TR7P81 - MA Research Project (2023/24)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2023/24|
|Module title||MA Research Project|
|Module level||Masters (07)|
|Credit rating for module||60|
|School||Guildhall School of Business and Law|
|Total study hours||600|
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)||
The MA Research Project (Dissertation) has two options: an original-research option and a reflective option.
The original-research option provides an opportunity to undertake a research project related to the theory and/or practice and/or profession of interpreting. The independent, empirical study will demonstrate that the student has understood the relevance of the underlying theoretical debate and aim to provide a valuable contribution to that debate.
The reflective option provides an opportunity to reflect on a student’s own performance and put it in the context of a relevant and current aspect of interpreting studies. To start with, students choose an interpreting setting and decide on an assignment for their projects, either an authentic or a simulated assignment. They then undertake to research one specific aspect pertaining to the type of interpreting chosen in a review of literature. The contextualisation of the interpreting assignment and the ensuing reflective discussions of 15 selected issues will provide evidence of the student’s theoretical knowledge and professional awareness.
A postgraduate dissertation is different from other taught modules in one very important respect: whilst each student is supported by the Module Leader and by a Supervisor, the responsibility for planning and carrying out the research, and for writing the dissertation rests with the individual student.
1. You will be introduced to research methodologies and strategies specific to interpreting;
2. You will undertake a detailed investigation on a topic related to the theory, practice, business, or pedagogy of interpreting;
3. You will develop the skills necessary to plan, research and execute a research project or develop a research interest (depending whether you choose option 1 or 2)
4. You will investigate the literature on interpreting and develop from this a methodology and criteria for observation and evaluation;
5. You will identify and/or produce appropriate resources for observation and conduct a critical evaluation of interpreting performance according to the criteria specified in the methodology;
6. You will critically reflect on the relevance of the findings within the wider context of the subject field;
Prior learning requirements
Available for Study Abroad? NO
The module is delivered in blended learning mode. It starts in Spring with face to face, online classes and workshops.
At this stage, students have already engaged with research in module TR7091. They have already explored the key theorists that play an important role in the practice of interpreting and research of interpreting studies. They have understood the concept of “practisearcher” and are able to reflect on their practice in connection to their research interests. They have engaged in the literature review strategies with their previous assessment strategies in module TR7091 and are equipped to reflect on the research interest they would like to explore in this module.
To start with, students will have to reflect on the research interest or research project they would like to undertake. Students are encouraged to embrace research interests that are close to their identity, interests and practice. The module leader and staff will support and guide their journey through this choice and the final decision of the research question(s).(LO.1, LO.2, LO.5, LO.6)
By the summer, students are engaged with their supervisors.
Supervisors are allocated to students according to research interests, language, research interest and learning styles. At this stage, students have taken part in webinars and workshops on the role of the supervisor and how to organise their supervision, deadlines and writing progress. They will meet their supervisors for one to one sessions to discuss their research progress and the step by step development of their work.
Students will attend taught sessions that will explore research methodologies and methods, data collection and analysis and the final discussion element of their research. These sessions will be taught online or face to face depending on the suitability of students attendance.(LO.1; LO.2; LO.3; LO.4; LO.5; LO.6.)
Students will be encouraged to publish their work in journals or write an article in the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) magazine, or on LinkedIn (when suitable). They will also be encouraged to develop the results of their studies and present papers at conferences or during events organised at university such as CPD. (LO.6)
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
The taught sessions include 12 hours of workshops on methodologies. They will be taught on site or online depending on the preference of students to provide flexibility to students and guest speakers. The same applies to supervisions which are flexible. This blended learning approach allows some students to return to their home country during the summer period and work remotely.
Traditionally, dissertations require quite a lot of time dedicated to literature review, research methodologies and methods, data collection and analysis. These researching and writing elements make the bulk of independent studies. However, students are initially supported with optional writing collective online sessions they may wish to attend to help them feel connected to peers and encouraged in the initial steps of the researching and writing which can sometimes feel daunting for students. Students are encouraged to adopt a collective approach to writing but also to discussing their research progress so as to create a community dimension to research.
For students choosing the reflective project, there will be an additional step which is the organisation of a mock interpreting event which they will interpret. The interpretation will then be used as the original piece of work students will have to reflect on. For these students, the final mark is made of their performance during the interpreting practice and their reflective work. The work can be carried out online or face to face to suit the students and speakers of the event.
By the end of this module, students will be able to:
LO1. Specify a research proposal;
LO2. Plan an appropriate research programme;
LO3. Undertake the collection of data relevant to their research question;
LO4. Locate their research in the context of theoretical literature on interpreting and previous research in their area;
LO5. Reflect on the interface between theory and practice;
LO6. Place issues of practice in a wider theoretical perspective.
For the research option, students need to submit a 10,000 - word dissertation (excluding the abstract, references, appendices, footnotes, data copied into the text and long quotations). A 10% tolerance margin on the prescribed length will be applied in assessing the dissertation. The dissertation will be assessed according to set criteria that are provided to students.
The literature review accounts for 20% of the overall mark. It has to be relevant to the research aims and rationale. It has to be reasonably comprehensive, allowing readers to locate the research within its academic context. And finally, it has to be coherent in itself but also as a part of the overall dissertation.
The methodology will account for 10% of the overall mark. It needs to be clearly described and aligned with the research aims and rationale.
The data presentation, analysis and discussion will account for 40% of the overall mark. The analytical work on the data needs to be rigorous. The findings have to be clearly communicated to readers. The discussion needs to be relevant and linked to the research aims and rationale, and properly supported with the data analysis.
15% of the mark will be associated with other components such as the abstract, introduction, conclusion and appendices.
Finally, the last 15% of the mark will be dedicated to language, presentation and referencing.
In the case of reflective-option dissertation, students must choose and submit 20 minutes of interpreting performance which will be assessed with the same criteria as other practice- based modules in the course. The practice- based performance will account for 20% of the final mark.
A literature review will be included and account for 20% of the overall mark. It will need to be relevant to the chosen focus of the reflective analysis. it will need to be reasonably comprehensive, allowing readers to locate the research within its academic context. It has to be coherent in itself but also as a part of the overall dissertation.
The reflective option dissertation will present the description, analysis and reflective discussions of 15 issues in the interpreting performance (will account for 25% of the overall mark). The analytical work on the data needs to be rigorous; the analysis needs to be communicated clearly to readers. The reflective discussion will be relevant to the chosen focus, properly supported and valuable to the student as an interpreting practitioner.
The other components such as the abstract, introduction, methodology (contextualisation), conclusion, appendices (will account for 20% of the overall mark) and need to be useful to readers.
Finally, the language, presentation and referencing will account for 15% of the overall mark.