Research is searching carefully, with a method, so that you can answer a question. It is wider than finding out a fact and more focused than reading widely around a subject.

Research is a process of investigation. It is an examination of a subject or area from different points of view. It's not just a trip to the library to pick up a stack of materials, or picking the first five hits from a computer search. It is getting to know a subject or area by reading up on it, reflecting, choosing the areas that are most relevant and following up on them.

Research standards

Evidence must clearly show that the learner can:


Design a research study

1.1 Identify possible topics for research

1.2 Choose one topic, identifying appropriate objectives for detailed research, and plan how to carry out the research

1.3 Select a variety of resources to gather relevant information and identify appropriate methods and techniques to carry out the research


Conduct data collection and analysis

2.1 Collect data using the appropriate methods to test the hypotheses/theories

2.2. Carry out an appropriate analysis of the data

2.3  Draw appropriate conclusions that are supported by the evidence from the data analysis


Present findings of the research and evaluate the research activities

3.1 Prepare and present results of research

3.2 Present the information in a clear and appropriate format  adapted to the needs of the audience

3.3 Seek feedback and use it to support own evaluation of research skills

Required evidence

  • PLAN (1) – to be completed by the learner
  • DO (2) – to be completed by the assessor
  • REVIEW (3) – to be completed by the assessor
  • Results of research

Learner Guidance

The learner should demonstrate they can:

  • identify clear and appropriate objectives for the research study.
  • plan and carry out research activities with the particular objectives in mind.
  • design their research study in a systematic way.
  • present their findings as well as evaluating their research skills and activities.
  • be clear about the objectives of the research study, eg to assess the positive and negative impact of digital photography on sports journalism to predict future trends.
  • identify sources, methods and strategies they plan to use to investigate the topic.
  • carry out the research within a clearly defined structure, with a  measure of complexity that should be reflected in the breadth and nature of the research objectives.
  • undertaken, the analysis required to make the best use of information/data and the requirement to give a clear justification for their conclusions.
  • make different research methodologies.

Activities must always be contextualised within the core subject content, and should not be simulated.


The learner should explore:

  • a variety of possible topics to research and should spend time deciding on clear and measurable objectives when designing their research study.
  • objectives and discuss and agreed them with a tutor or supervisor.
  • a wide variety of sources when gathering their information.
  • the use of at least three different types of resource.
  • one source that is primary (gathered by the learner), eg, interview, questionnaire, survey, rather than from secondary eg encyclopaedia, interpretations of original material.

The learner should produce a plan detailing how they will carry out the research.


The learner should:

  • keep a record of the sources used.
  • independently collect information including data.
  • analyse information collected and identify information and data most relevant to their research objectives.


When presenting their findings, learners should:

  • use a format that is most appropriate to the content in terms of audiences, subject matter and research objectives.
  • communicate research findings clearly.
  • seek feedback from appropriate people.
  • show how they have used this feedback to help evaluate their research skills.
  • evaluate their research activities addressing all aspects including identifying the research objectives, collecting and analysing data and /or information, and recording, presenting and explaining findings.

Tutor Guidance

  • Tutor should agree research objectives with learner
  • Check that different types of resource have been used.