This new postgraduate program is designed to meet the needs of the DWU Strategic goal to advance research and that of the PNG government to promote national growth and development, in efforts to keep pace with the demands of the 21st century global competitiveness, driven by a knowledge economy. Participation in the knowledge economy requires research education, which is critical to generating a new body of knowledge and enhancing upon existing information. The Master of Research Methodology (MRM) will equip graduates with research knowledge, skills and scholarly aptitudes to become critically and ethically oriented researchers, leaders and managers in government, industry, development and/or professional, churches and community-based organisations in Papua New Guinea (PNG), the Pacific Region and beyond. Successful completion of the program will increase opportunities for candidates seeking to undertake doctoral or PhD studies once they learn to write good research proposals leading to possible successful grant and scholarship applications. The program will also enhance personal and professional performance, for those currently employed. For those seeking employment within public, private, nongovernment and development agencies with a strong evidence-based research focus, the program offers employment opportunities.
The program will prepare candidates to design their research proposal as the blue print for their research dissertation. Candidates will be equipped with appropriate knowledge, skills and dispositions to initiate and undertake research projects. The skills of this program cover the whole research cycle: from problem identification, research design, literature review and research question development, to data collection, data analysis and report writing
This program is a combination of coursework and a major research component. It is designed to include core research methods units culminating in the write up and submission of a research dissertation of 20,000 words.
Students are required to gain 150 credit points of which, submission and assessment of the research dissertation is mandatory, to be eligible for graduation.
RM610 Research Theory and Methods for Applied Research
This unit offers candidates an introduction to the theory and methods of scholarly and scientific research. It is informed by the goals and priorities of the PNG National Research Agenda 2015 – 2025 and other national research policies. The unit explores key research theories and paradigms to learn which ones are most suitable in particular situations. It considers differences in methodological approaches and their influence on research outcomes. Students will Investigate examples of scientific and social research, including indigenous research, and study a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research tools and explore the context for their use.
RM611 Research Methods to advance the Sustainable Development Goals
All 193 member states of the United Nations, including PNG, are committed to meeting targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals. In contrast to the preceding Millennium Development Goals, which were not achieved, the PNG government has expressed an urgency to make sure PNG does meet the new goals and targets in health, education, water & sanitation, sustainable cities and so on by 2030. But what methods should be used to tell if PNG is on track, and will succeed in the end? In this unit, students will: become familiar with SDG concepts, and cross-cutting SDG themes such as gender equality in development; learn which PNG government departments are responsible for the implementation of which SDG programs; will acquire the skills to be able to measure progress with the SDGs; will gain an understanding of basic statistical concepts and will use Excel to aggregate data, present charts, and calculate SDG indicators.
This unit introduces students to ethical concepts and/or ethical theories that underpin applied ethical decision making in the areas of research that involve human participation. It also examines the historical and legal context that makes ethics relevant to research today and provides an overview of national and international ethical guidelines pertaining to ethical issues in research involving human participants. In particular, the unit focuses on ethical issues in the context of research involving indigenous people and communities of Papua New Guinea. The unit also prepares students for the requirement of a research proposal and the submission of the research proposal to an Institutional Review Board or Ethics Committee (ie. The University Research Ethi8cs Committee: UREC), as well as to acquaint intending research studentw with the ethics requirements for their research.
Building on the knowledge gained in RM610, this unit will deepen candidates understanding of diverse aspects of research design guided by different perspectives: application of research, mode of inquiry or the purpose of the study. Stages in developing own research design will be introduced and necessary knowledge and skills provided. The unit will introduce students to conceptualization and measurement in inductive and deductive mode of inquiry to equip them with skills necessary to construct conceptual and theoretical frameworks. Further the unit will provide an overview of qualitative and quantitative sampling techniques and data collection instruments.
RM613 Resources for Applied Research in Papua New Guinea
Where does a researcher look for existing baseline resources for research in Papua New Guinea? The unit will introduce students to the ‘foundation documents’ for multi-disciplinary research in PNG. These include the main archival resources in PNG institutions and libraries; PNG’s museum collections, cultural centres, and archaeological resources; the language resources of the Western Pacific area; information of individuals, including church registers, health clinic books, archived village books, and electoral rolls; resources for topographic mapping and satellite imagery; development data from ‘integrated rural development’ projects; development data and reports produced by PNG’s many national research institutions and universities. By the end of the unit, students should know where to find background information for any imaginable research topic.
This unit aims to assist students to master the skills in selecting relevant key research literature that will inform their research topics. It is also aimed to assist students to critique significant literature that will inform their research topics and make sense of the discussions presented in them. In addition, it aims to assist students to know where to search for quality research reports and how to access them. It further aims to assist students to use the information they have read and use them to informed their written discussions on them and be able to link the discussions to their research topics, and be able to present their own voice/perspective in the discussions.
The purpose of this unit is to assist candidates to define, plan and develop a research proposal in their respective fields that meets the requirement of the University’s Research Ethics Committee. Thus, building on the knowledge gained in the various units offered in this program, the unit will offer deeper understanding of expectations and functions of the research proposal. With personalized support from the supervisor the candidates will be engaged in genuine enquiry to 1) identify and explore the proposed research topic, 2) link proposed research issue with knowledge in the field of inquiry, 3) identify suitable theoretical orientation, 4) establish appropriate methodological approach, 4) discuss anticipated ethical issues pertaining to the proposed study, and 5) develop all required instruments for the proposed research study.
This unit provides the students with knowledge and skills necessary to complete their research project initiated in the previous semester. With the data collected during the fieldwork, the emphasis is given to organizing, coding and displaying research data for analysis and interpretation. The students become familiar with different techniques for the qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods (triangulation) of data presentation and analysis.
In order to manage the collected research data and analyze the data into tangible results the students are introduced to using data management software applications for quantitative data (SPSS) and qualitative data (QDA Minor Lite).
The purpose of this unit is to assist students in completion of their research project. In the course of the unit students work closely with their supervisor so that the progress of the research process, data analysis and interpretation are closely mentored and monitored. Further, the unit familiarizes students with various strategies of presenting qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies. The conclusion of this unit is the production and examination of dissertation of a maximum of 20,000 words. Students will also be guided how to convert their thesis into peer-reviewed journal article.
The Master of Research Methodology program is offered in blended learning mode. Students take two units a semester and complete the program in two and a half years or three years. In commencing units, students are required to participate in a two-week residential component that will usually be scheduled in June (during the semester break at the university) and in November at the end of the second semster at the University. Students are expected to have their own personal laptop and reliable internet connectivity.
Divine Word University offers excellent contemporary residential, teaching, and ICT facilities in a beautiful, safe and peaceful environment.
Applicants normally would hold a bachelor's degree, with an average grade of a credit or higher. English writing skills are a concern and applicants may be aksed to demonstrate these before being accepted.
K100 non-refundable application fee
K5000 per semester for tuition, internet access when on campus and supervisory services.
Travel, accommodation and meals are additional. Current fee for on-campus accommodation and meals is K1470 per semester (K105 per day). Day students can have morning tea and lunch on campus for a fee of K280.00 per semester.