GRA 6438 Research Methodology - Marketing


GRA 6438 Research Methodology - Marketing

Responsible for the course
Rutger Daniel van Oest

Department of Marketing

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

The Research Methodology – marketing course is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of important topics in research in marketing (academic research) and marketing research (business-oriented research). The course addresses theoretical and philosophical foundations of research conducted by marketing academics and practitioners including perspectives on theory, causality, validity, measurement, and ethics. It also covers the marketing research process including formulating the research problem and hypotheses, sampling, measurement, research design, data analysis, and writing a paper/thesis or research report.

Learning outcome
Knowledge goals
Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to

Understand key methodological issues in research in marketing and marketing research.
Elaborate on these issues.
See the interrelationships between the elements of the research process, not only the bits and pieces.

Skill outcomes
Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to

Plan and conduct research according to the outlined research process taking into account and deal with the various unavoidable tradeoffs occurring in this process.

Attitude outcome
Upon successful completion of this course, the students will

Be excited about research in marketing and marketing research.
Appreciate alternative approaches to a problem.
Be able to see ethical issues in the research process.

Learning outcome for the library session:
Through practical exercises, the students will:

  • have a broader understanding of information search strategies
  • be able to evaluate sources
  • know what a literature review is and how these types of articles may be found and used


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading

Book extract:
Saunders, Mark, Philip Lewis, Adrian Thornhill. 2016. Research methods for business students. 7th ed. Pearson. Chapter 3: Critically reviewing the literature, pp.70-124. Will be available electronically

Various stand alone articles that students are required to download from available database resources at BI

Collection of articles:
Article collection consisting of articles and book chapters that cannot be accessed by database resources available to students.

During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

Recommended reading
Dillman, Don A., Jolene D. Smyth and Leah Melani Christian. 2014. Internet, phone, mail, and mixed-mode surveys : the tailored design method. 4th ed. Wiley
Iacobucci, Dawn, Gilbert A. Churchill, Jr. 2015. Marketing research : methodological foundations. 11th ed. South-Western/Cengage Learning
Shadish, William R., Thomas D. Cook, Donald T. Campbell. 2002. Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Houghton Mifflin

Course outline
Validity issues
Ethical issues
Data collection
Survey research
Experimental research
Longitudinal research
Qualitative approaches
Meta analysis
Advanced information and citation search strategies (library session). Content:
1. Introduction to advanced search strategies, including source quality assessment.
2. Introduction to citation search.
3. Reviewing articles.

During the semester there will be thesis seminars to guide the students towards writing a thesis registration form. This is conducted outside the course.

Computer-based tools

Learning process and workload
A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours.

The course is a combination of class room lectures and two term paper consultation sessions.

Part of the course is a library session. This session takes place as a combination of lectures and practical exercises using computers. Sessions will be run in groups of maximum 50 students.

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book.


Form of assessment Weight Group size
Term paper 45% Group of max 3 students
Written examination 3 hours 45% Individual
Work assignment by the library 10%

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi. Candidates may be called in for an oral hearing as a verification/control of written assignments.

Examination code(s)
GRA 64386 (continuous assessment) for the final letter grade in the course (100%)

Examination support materials
BI approved exam calculator
Bilingual dictionary

Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Honour code. Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and are values that are integral to BI's honour code system. Students are responsible for familiarising themselves with the honour code system, to which the faculty is deeply committed. Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for academic misconduct. Issues of academic integrity are taken seriously by everyone associated with the programmes at BI and are at the heart of the honour code. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask. The learning platform itslearning is used in the teaching of all courses at BI. All students are expected to make use of itslearning.