The Research Methods Laboratory    


Masters in Research Methodology

Students from all over the world are welcomed to our programmes in Neuchâtel. In common with other academic institutions in this historic and friendly city there is a wide diversity of cultures represented among the student body, making for a truly international and cosmopolitan student experience. That experience is underpinned by faculty at the forefront of developments in research methodology. Our postgraduate students benefit from being immersed in a research training environment linked to an international network of experts, many of whom contribute directly to our programmes through participation in workshops, conferences and other activities.



Modern society is highly data-driven, yet there are major challenges to finding optimal ways to design research, collect and analyse data, and communicate key findings to stakeholders and the wider public. This postgraduate degree in research methodology is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to develop appropriate research skills in order to meet the demands of the knowledge economy. You will have the opportunity to investigate the research process, to formulate problems and devise research questions, and understanding  how research is related to policy and practice. The programme is oriented towards developing high level research capabilities for advanced academic practice, or for the professional world of research or project management. The focus is on developing your key capabilities such as critical thinking, problem resolution, analysis and syntheses, as well as communication and autonomy.

The programme comprises four taught modules, plus a 15,000 word dissertation. In addition to your dissertation project the learning experience will include individual and group work, site visits and case studies. You can further enhance your skills through the completion of an optional internship either in Switzerland or abroad. The internship is usually completed at the end of the taught course.  


You can join the course in either September or February. The programme comprises two semesters of 10 weeks each and a further independent study period (Semester 3) of 20 weeks. Modules are thought in Semester 1 and Semester 2 respectively. Semester 3 comprises independent study during which the student will carry out their chosen research project. You have a total of 20 weeks from the end of semester two to conduct your research project and ‘write-up’ your ‘dissertation’. During semester 3 there is no requirement to attend the institution in person (many students will conduct their independent research project in their home country or their place of work). You will however have regular online contact with your project supervisor who will advise you regarding the research process and council you as required. At the end of semester 3 students submit their dissertation (15,000 words) for assessment and grading. 




Explanation & Inquiry 

Postgraduate student are both consumer and producer of research and as such need to be open to contested nature of scientific knowledge. This module is designed to support students in developing their understanding of the meta-theoretical issues which influence the different approaches to research. 


Qualitative Methods

This module explores a variety of epistemological positions underlying qualitative approaches to research. The module also introduces students to some of the more common methods employed in qualitative research projects, including, interviewing, focus groups, and the ethnographic method.


Quantitative Methods 

This module will cover the general principles of quantitative research design and statistical analysis. The key focus is on the acquisition of techniques and methods for conducting research projects employing quantitative methods. The module is designed to facilitate focused attention on specific training needs. 


Research Ethics 

All research is an ethical undertaking, and therefore all researchers are confronted with ethical choices. the library or the field. This module challenges participants to consider the ethical dilemmas which potentially exist in their personal and or professional research practice and their impact on collaborators and the wider community. 


Writing & Communicating Research Outcomes

This module explores some of the key challenges faced by researchers in writing-up their research in different institutional and professional contexts. The module also covers the practices of communication research through different media and to different audiences. 



Independent research project (15,000 word dissertation). Students undertake a research project of their choosing and work independently off campus under the supervision of a dissertation supervisor (on-line). The student has 20 weeks to design, conduct and 'write-up' the project. 





The programme is open to anyone with an undergraduate degree and the required level of English sufficient to successfully engage with the academic requirements of the course. The programme requires that you have the ability to:
  • write accurately, clearly and concisely
  • read large quantities of text accurately and critically
  • argue logically, consistently and sceptically
  • organize evidence to support a logical argument.



Master of Research


Semester 1: CHF 24,200              Semester 2: CHF 19,500              Semester 3: CHF 2,500

 Total Cost:  CHF 46,200 (Payable in three installments. One installment prior to the commencement of each semester)

The application fee of CHF 300.00 is deducted from Semester 1 fees.


Fees include single room accommodation (within shared apartment) for Semester 1 & 2 and all required learning materials. If you require accommodation for Semester 3 (independent study period) please inform us before the end of Semester 2.  


The deadline for registration on the programme is September and February each year. However, you are advised to complete the registration process well in advance in order to guarantee a place and to allow sufficient time for visa applications (if required).



Students are assessed at the end of each module. Various forms of assessment are used across the modules. The pass mark for each module is 60%. Any student who fails an assessment will be entitled to ONE re-submission. The table below provides brief guidance on the general criteria used to assess submitted work. Specific advice on individual modules’ assessment will be supplied by the module coordinators. All assessed work will be double-marked before a grade is awarded.


Grade %




Truly  Exceptional -  outstanding demonstration of learning outcomes    


Excellent   - excellent demonstration of learning outcomes    


Good   - comprehensive demonstration of learning outcomes  


Satisfactory   - generally satisfactory demonstration of learning outcomes


Unsatisfactory   - generally unsatisfactory demonstration of learning outcomes    


Poor   - poor performance in learning outcomes   


Very weak   - very weak performance in learning outcomes   


No  work submitted for assessment   


For further information, or to apply for a place on the programme please contact us.

The Research Methods Laboratory, P.O. Box 3169, CH-2001, Switzerland

Telephone: +41 (0)79 135 41 55