Module UXS-3092:
Dissertation - Action Research

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Steffan Thomas

Overall aims and purpose

This module consists of two parts, a research methods component in the autumn semester which is assessed by means of a 2,000-word research response to the company brief, and a period of supervised research culminating in the submission of a 10,000-word written report or equivalent industrial case study portfolio.

Course content

This module provides students with an opportunity to study the skills and methodologies necessary to the production of a piece of critical research and/or research by practice, and to carry out a sustained research project with the support of an individual supervisor within the context of an industrial partner's brief.

Students will be expected to provide the company partner themselves, (rather than be assigned one by the school)

Students will provide an initial, one-page response to the company brief in the Spring of their second year after registering for the dissertation and gaining an industrial partner. A supervisor will be assigned to the student based on this proposal.

During the first semester ten hours of research methods workshops will be held, at the end of which students will be expected to complete an extended research response. Topics to be covered in semester 1 include:

  • management of a research project and expectations

  • how to formulate a research question

  • research methods for the Arts and Humanities

  • research ethics

  • research-led practice and practice-led research

  • writing and communication skills for academics and stakeholders

  • archival and digital research

  • writing a dissertation proposal

  • structuring a dissertation

Students will meet with their supervisor on a regular basis during the two semesters. Final thesis or industrial portfolios will be submitted at the end of Semester 2.

Assessment Criteria

good

C- to B+

Submitted work is competent throughout and may be distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It:

  1. Demonstrates good or very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  2. Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

threshold

D- to D+

Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  1. Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.
  2. Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  3. Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.
  4. Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

excellent

A- to A*

Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Has originality of exposition with the student’s own thinking being readily apparent.
  2. Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.
  3. Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

Learning outcomes

  1. LO1: Apply a range of study skills and methodologies appropriate to research in the Arts and Humanities.

  2. LO3: Embed a substantial piece of academic or practice-based research within an appropriate set of cultural, social, institutional, economic and/or critical frameworks.

  3. LO4: Work independently to deadline over a sustained period of time.

  4. LO5: Develop a relationship with an industrial partner, gaining industry insights and enhancing your future employment skills.

  5. LO2: Define a coherent research question, and design and implement a programme of study to investigate this question.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Dissertation 90
Research Progress Log & Deliverables 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

1 x 2 hour lecture per week for the first five weeks of autumn semester

10
Individual Project

Work with industry partner to complete dissertation project.

380
 

Supervision: 10 hours of contact periods with supervisor over the course of the two semesters

10

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  1. The ability to engage critically with major thinkers, debates and intellectual paradigms within the field and apply them to specific use (5.2).
  2. The development of substantive and detailed knowledge and understanding in one or more designated areas of the field (5.2).
  3. The ability to carry out sustained independent enquiry in response to an identified need (5.3).
  4. The ability to formulate appropriate research questions and employ appropriate methods and resources for exploring those questions (5.3).
  5. The ability to evaluate and draw upon the range of sources and the conceptual frameworks appropriate to research in the chosen area (5.3).
  6. The ability to draw on research models enabled or underpinned by emergent technologies (5.3).
  7. The ability to explore matters that may be new and emerging, drawing upon a variety of personal skills and upon a variety of academic and non-academic sources (5.3).
  8. The ability to work in flexible, creative and independent ways, showing self-discipline, self-direction and reflexivity (6.1).
  9. The ability to retrieve and generate information, and evaluate sources, in carrying out independent research (6.1).
  10. The ability to communicate effectively in interpersonal settings, in writing and in a variety of media in response to a variety of stakeholder requirements (6.1).
  11. The ability to put to use a range of information communication technology (ICT) skills from basic competences such as data analysis and word-processing to more complex skills using web-based technology or multimedia, and develop, as appropriate, specific proficiencies in utilising a range of media technologies (6.1)
  12. The ability to organise and manage supervised, self-directed projects (6.1).

Resources

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: