Communication Research Methods

Nikolaos Tsigilis

MCC 400 Communication Research Methods


About This Course

Course Description

This unit covers in detail the practice of research methods in the field of communication. Students will become familiar with developing the research question(s), formulating the hypotheses of their study, selecting participants and instruments. Moreover, they will explore the various designs that are used in quantitative (e.g. experimental and quasi experimental design, correlational design, surveys) and qualitative (e.g. interviews, focus groups, participant observations) research.  During these sessions students will learn how to select the appropriate research design depending on the area they wish to study and the analysis that is required for each set of data (quantitative or qualitative).  A great emphasis is also given to the ethical issues in research methods.

Course Objectives

  • Provide students the knowledge and experience to became informed consumers of scientific research
  • Provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to carry out a research project
  • Provide students with a reflexive and critical attitude towards research.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the issues involved in the design of research in the field of communication
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each research methodology
  • Formulate a clear research question and be able to write a research proposal
  • Select the appropriate research technique to answer specific research questions in the field of communication
  • Communicate and disseminate the research output

Class/Learning activities

Lectures, workshops, group work, in-class presentations, literature study, written assignments


Type of work Description Hours
Lectures Thirteen 3-hours lectures 39
Independent study Study of compulsory and optional literature 30-40
Group Research Small scale research 55-65
Written assignments Literature review (1.500-2.000 words)Research proposal (2.000-2.500 words) 110-120
Presentations In-class oral presentations 20-30
Total workload 254-294


Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in group work and discussion 1-2 10% Regularly
Presentation 5 10% 8th -12th week
Group research 2-4 20% 6th – 8th week
Literature review 2-4 30% 8th week
Research proposal 2-5 30% 13th week

Required Reading

  • Creswell, J. W. (2014).  Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (4rth ed.). Thousand Oak: CA, Sage.
  • Merrigan, G., & Huston, C. L. (2008). Communication research methods. Oxford University.
  • Silverman, D. (2010). Doing qualitative research (3rd ed.). London: Sage.

Additional Recommended Reading

  • Babbie, E. (2013). The basics of social research (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
  • Baxter, L., & Babbie, E. (2004). The basics of communication research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning
  • Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics (4rth ed). Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage
  • Lindlof, T. R., & Taylor, B. C. (2008). Qualitative communication research methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Mertens, D. M. (2015). Research and evaluation in education and psychology: Integrating diversity with quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods (4rth ed.). Thousand Oak: CA, Sage.