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  • Writer's pictureRitchard Allaway

17/05/21 - Method and Methodology

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

‘What’ before ‘why’ – (Denscombe 2010)

In all honesty, this was the one section of my research proposal I was stuck on....

'What the hell is the difference between method and methodology?'

I think I lost count on the amount of times I asked myself this because (as what anyone would do) my internet search findings never gave a clear description. I could not fathom A. why no one could give a clear explanation for the two and B. why is it so complicated to just simply state the difference?

Obviously I did find out (or I would be not sat here writing a PhD blog) but this morning I took part in some research training that was provided by the University of Bradford and delivered by Dr Russell Delderfield. It was a two hour long session which asked for participation in the form of zoom chat answers and this set the tone as a friendly, participatory, thought provoking seminar. My intention for this session was for me to be given clear, academically verified, detailed description of what the difference is between 'method' and 'methodology'. I was wanting reassurance and that was delivered to me via this seminar.

Below I have copied my notes into this body so that if you were confused like me, maybe this will help.

Methods = Critical & descriptive

Methodology = Critical & Persuasive


- Close description of data collection and analysis and related instrumentation

- Any relationships between collection and justification

- Reliability = validity


- The why stuff?

- Theoretical foundation of how something will work.

- How this worked for your study

- Influence of research question and analysis

- Interrelationships between researched and researcher

What was also useful was knowing how to determine the first steps of the methodology of your research.

-What is being studied?

- Past events?

- Texts?

- People?

- Physical or meta-physical material?

What assumptions are you making?

- What contributes reality?

- What can be investigated?

- How can the problem be resolved?

What does your question or hypothesis require?

- Exploration

- Proof

Book recommendation - An Introduction to the philosophy of Methodology’ – Kerry E Howell

- Justifies methods – theorises methods

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