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 research questions and 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) 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

  • 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

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of the course students will be able:

  1. To perform effective literature search
  2. Το adopt a critical approach to existing scientific knowledge
  3. To set the appropriate goal and research questions
  4. To justify their methodological choices
  5. Το apply a variety of research designs
  6. To design a realistic research proposal

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
Article Presentation Locate and present an article during class 25-30
Labs Develop, submit and present the
materials required for each of the three labs
Research Proposal 3.000 words written assignment 90-100
Total workload 239-269


Type of assessment Learning outcome Impact on final grade Date of assessment
Participation in-class discussion 2-5 10% Regularly
Lab Presentations 1-4 20% 5th, 9th, 13th week
Article Presentations 1-2 10% Regularly
Research proposal 5-6 60% 15th week

Required Reading

  • Wimmer, R. D., & Dominic, J. R. (2013). Mass media research: An introduction (10 th ed). Boston, MA: Wadsworth Publishing

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
  • Berger, A. (2019). Media and communication research methods: An introduction to qualitative and quantitative approaches (5 th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
  • Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approach (5th ed.). Thousand Oak: CA, Sage.
  • Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2016). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches (4rth ed.). Thousand Oak: CA, Sage
  • Lindlof, T. R., & Taylor, B. C. (2017). Qualitative communication research methods (4rth ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Merrigan, G., & Huston, C. L. (2019). Communication research methods (4rth ed.). Oxford University.
  • 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.
  • Silverman, D. (2018). Doing qualitative research (4rth ed.). London: Sage.