational, causal
  • Units of analysis
  • Validity
  • Conclusion validity
  • Internal validity
  • Construct validity
  • External validity
  • Fallacies
  • Variables
  • Structure of a research project
  • Components of a research project
  • Nature of a relationship
  • Patterns in relationships
  • Timing of research
  • Ethics in research

2. Acquisition of technical information

  • Literature review
  • Research methods
  • Methods of collecting information
  • Experimental methods
  • Correlation methods
  • Questionnaires, surveys, tests
  • Interviews
  • Document reviews
  • Focus groups
  • Case Studies

3. Specialised research techniques

  • Specialised research

4. Research planning and designing

  • Introduction
  • The scientific method
  • Testing hypotheses
  • Common mistakes when applying the scientific method
  • Hypotheses, models, theories and laws

5. Statistics

  • Types of data: quantitative vs qualitative
  • Overview of statistics for research
  • Sources of statistics
  • Statistical data (Plural sense)
  • Statistical Method (Singular sense)

6. Conducting research

  • Analyzing and interpreting information
  • Start with research goals
  • Analysis of quantitative information
  • Analysis of qualitative information
  • Interpreting information
  • Example of a report
  • Pitfalls to avoid
  • Evaluation
  • Evaluation strategies
  • Types of evaluation
  • Evaluation questions and methods


  • Evidence of your ability to collect, collate and interpret data and prepare reports in ways relevant to the work environment;
  • Ability to monitor and evaluate one’s own work in order to develop a responsible attitude to workplace performance and quality assurance;
  • Awareness of areas where there is a valid need for research which are relevant to area of study;
  • Ability to explain research methods, including experimental techniques, commonly used in the learner's area of study;
  • Understanding of  the basic statistical methods used for research;
  • Ability to locate, collect and evaluate information for a specific research purpose;
  • Ability to prepare a research report in a format which conforms to normal industry procedures. 

Set Yourself Goals and Plan to Achieve them

To create effective goals to work towards, you need to write them out clearly, create a time scale of when you will achieve them and preferably tell someone about them. For example. ‘I am studying carpentry and I will finish my course by the end of this year’. When you have personal accountability to someone else, they will ask you regularly how you are going with it. Now this is done, brainstorm how you can do it. If you have planned the steps and journey to the goal it will be easy to achieve it. 
  • How will you build the time for study and developing your career into your current work and social timetable? Who will help you and encourage you? What tools and resources do you need to achieve this?  Remember smaller steps with rewards built in for successes and steps will make it easier to teach your goals.
  • Be determined about your study goals, to get there and achieve them!
  • Decide on some motivators that will keep you going. For some it is a matter of visualising the changes you will see in yourself or the way your life will change when you have completed your course. You can even work at visualising how you will feel and what others will think about you when you achieve your goal.
  • “Walk the talk” as they say, begin to see yourself as having completed the course and acts accordingly, even before you have completed your course.
  • Build in daily and weekly small rewards for yourself to keep you motivated.
  • Be determined not to be discouraged even if you do not understand something, ask your teacher, recheck your notes and practice positive self-talk statements such as ‘I know I can do it’, “This is not wrong, this is just a refinement to the goal path I am on”,” this is a lesson I will learn and something great will come out of it”, “this is a tiny hiccup, look what I have achieved so far and I can reach my goal”.
  • Remember everyone has good and bad days and time when something seems to not be working well.
  • Remember you have a CHOICE how you respond to what seems to be set backs. Go OUT and do something you like for a while, take a walk, change you pace, talk a little time out for a while and you can come back to your studies refreshed and renewed!
“I break my day up into mini goals. When I have a big deadline to meet I put in place a goal at the end of the timeline I have also set (often a delicious cappuccino- which also involves a timed walk to get there, so I get some exercise too from my sedentary job). This helps wonderfully. If I did not set goals with times of day in them and days with goals attached to them I would soon find months had slipped past achieving very little.”





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Meet some of our academics

Dr Lynette Morgan (Horticulture)Lyn worked with Rivendell Mushroom Farm between 1986 and 88; and then as a research assistant and technician for a few years while undertaking university studies. In 1991 she graduated from Massey University with a Bachelor of Horticultural Science (Hons) which covered broad horticultural sciences, as well as nursery vegetable and fruit production. Throughout the 90's she worked in both the nursery industry and horticultural crop production, before establishing her own business "Suntec" which has built an exceptional international reputation providing consulting services; particularly in hydroponic crop production. Dr Morgan has a broad expertise in horticulture and crop production, and a keen appreciation of the global scene. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
Cheryl McLardyA scientist, teacher, writer and animal scientist, with more than 20 years experience including: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager. Cheryl has travelled widely, working in England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand; and is now based in Scotland. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Higher National Diploma in Horse Management, and a City and Guilds Teaching Certificate.

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