ADVANCED (GRADUATE) CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

In the current knowledge economy and information age, and as organizations recognize the growing need for research on which key policy and strategic decisions are based, the demand for social, market, and marketing research has increased substantially. The Research Analyst graduate certificate program focuses on the theoretical, practical, and ethical underpinnings of research, while equipping you with the statistical, technical and professional skills necessary to do applied research in a variety of different settings throughout the public and private sectors.  In this program, you will focus on all the major aspects of the research process including research design, information retrieval and evaluation, data collection, analysis and interpretation, and the preparation and presentation of research findings.

Special features of the program include an emphasis on professional, ethical and legal implications when designing research studies, new research technologies for data collection, analysis, presentation, proposal writing, research entrepreneurship, project management, and program evaluation. This program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and professionalism necessary to conduct applied research in sectors such as marketing, tourism, media, government, public affairs, education, health, non-profit and social service agencies. The program provides students with hands-on experience and focuses on the entire research process. Students will formulate research questions, develop research designs, collect information from primary and secondary sources, perform data analysis, interpret results, communicate findings, and develop strategic recommendations. Additional features of the program include an emphasis on traditional and emerging qualitative and quantitative methodologies, the use of technology, effective communication processes, and adherence to professional and ethical standards.
   
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Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Program, graduates will be able to:

  • Retrieve, process, and present market research information and findings using current online and stand-alone information technology tools.
  • Conduct social and market research with a high degree of accuracy and reliability, which can inform major organizational and business decisions.
  • Write documentation to collect, and support the collection, of data for social and market research projects.
  • Interpret qualitative and quantitative research through the analysis and presentation of empirical data to meet the needs and objectives of the client.
  • Ensure that all analysis of numerical and text data is consistent with the appropriate principles of descriptive statistics and techniques of statistical inference.
  • Design and implement research projects for international and domestic populations with varied cultural and linguistic demographic profiles.
  • Formulate plans for social and market research that will meet the needs of the client and follow all theoretical, practical, ethical, and legal guidelines related to the collection of data and the privacy of personal information.
  • Design and implement research projects that address the unique characteristics of public, private or not-for-profit organizations.
  • Prepare applications for the research ethical review board in an effective manner.
  • Complete all work in accordance with ethical, legislative, and professional requirements and standards.

   
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Instructional Activities, Design and Delivery Mode

Complementary to the learning outcomes, graduates of the Research Analyst Program will have a sense of confidence and competence that enables them to function effectively in a research setting by demonstrating many of the following skills and aptitudes: intellectual curiosity, critical inquiry, problem solving, creativity, initiative, practical experience, negotiation, professionalism, team work and leadership.

Evaluation of Student Learning

Evaluation of student learning is based on completion of course assignments or projects. Due dates and criteria for successful completion of each course assignment will be outlined by the instructor at the beginning of each course.
   
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Courses and Outlines

Course NameCourse CodeCourse LevelCourse IDCourse CreditCourse Outline
Project Management for Research AnalystMASR-RAN1MASR-RAN-0013A successful employee is a team player who is motivated in any organizational environment. Principles, tools, and techniques of effective research project management are covered in this course, through the use of readings, experiential exercises, and case studies. Students actively explore and experience individual, group and organizational processes.
Survey Design and Analysis for Research AnalystMASR-SDA1MASR-SDA-0013We are surveyed repeatedly about our opinions, behaviour and future intentions. Survey research is examined and techniques for its application in a variety of applied situations are developed. Students apply the theory of sampling, questionnaire design and data collection for a variety of decision making situations.
Tools and Techniques for Research AnalystMASR-TTR1MASR-TTR-0013n this course, students are exposed to a range of market and social research tools and techniques. Students are introduced to specialized technologies used for market and social research purposes, and learn about specific market and social research techniques such as customer segmentation, brand perception, sentiment analysis, stakeholder analysis, results-based performance measurement, return on investment, and program evaluation.
Professional Writing EssentialsMASR-PWE1MASR-PWE-0013In this course, students are introduced to the scope and function of writing for different audiences and purposes and the role of the technical communicator as an ethical professional. Through a combination of lectures, practical writing, and lab activities, students learn how to communicate technical information using a variety of text-based and web tools. Students learn concepts, techniques, and writing styles applicable to the technical field.
Statistical Analysis FundamentalsMASR-SAF1MASR-SAF-0013In this course, students are introduced to the methods used to present and describe information as well as some ability to draw conclusions about populations of data based on samples. The selection and use of summary values such as measures of central tendency and measures of variation are examined, as well as some inferential statistical techniques. Students are also introduced to a specialized statistical software package and how it can be used to summarize and analyze data.
Professional Writing AdvancedMASR-WAD1MASR-WAD-0013Students build on the techniques covered in Professional Writing 1, using research and project planning to support their writing skills as they undertake a sustained writing task. Students manage the writing and editing process from initiation to final draft, using appropriate technology.
Proposal and Grant WritingMASR-GWR1MASR-GWR-0013Successful grant proposals are those that have been researched and specifically targeted to each respective funder. This course provides students with the opportunity to critically examine the granting process. Students investigate and practice grant research strategies, and explore methods for building relationships with potential grant funders. Students apply fundamental elements of effective proposal writing in response to grant applications, and discuss evaluation of the proposal writing process.
Report Writing & Presentation SkillsMASR-RPS1MASR-RPS-0013Students prepare for their professional lives by learning how to apply effective writing and speaking skills to the challenging area of business reporting and presentations. Develop effective business communication skills - research, writing, analyzing and speaking - to use in the challenging task of business reporting. Working individually, each student has the opportunity to conduct research into a business problem and create a formal report through the various stages from problem statement to professionally bound formal report.
Qualitative Research AnalysisMASR-QRA1MASR-QRA-0013In this course, students focus on non-empirical methods of data gathering and on descriptive and explanatory levels of data analysis. The data gathering techniques to be studied include in-depth interviews, focus groups, case studies, field observations, literature reviews and historical research methods. Students apply these qualitative methods by means of case studies, field experiences and class research projects.
Professional Workplace CommunicationsMASR-PWC1MASR-PWC-0013In this course, students develop workplace communications skills for a professional research environment. Topics covered include effective stakeholder communications and management, cultural competency, emotional intelligence, negotiation, conflict resolution, and appropriate use of electronic communications (e.g., text messaging, email, and social media). Students learn about how to interact and manage relationships with clients, vendors, managers, team members, and other stakeholders.
Statistical Procedures - AdvancedMASR-SPA2MASR-SPA-0023Building on the inferential statistical techniques introduced in the Fundamentals of Statistics course, students are introduced to the use of some advanced parametric hypothesis tests (such as analysis of variance) and non-parametric tests. Multiple regression analysis and multiple comparison techniques are also studied. Students develop the ability to recognize the appropriate statistical test for a given situation.
Population and Demography for Research AnalystMASR-PDR2MASR-PDR-0023In this course, students are provided with knowledge and skills to analyze the demographic composition of population, as well as the causes and consequences of population change. The emphasis is placed on conducting trend analysis and examining the relationships between social, economic, and demographic trends, by utilization of Statistics Canada information and Canadian Census Statistics. The demographic applications used in research studies for descriptive and analytical purposes are explored.
Spreadsheet & Data ManipulationsMASR-SDA2MASR-SDA-0023In this course, students are presented with a full range of data analysis and summary techniques using spreadsheet software. Basics to be covered include cell addressing, entering data and formulas, and relative versus absolute addressing. Drawing on their statistical knowledge, students produce common research data analyses, including histograms, measures of central tendency and variation, comparison of means, correlations and pivot tables. Students organize and present their results using summary tables and charts.
Data Evaluation, Integration and ReportingMASR-DIR2MASR-DIR-0023Organizations often have access to multiple forms of data that can help to inform decisions. This course is designed to assist students in critically evaluating and appropriately integrating evidence from different forms of primary and secondary sources (e.g., customer databases, industry statistics, big data, social media analytics, academic and trade journal articles, and in-depth interviews), and reporting the results of these analyses in formats such as data quality assessments, outcome metrics, benchmark scorecards, infographics, and executive briefings.
Major Research ProjectMASR-MRP2MASR-MRP-0023Building upon the theory and skills from Semester 1, students plan and execute a custom research study of their choice. For the project, students can employ either qualitative or quantitative methods introduced in Semester 1. Students concentrate on the entire research process, particularly data collection, analysis, and communication of the research findings. In addition, students gain experience with the application of project management principles, tools, and techniques. The work includes the design of work plans, time and budget planning, and monitoring and evaluating the work progress and results.
Research Analyst InternshipMASR-RAI2MASR-RAI-0020Students complete a minimum of 240 hours in an approved professional setting, performing a number of competencies to allow opportunities to demonstrate ability in the field.
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