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Critically analyse an academic article within the field of sport coaching, emphasising the research methods utilised

Academic Year:                2020-2021



Module Code: SCP020N204

Module Title: Research Methods in Sport


Assessment: 2500-word essay 



Essay Title: Critically analyse an academic article within the field of sport coaching, emphasising the research methods utilised


Module Rationale

This module will provide students with the opportunity to investigate an aspect of coaching practice in their own specific context. Students will be introduced to approaches and methods of enquiry designed to allow them to research, review and evaluate an aspect of coaching practice. The module will focus on research approaches which will enable the student to adapt their own practice based on their findings. The module will build on the aspects of reflection covered year one and will allow the student to focus on a particular area of interest which is of relevance to their own practice.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will

  1. Develop working knowledge of research/evaluation methods to meet the needs of them as a coach and the performers who they coach.
  2. Acquire knowledge and understanding of how research can be used to inform and develop practice
  3. Develop the ability to present their plan in an appropriate manner to inform others of their area of interest.
  • Research methods and approaches appropriate to those working in the sporting context
  • Ethical consideration when researching in sport
  • Writing a research article
  • Presenting research findings
  • Using research to inform and adapt coaching practice.

Students will be provided with the underpinning theory and will develop the ability to apply and adapt their approaches to suit their own specific context and also to identify how they may use the approaches in a range of other contexts.

Teaching and Learning Methods and Lecture/Session Outline

Lectures and small‑group discussion sessions are used to introduce and clarify concepts under consideration. Work place application will be used to enable students to develop the ability to apply theoretical concepts to a practical environment. Moodle will enable access to lectures, course outlines, timetable and other resources as needed. Self-directed study is an integral part of any module; students will be expected to read around the subject area each week, gathering further information from peer-reviewed journal articles to supplement material provided through the ‘contact’ learning periods. Both group and independent work will be carried out.

Module Outline



Week 1


Why do research?

Key terms. Research design.

Week 2


Review of Literature


Week 3


Ethical Considerations


Week 4


Designing research

ü  The introduction

ü  The purpose statement

ü  Research question and hypothesis

Week 5


Qualitative approach to research -Part 1

ü  Characteristics of qualitative research

ü  Sampling

ü  Strategies of inquiry – narrative, phenomenology, ethnography.

ü  Data collection procedure

ü  Data recording

ü  Data analysis and interpretation

Week 6


Qualitative approach to research -Part 2

ü  Strategies of inquiry – case study, grounded theory.


Week 7


Quantitative approach to research

ü  Strategies of inquiry

ü  Population and sampling

ü  Data collection

ü  Data analysis

Week 8


ü  Mixed-methods approach

ü  Mixed methods approach

ü  Types of mixed methods strategies

ü  Data collection procedures

ü  Data analysis

Week 9


ü  Review and critically analyse a journal article 

Week 10


ü  Review and critically analyse a journal article 

You need to look into the first learning outcome to start your work here: Develop working knowledge of research/evaluation methods to meet the needs of them as a coach and the performers who they coach.

Core texts:

Armour, K. M. and MacDonald, D. (2012) Research methods in physical education and youth sport. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2016) Research Methods in Education (6th ed.). London: Routledge Falmer.

Bryman, A. (2016). Social Research Methods, (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cope, E. (2018) “Research Methods in Sports Coaching,” Sports Coaching Review, 7(1), pp. 102–105. doi: 10.1080/21640629.2016.1187381.

Nelson, L. and Potrac, P. (2014) Research methods in sports coaching. Edited by L. Nelson and R. Groom. New York: Routledge.

Robson, C. & McCartan, K. (2016). Real World Research: A resource for users of social research methods in Applied Settings, (4th ed). London: John Wiley.

Smith, M. F. (2017) Research methods in sport. 2nd edn. London: Learning Matters (Active learning in sport). Available at: INSERT-MISSING-URL (Accessed: January 14, 2021).

Further readings:

Bassey, M. (1999). Case Study Research in Educational Settings. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Bell, J. & Waters, J. (2014). Doing your research project: a guide for first time researchers. Buckingham: Open University Press.

BERA (2018) Revised Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research. British Educational Research Association.

BERA (2000) Good Practice in Educational Research Writing. British Educational Research Association.

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C & Tight, M. (2006). How to research. Milton Keynes: OUP.

Brewer, J. (2000) Ethnography. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Burton, N., Brundrett, M. & Jones, M. (2008). Doing Your Education Research project. London: Sage.

Cresswell, J. W. (2013). Research Design: qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (4th ed.). Sage: London.

Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, I. S. (1998). The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues. Thousand Oaks, US: Sage Publications.

Denscombe, M. (2002) Ground Rules for Good Research: A 10 Point Guide for Social Researchers. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Denscombe, M. (2003) The Good Research Guide: For Small-scale Social Research Projects. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Fraenkel, J. R. & Wallen, N. E. (2008, 7th ed.). How to Design and Evaluate Research in Education (7th ed). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

Jones, I. and Gratton, C. (2015) Research methods for sports studies. Third edn. London: Routledge. Available at: INSERT-MISSING-URL (Accessed: January 14, 2021).

Holliday, A. (2007). Doing and Writing Qualitative Research (3rd ed). London: SAGE.

Lincoln, Y. S. & Guba, E. G. (1984). Naturalistic Inquiry. California: Sage.

Maruyama, G. and Ryan, C. S. (2014) Research methods in social relations. 8th edn. Malden, Mass.: John Wiley & Sons. Available at: INSERT-MISSING-URL (Accessed: January 14, 2021).

Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis (2nd Ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Teddlie, C. (2003). A framework for analyzing data in mixed methods research. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research (pp. 351-383). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Punch, K. F. (2009). Introduction to Research Methods in Education. London: Sage.

Snape, D. & Spencer, L. (2003). The Foundations of Qualitative Research. In J. Ritchie & Lewis, J. (Eds.) Qualitative Research Practice. (pp. 1-23). London: Sage.

Strauss, A. L. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques. London: Sage.

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