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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

This module prepares HPSS students for their final year of study, equipping them to decide whether to pursue a Final Year Project or follow an alternative taught assessment. It will provide generic training in the principles of research design, and introduce a selection of appropriate methods of research in the humanities and social sciences. The primary aim of the module is to enable students to select and identify a research topic, to develop research questions, to prepare a research proposal, and to plan a substantial piece of individual research. The module complements and extends training in academic literacy for HPSS students, providing advanced training in study skills with a particular focus on research.


Principles of Research Design; Primary and Secondary Data; Case Studies; Archival Research; Literature Reviews; Writing a Research Proposal; Time-Management; Compiling a Bibliography; Communicating Research Findings Effectively.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

1. Select a research topic and develop an appropriate research question(s); 2. Identify the appropriate tools and methods to carry out this research project; 3. Distinguish qualitative and quantitative research methods; 4. Develop the appropriate writing skills to produce a research proposal; 5. Organise source material as appropriate for the research question.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

1. Demonstrate an appreciation of the ethical issues associated with undertaking a research project.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)


How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

The module will be taught by a combination of faculty-led lectures and semi-structured peer-learning sessions, during which participants will prepare a research proposal, including a literature review, and discuss their plans in small groups.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Leedy, P.D. and Ormond, J.E. (2005) Practical Research: Planning and Design (8th Ed.) , New Jersey: Pearson Education
Bryman, A. (2004) Social Research Methods , Oxford, Oxford University Press
Kane, E. and de Brun (2001) Doing Your Own Research , London, Marion Boyars

Other Relevant Texts:

Davies, M. B. (2007) a Successful Research Project: using qualitative or quantitative methods , Basingstoke, Palgrave
Clough, P and Nutbrown, C (2002) A Student's Guide to Methodology: Justifying Enquiry , London, Sage
Gray, D. (2004) Doing Research in the Real World , London, Sage
Howard, Sharp and Peters (2002) The Management of a Student Research Project, , Aldershot, Gower
Walliman, N. and Baiche, B. (2001) Your Research Project: A step-by-step guide for the first-time researcher , London, Sage

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Spring - 09/10

Module Leader: