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Learn research methods with online courses and programs

A solid understanding of different research methods is crucial to making informed decisions. Learn about research methods in online courses delivered through edX.

What are research methods?

Research methods refer to the systematic approaches and techniques used to gather and analyze data in order to answer research questions or investigate a specific topic. These methods provide a structured framework for conducting research and ensure the reliability and validity of the findings. Commonly used research methods include, but are not limited to, experiments, surveys, observational research, qualitative research, quantitative research, and meta-analyses. 

Depending on the research field, topic, and research questions, researchers may combine and adapt various methods to suit their specific needs. It's essential to select the most appropriate research methods that align with the research objectives, resources, and ethical considerations.

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Research methods course curriculum

Taking a course on research methods can help you improve your critical thinking skills, better understand how to collect and analyze data, and write clearly and concisely. Courses in research methods can be found at a variety of levels, from introductory to advanced. 

A foundational research methods course might cover the research process, differences between research methods, data collection methods, data analysis, and research report writing. Once you understand the basics, you may move to more advanced courses that can cover specialized topics, such as mixed methods research, statistical analysis, and research ethics. 

edX offers courses and programs for learners at all levels who are interested in studying research methods or one of the disciplines that uses them. You can pursue a more comprehensive curriculum that may include research methods in a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. You may also build skills related to research in a boot camp that provides flexible, hands-on learning or an executive education course designed for busy professionals.

Explore research jobs

Research methods can be used in various professional settings. Industries in which strong skills in research can be beneficial include:

  • Academia: Conduct research on a variety of topics, train students in research methods, publish research findings in academic journals, obtain funding for research projects, and contribute to the advancement of knowledge.

  • Manufacturing: Develop new products, improve the quality of existing products, reduce costs, increase efficiency, purchase new technology and equipment, ensure worker safety, and meet regulatory requirements.

  • Medicine: Develop new treatments and cures for diseases, improve the safety and effectiveness of medical procedures, understand the causes and progression of diseases, develop new diagnostic tools and tests, and improve the quality of life for patients.

  • Psychology: Understand human behavior, develop new treatments for mental disorders, improve the quality of life for people with mental disorders, train psychologists, and conduct research on a variety of topics.

Are you ready to work toward your next career? Start learning with edX. Research potential roles you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your professional aspirations.