Module: Research Project

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Dr Richard Baines
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    600 hours
  • Contact hrs

    35 hours

Module content

This module addresses the research process (ethics, supervision, formulation of enquiry, critical review, research hypothesis, research strategy and methodologies, reflection and report writing) through a series of research workshops on defining research and on quantitative and qualitative methods. Thereafter the independent research programme is carried out with supervisory support.

Note 1:

The review paper is intended to progress the student’s enquiry beyond that of a simple literature review and is expected to include some research such as institutional evaluation, evaluation of development paradigms and policy evaluation (from international conventions and country profiles to local community levels) for example.

The research paper builds on the review by seeking to address knowledge gaps identified or could focus general relationships at the country/community/institution specific levels. It is also likely that the research paper will include recommendations for changes in specific policies, programmes, plans or projects including the application of new or revised development paradigms.

The synopsis summarises the research process and links the methodologies and findings of the review and research papers. It concludes with the author’s declaration.

Note 2:

The independent research enquiry is defined by the following:

  • The specialist pathway (focus modules)
  • Any scholarship award (if applicable).

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Develop a Master’s level research enquiry from initial objectives and a review paper, through the research phase to the research paper and synopsis.
  2. Defend the research proposal, strategy and findings.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Data analysis and report writing exercises Defining research enquiry - defended in front of research panel
Coursework Review paper in specified journal format. (6,000 words) 35%
Coursework Research paper in specified journal format (6,000 words). 60%
Coursework Synopsis of research (3 pages max including authors declaration) 5%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of at least one of the following:

  • Bennett, J. and Birol, E. (eds.) (2010). Choice Experiments in Developing Countries: Implementation, Challenges and Policy Implications. Edward Elgar.
  • Brockbank, A. and McGill, I. (2004) The Action Learning Handbook: Powerful Techniques for Education, Professional Development and Training. Routledge Falmer.
  • Denscombe, M. (1998). The Good Research Guide - For Small-scale Social Research Projects. Oxford University Press.
  • Swetnam, D. (2000). Writing your Dissertation: How to Plan, Prepare and Present Successful Work. Oxford.
  • Thiessen, H. (1997). Measuring the Real World. A Textbook of Applied Statistical Methods. Wiley and Sons.
  • Thomas, R.M. (2003). Blending Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods in Theses and Dissertations. Corwin Press.
  • World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development. Notes to Authors (used as model for research papers, ).
  • Yin, R.K. (2003). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. (3rd edition). Sage Publications. (Applied social research methods, 5).