Methods in Context

The methods in context question appears on Paper 1 of the exam and is worth 20 marks and you should spend around 30 minutes on it.

What do you need to do?

The main focus of this question is for you to demonstrate the ability to apply and analyse research methods within the context of a particular area of Education.

The key questions to think about are:

  1. What are the issues I would face if I were to conduct a study into this area of education / Crime and Deviance?
  2. How would this research method help me to overcome these issues?
  3. How would this research method hinder my investigation?

Planning your answer

When planning your answer you need to identify the research issues that apply to this area:

Not all of the research issues will be applicable to every question. For this question, you should be aiming for 3 or 4 paragraphs (not including introduction or conclusion). You will find some of the issues in the item. Make sure to clearly indicate where you have used information from the item (i.e. “as indicated in item C”).

Next, you need to link the research method to this issue, think about how the method will help to overcome this issue or how it will hinder the research.

What are the Research Considerations/Issues? 

These are the considerations that a researcher has to think about when designing their research study.

It is about the TOPIC of the research NOT the research method.



  • Context Education – Give background, definition or trend relating to the area of education.
  • Identify Research Considerations – Identify the three considerations you are discuss in this essay.
  • Context Research Method – Define the research method.
  • Identify Strengths & limitations of the RM – Identify 2 strengths of the method and 2 limitations.
  • Answer – Is this a good method to use or not?


2 Paragraphs to back up your answer, 1 Paragraph against.

  • What – Identify the research consideration you are discussing in this paragraph.
  • Explain – teach the reader why this is a consideration when studying this area of education.
  • Help / Hinder – Identify if the research method helps over come this specific research consideration or not.
  • Explain – how does the research method overcome the consideration or not?
  • Link - Restate your answer.


  • Apply – Put it where it fits.


  • Restate your answer.
  • Give your reasons.