Office: +604-653 3389 Mon - Fri : 8:10am - 5:10pm

Class will be conducted online via eLearn@USM every Wednesday at 2:30pm to 5:30pm starting from 24 March 2021







This course aims to develop student research and analytical skills. Students are introduced to the research strategies and philosophies as well as theory and logic of research, the ethics that guide the research process, and to the range of research methods generally employed in the social sciences. Emphasis will be given to knowledge related to research design, data collection, elementary data analysis, and report writing. The course includes discussions of specific methodological approaches. The course also gives special attention to practical knowledge of the research process and in preparing students to conduct their own basic research projects. Students will leave the course with a better understanding of the ways to conduct their own research in various fields. This is a foundational course that will prepare students for advanced research methods courses in their chosen fields.







Upon successful completion of the course, students are expected to be able to demonstrate the following skill set and knowledge:

  1. Ability to develop a suitable research problem and research questions based on relevant and comprehensive literature review.
  2. Ability to present their research proposal at the postgraduate level.
  3. Ability to propose a viable design to carry out their planned post-graduate research while upholding professional research ethics.
  4. Ability to synthesise research findings by relating them to relevant theories and works related to the research objectives and sustainability issues.

Classes will be conducted by CenPRIS (Week 1 to Week 10)


Classes will be conducted by respective School/Centres (Week 11 to Week 14)



The assessments* for this course are as follows:

No Coursework Assessment Percentage (%)
1 Assignment (in group) CenPRIS 40
2 Research Proposal Respective Schools/ Centres 30
3 Research Proposal Presentation Respective Schools/ Centres 30
Total 100

* All evaluative components for this course are compulsory, and MUST be completed in order to pass the course.


  1. Please log in to the USM eLearn in every class to record your attendance. You are expected to stay until the end of the class.
  2. You are also encouraged to log in early.
  3. You are to meet up with your research presentation group once the assignment instruction is handed to you.
  4. Your assignment should be submitted/ uploaded by the 12th Week Friday 1700 (5pm). CenPRIS will provide the link latest by week 4 Friday 5pm. You are encouraged to submit your video presentation earlier.
  5. For research proposal and research proposal presentation, please contact your supervisor on the 1st Week.
  6. For queries on administrative matters, please contact Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS).
  7. For queries on specific academic matters/ specific fields, please contact your respective supervisor and school representatives / deputy deans.
  8. Please check the USM eLearn portal and CenPRIS’s website ( weekly for updates.


Reading list:

  1. Blaikie, N. W. H. (1993). Approaches to social enquiry. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
  2. Reevany Bustami, Ellisha Nasruddin & Blaikie, N.(2004). Lima Falsafah Penyelidikan Paradigma dan Strategi Penyelidikan untuk Sains Sosial dan Pengurusan. Pulau Pinang, Malaysia: KnowledgeCraftsmen
  3. Blaikie, N. W. H. (2009). Designing Social Research (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons.
  4. Hart, C. (2018). Doing a literature review: Releasing the research imagination.
  5. Sekaran, U. and Bougie, R. (2010) Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approac. John Wiley and Sons, USA.
  6. Studenmund, A.H. (2017) Using Econometrics: A Practical Guide. 7th Edition, Boston: Pearson
  8. Interdisciplinary Approaches for Sustainable Development Goals: Economic Growth, Social Inclusion and Environmental Protection (2018).

Elearn@USM for students