Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module ICE-4003:
Research Methods & Study Skill

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Beata Kupiec-Teahan

Overall aims and purpose

To equip students with skills required for completing their MSc project and subsequently to enable them to carry out independent research in the course of their professional carrier. The module therefore aims to provide principles of secondary and primary research design; planning and execution of research activities and enable students to critically review results of their investigations in a given context.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • Research theory basics: paradigms, domains and approaches.
  • Contextualisation of Research Methods in relation to MSc project scope.
  • Research process: design, planning, and implementation.
  • Coping with information overload, selection of secondary sources, their critical evaluation and role in independent research. Structuring literature review to inform theoretical framework and justify selection of methodology.
  • Research rationale; setting research objectives and developing hypotheses.
  • Primary data collection methods.
  • Statistical principles of data analysis.
  • Summarising results and arriving to meaningful conclusions.
  • Preparing research proposals.
  • Professional, legal, social, cultural and ethical issues related to computing and an awareness of societal and environmental impact of research projects.

Assessment Criteria


Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.


Equivalent to 50%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.


Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.

Learning outcomes

  1. Devise research objectives, develop research design and plan research activities.

  2. Appreciate professional, legal, social, cultural and ethical issues.

  3. Prepare a literature review; write a short research summary underpinning project rationale.

  4. Critically analyse and select from appropriate research methodologies.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Team Work - research rationale, question and objectives. 30
Methodology proposal 30
Research Methods Case Study 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Group Project

Independent group work with allocated members' tasks.


Brainstorming workshop and presentatiion of group work.

Private study

Preparation for open book exam.


Traditional lectures (2 hrs x 10 weeks).

Individual Project

Individually written methodology proposal.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Identify emerging technologies and technology trends;
  • Apply an understanding and appreciation of continuous improvement techniques
  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Plan, budget, organise and manage people and resources;
  • Agree objectives and work plans with individuals;
  • Appreciate the importance of designing products with due regard to good laboratory practice, health and safety considerations and ethical issues.
  • Access and synthesize information and literature sources;
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Communicate proposals persuasively and respond positively to feedback;
  • Analyse and display data using appropriate methods and mathematical techniques;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of current advances and contemporary approaches in the discipline and have strategies for keeping that awareness current;
  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Recognise legal, social, ethical & professional issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of mathematical principles
  • Knowledge of management techniques to achieve objectives
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles

Courses including this module