module specification

GI6P51 - Project 1 Semester (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Project 1 Semester
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
 
10 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
140 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 15%   Report 1,000 words
Dissertation 85%   Dissertation 5,000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Spring semester North - Afternoon

Module summary

For this module students must design a research project relevant to their PIR degree programme, undertake the relevant research and write up the findings in a dissertation. They also write a report on the research process.

Research Skills and Employability will be an on-going theme throughout the module.

Module aims

This module providing an advanced research element for PIR undergraduate courses aims to:

  • enable the student to demonstrate an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, and be able to apply analytical techniques and problem solving and project management skills.
  • enable the student to synthesise skills and knowledge and apply them successfully to complex issues.
  • provide an opportunity to design a research project relevant to their degree.
  • allow the student to utilise research and analytical skills acquired during their programme of studies.
  • enable the student to undertake relevant research and write up findings in dissertation form.
  • allow the student to learn about and reflect upon the research process.
     

Syllabus

Students will receive guidance in topic selection and research investigation in lectures/workshops, and personal tutorials with their supervisor. There will, be a series of Lectures/ Workshops the purpose of which will be to provide guidelines on Project Writing, Choosing Topics, Researching and Presenting Work: Registration Form; Your Supervisor; Preparation; Organisation of Materials; Collecting Information; Methodology; Schedules and Deadlines; Reflective Report; Research Proposal; The Supervisor’s Role; Presentation and Writing; Bibliographies and Referencing; Quotations; Avoiding Plagiarism; Guide to Electronic Resources; The Internet; Databases; Guide to other Library Resources; Summary; Guidelines for assessment; Final Registration of Titles; Return of your registration form and research proposal.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through lectures/workshops and personal supervision. There will be a blended approach to learning so that contact time with academic staff is complemented by a range of on-line resources, particularly delivered by using Weblearn. In completing the Project Students are expected to develop skills to enable them to: Select and define a topic of research; Produce a research plan; Display analytical capability; Work on their own under the guidance of a supervisor; Understand how to conduct research at undergraduate honours level - this may involve: Searching for, consulting and organising Primary and Secondary Source Material; Making Notes; Submitting properly referenced work in accordance with academic standards; Discovering the potential and limitations of the Internet; Write up a dissertation that is a coherent academic study. 15% of the assessment on the module is allocated to a report that the student produces on the research process and their experiences thereof. Students keep a record of their research activity as their project progresses. They set themselves some realistic learning aims and objectives for the research and agree these with their supervisor in advance. They draw the analysis together thematically producing a set of learning outcomes and comparing them with original goals in the final report.
 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Identify, formulate, analyse and make proposals for solving a problem, making use of complex knowledge and project management skills and effective communication skills.
  2. Demonstrate synthesis and application of problem solving skills.
  3. Develop a final profile of personal/professional attributes within the context of qualities and transferable skills, including self evaluation, necessary for employment and further study or professional development.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to work independently under the guidance of a tutor.
  5. Understand how to conduct research at an advanced undergraduate level.
  6. Reflect upon the research process in a report.

Assessment strategy

The final dissertation carries 85% of the mark, but the assessment strategy is also based upon recognition of the fact that the research process is a crucial element in the work, which also plays an important role in personal development as a researcher. This constitutes a PDP-related task and the project includes a report on the research process. This counts for 15% of the total mark.
Students have to register their initial research interests in week 2 of the semester of commencement.
They finalise their area of research, are allocated a supervisor and provide a 500-word research proposal by week 4, with opportunities for diagnostic formative feedback.
They also adhere to a learning agreement with their supervisor to ensure regular meetings.
The word-processed summative dissertation and report must be submitted separately electronically via Turnitin.

Bibliography

Bell, Judith, Doing your research project. A guide to first-time researchers in education and social science, Buckingham, Open University Press, Third edition, 1999.
Berry, Ralph, The research project: How to write it, London, Routledge, Third Edition, 1994.
Bouma, Gary D. and Atkinson, G.B.J., A handbook of social science research, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Second Edition, 1995.
Bryman, A., Social Research Methods, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Second Edition, 2004.
Burnham, P., Gill, K., Grant, W. and Layton-Henry, Z., Research Methods in Politics, Basingstoke, Palgrave, Second Edition, 2008.
Davies, Martin Brett, Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Greetham, B., How to Write your Undergraduate Dissertation, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2009.
Grix, Jonathan, The Foundations of Research, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
Harrison, L., Political Research: An Introduction, London, Routledge, 2001.
Hart, Chris, Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination, London, Sage, 2001.
Marsh, David & Stoker, Gerry, Theory and Methods in Political Science, London, Macmillan, Second Edition, 2002.
Marsh, David & Stoker, Gerry, Theory and Methods in Political Science, London, Palgrave Macmillan, Third Edition, 2010.
Mounsey, Chris, Essays and Dissertations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002.
Pennings, P. et al., Doing Research in Political Science: An Introduction to Comparative Methods and Statistics, London, Sage, Second Edition, 2006.
Preece, Roy, Starting research: An introduction to academic research and dissertation writing, London, Pinter, 1994.
Rudestam, K.E. and Newton, R.R., Surviving your dissertation: A comprehensive guide to content and process, Newbury Park, Sage, 1992.
Silbergh, D.M., Doing Dissertations in Politics: A Student Guide, London, Routledge, 2001.
Wisker, G., The Undergraduate Research Handbook, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2009.