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Introduction to Research Methods in Education

Introduction to Research Methods in Education

Second Edition
Additional resources:

November 2014 | 448 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Based on Keith Punch’s bestselling Introduction to Social Research Methods, this book introduces the research process in a range of educational contexts.  In this updated second edition, you’ll find guidance on every stage of research, with chapters on developing research questions, doing a literature review, collecting data, analysing your findings and writing it all up.


With a new chapter on ethics and additional coverage of Internet research and mixing methods, the second edition contains everything you’ll need if you’re  studying on a research methods course or doing a research project for yourself.


Introduction to Research Methods in Education provides you with:

  • Balanced coverage of the range of methods employed by educational researchers
  • Practical advice on collecting and analysing qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods data
  • A range of examples from student projects to show how research is done in real-life educational settings
  • A companion website with additional resources for lecturers and students.

Keith F Punch
is Emeritus Professor in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Western Australia.
Alis Oancea is Professor of Philosophy of Education and Research Policy, as well as Director of Research at the University of Oxford, Department of Education. 

Theory and Method in Education Research
The Contexts for Education Research
Ethics in Educational Research
Research Questions
From Research Questions to Data
Literature Searching and Reviewing
Qualitative Research Design
Collecting Qualitative Data
The Analysis of Qualitative Data
Quantitative Research Design
Collecting Quantitative Data
The Analysis of Quantitative Data
Mixed Methods Research
Research Writing

Useful as an introduction to research methods and ways forward in research proposals

Faculty Of Education (Ormskirk), Edge Hill University
June 14, 2023

A comprehensive book, but prefer the Punch Social Science Research Methods rather than this Education focused one.

Mrs Elizabeth Roberts
Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Science, Harper Adams University
July 15, 2020

A good level of detail in each section and is presented in an accessible format

Mrs Annabel Yale
Social and Psychological Science, Edge Hill University
February 3, 2020

Great book developing the foundations to research methods is a must for students.

Miss Natasha Hassan
Dept of Education, Bolton University
January 14, 2018

Very comprehensive, with overarching principles that cohere with my module.

Dr Pamela Woolner
Education, Newcastle University
August 11, 2016

Useful chapters on the literature review and developing research questions. The section on methodological theory will be particularly helpful to students who are designing their first project.

Mrs Zoe Lewis
Education, Birmingham City University
April 9, 2016

The use of key terms and example boxes really helps students work their way to successful completion of their dissertations.

Dr Douglas Chalmers
Cultural Business, Glasgow Caledonian University
March 23, 2016

Building on the first edition, this text provides really useful guidance for all sorts of educational research studies. We've recommended it to our PGCE student teachers, but it has plenty of useful advice for more experienced researchers as well. The new chapter on ethics is particularly useful and I have drawn on that to help with guidance about doing research in schools.

Dr Sue Howarth
Institute of Education, University of Worcester
March 23, 2016

A key text for all those who wish to engage in Educational Research. A very comprehensive and accessible text.

Mrs Liana Beattie
Faculty of Education (Ormskirk), Edge Hill University
December 9, 2015

Used for doctorate research purposes

Ms Fionnuala Darby
Dept of Business, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
January 29, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch 1. Introduction

Keith F Punch

Alis Oancea

Alis is Professor of Philosophy of Education and Research Policy, as well as Director of Research at the University of Oxford, Department of Education. She specialises in philosophy of research, including work on contemporary issues in knowledge management and knowledge exchange, and in research policy and governance, including research evaluation. She also has strong interests in higher education, contemporary challenges for philosophy of education, and science and technology studies. More About Author