Module ICL-2006:
Research Methods & Study Skill

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr David Edward Perkins

Overall aims and purpose

The module aims to enable students to apply a range of research skills appropriate to study of Computing. Through a practice dissertation, the module will prepare them for either further studies at Level 6 or career related research.

It will require students to demonstrate enhanced skills in academic writing and information research and to apply a range of valid research methodologies and instruments. Students will also develop an understanding of professional ethics and learn how to give consideration to the importance of ethics in research.

In addition, the module will focus upon the construction of convincing arguments through the application of valid research, analysis and evaluation.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

● Research skills appropriate to the chosen discipline.

● Academic writing and information research, to include reviewing literature, critical evaluation and analysis.

● Research methodologies and instruments relevant to the chosen research area including devising and refining a research question, qualitative and quantitative research methods such as questionnaires, focus groups and interviews.

● Consideration to the notion of the importance of ethics in research, in particular the notion of ‘informed consent’ and how ethical guidelines need to be considered and thought through in relation to the whole research process.

● Possible impact of legal considerations on aspects such as the selection of research topic, the research methodology and the reporting of results.

● The construction of convincing arguments, using academic language skills including how to analyse and interpret academic literature and the presentation of work using appropriate academic language and structures.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Equivalent to 40%. 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.

good

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.

excellent

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.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate enhanced skills in academic writing and information research.

  2. Apply a range of valid research methodologies and instruments.

  3. Develop an understanding of ethics and give consideration to the notion of the importance of ethics in research

  4. Apply a range of research skills appropriately within a chosen discipline.

  5. Construct convincing arguments.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Individual Report

Individual written assignment to demonstrate academic writing and argument that enables students to apply a range of research skills appropriately within a chosen discipline.

The practice dissertation will demonstrate enhanced skills in academic writing and information research applying a range of research methodologies, developing an understanding of ethics whilst giving consideration to the notion of the importance of ethics in research and incrementing and formulating a convincing argument within a research outline.

100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Work-based learning

20 of the 200 notional learning hours undertaken in the workplace - 20 hours theory.

Relevant theoretical material is delivered using a blend of online material via Moodle, tutor visits to the workplace and employer input/support.

Assignments for this module aim to link theory to real employment situations and to encourage reflective practice.

20
Work-based learning

180 of the 200 notional learning hours undertaken in the workplace - 180 hours tutor/employer directed student learning.

Relevant theoretical material is delivered using a blend of online material via Moodle, tutor visits to the workplace and employer input/support.

Assignments for this module aim to link theory to real employment situations and to encourage reflective practice.

180

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
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • 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

  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Recognise legal, social, ethical & professional issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic issues
  • Knowledge of management techniques to achieve objectives
  • Knowledge of information security issues
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles
  • Principles of appropriate supporting engineering and scientific disciplines

Resources

Reading list

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M., 2010. How to Research. 4 th ed . Buckingham. Open University Press.

Cottrell, S., 2014. Dissertations and Project Reports: A Step by Step Guide . Basingstoke, Palgrave.

Dawson, C., 2009 Introduction to Research Methods: A practical guide for anyone undertaking a research project , Oxford, How To Books

Kumar, R., 2010. Research Methodology: A Step by Step Guide for Beginners . London. Sage Publications.

Swetnam, D. and Swetnam, R., 2009. Writing your Dissertation, 3 rd ed, Oxford, How To Books

Courses including this module