Writting your research methods before you conduct any experimentation is hard enough if you don’t know the difference between methods and methodology. I struggled with these notions(still kinda am) but for my own reference, there are a few underpinning characteristics that seperate research methods from a methodology.

Research methods

Research methods are the methods you use to conduct experimentation/research within your field of study. Research methods may include: interviews, structured experiments, focus groups, surveys, questionaires etc..


The methodology describes the broad philosophical underpinning to your chosen research methods, including whether you are using qualitative or quantitative methods, or a mixture of both, and why.

The methodology should be linked back to the literature to explain why you are using certain methods, and the academic basis of your choice.

If you are submitting as a single thesis, then the Methodology should explain what you did, with any refinements that you made as your work progressed. Again, it should have a clear academic justification of all the choices that you made and be linked back to the literature. In my case I have also linked the methodology to my ethics section. There is no hard and fast rules to say you can’t do this.

Plainly stated

As plainly stated by: http://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/dissertation-methodology.html#ixzz4Bt4ZXA6Q

” You should be clear about the academic basis for all the choices of research methods that you have made. ‘I was interested’ or ‘I thought…’ is not enough; there must be good academic reasons for your choice.”