Diploma in Development Research Methods l Free Online Course l Alison

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Diploma in Development Research Methods

Master the research designs and techniques used in development research, in this free online course.

Free Course
This useful course offers a general introduction to the research designs and techniques used in developmental research. It highlights the use of secondary sources and the process of collecting material for review, and discusses quantitative and qualitative methods of conducting social research while analyzing the differences between the two. This course provides you with the background knowledge to apply research methods to real-world challenges.
  • Duration

    20-30 Hours
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This diploma course in development research methods will provide a general introduction to the process of conducting research in the field of developmental studies. The goal of developmental research is to assess changes in research methodology over an extended period. This course will introduce you to the kind of research questions and environments that researchers are liable to encounter in development work. Firstly, you will explore multiple methods of doing development research, data collection and note-taking in the field. 

Next, this material gives an overview of different aspects of development research, such as preparing for field research, ethical issues and power relationships in the field. It introduces quantitative and qualitative research methods, and various interpretative tools to analyze data and fieldwork observations, to prepare you to carry out and evaluate research on human development. This comprehensive course explores each step in the research process, from the initial concept to the final written product.

Finally, it surveys issues that must be addressed, the decisions that must be made, and the obstacles that must be overcome at every phase in a research project - capturing both the excitement and the challenge of doing quality research on topics of value. Anyone taking this course will develop critical-thinking expertise, as well as analytical, research, and communication skills that are globally sought-after and very beneficial in many career paths because ongoing research is essential to the economic and social development of a globalized society.

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Development Studies and Research

Ethics in Development Studies and Research

Qualitative Research Methods

Research Methods and Approaches

Diploma in Development Research Methods - First Assessment

Mixed Methods Research

Research Transmission

Development Indicators

Assessment Tools

Diploma in Development Research Methods- Second Assessment

Course assessment

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Define what a 'research question' is
  • Recognise how to interpret evidence
  • Identify the most widely used research techniques in development studies
  • Explain the suitability of various research approaches and techniques to specific research questions
  • State and develop ethical practices in development research
  • Indicate and develop quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Identify skills to present field data for research partners
  • Identify rigorous and practical research methods to address problem-focused research questions
  • Evaluate research data and produce a research report


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Diploma course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Diploma course, you have the option to acquire an official Diploma, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Diploma is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Diplomas for completed Diploma courses:

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