Understanding the Tech Tree
Research points are given for crafting everything, that requires a sufficient amount of resources. It is not limited to modules. All the unlocked tech tree nodes give you both the ability to craft modules AND individual parts, which can be found in the list on the left side of the crafting window. Modules simply combine several individual parts into a single item usable in EBM.
For example, you can craft a single Small Rechargeable Battery for 7/57/15 research points, or you can craft an EBM module with 8 of these batteries, which give you 77/456/120 research points, which comes from all the parts that module is made from. IF you do the math, the amount of required resources and the number of research points is the same between those two, besides the additional Structure points given for also crafting beams, ducts, and plates present on the module. The same goes for the crating time – it takes roughly the same amount of time to craft the modules as it would if you’d craft all the components of that module separately.
All in all, the advantage of crafting the modules is that it’s just faster to queue a lot of them, but you only can sell these modules to the station’s market interface and not to other players. There’s no additional efficiency to crafting modules.