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Module LXM-4002:
Research Methods

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Eva Bru-Dominguez

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To provide a practical training base for students undertaking postgraduate research in Modern Languages & Cultures.
  2. To facilitate a theoretical understanding of the nature of research.
  3. To enable students to evaluate and apply appropriate methodologies.
  4. To provide students with training in analysing and presenting information clearly and coherently.
  5. To enable students to manage their own research projects.

Course content

This module will prepare students for research in the field of modern languages, and help them to develop both a theoretical understanding of the research process and practical skills in how to carry out and present research. Students will learn how to locate sources using a variety of different media, compile a bibliography following a consistent and recognised style, and write, reference and illustrate texts in a clear and coherent manner. Questions of intentionality in the production, reception and editing of manuscripts will also be examined, and students will be expected to evaluate and apply different types of methodology appropriately. Students will also learn how to write a research proposal. The aim of the module is to enable students to plan and manage successfully their own research projects in semester two, and to present their research findings in a logical and clear manner.

Generic sources: Bailey, Stephen (2006) Academic writing: a handbook for international students. London: Routledge. Da Sousa Correa, Delia (2009) A Handbook to Literary Research [electronic resource]. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Dunleavy, Patrick (2003) Authoring a PhD: how to plan, draft, write, and finish a doctoral thesis or dissertation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, Gillet, Andy; Angela Hammond and Mary Martala (2009) Successful academic writing. Harlow, Essex, England; New York: Pearson Education. Levin, Peter (2007) Excellent Dissertations! Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education.

Specific sources for students of Translation Studies: Hermans, Theo (2002) Crosscultural transgressions: research models in Translation Studies II: historical and ideological issues, Manchester: St Jerome. Saldanha, Gabriela (2013) Research methodologies in translation studies. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing. Williams, Jenny (2014) The Map: A Beginner''s Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Assessment Criteria


C- - C+: Able to find out basic details about authors, concepts, primary texts and secondary texts.


B- - B+: Provides a thorough and largely accurate account of research processes, whilst demonstrating the ability to marshal and coordinate a large amount of information on authors, concepts, primary texts and secondary texts.


A- - A*: Provides a thorough and clear account of processes and able to deal effectively and imaginatively with resource difficulties, whilst demonstrating the ability to marshal and coordinate a large amount of information on authors, concepts, primary texts and secondary texts.

Learning outcomes

  1. Effectively use a variety of resources for research in the Arts and Humanities in a number of different media, such as library book collections, bibliographical databases and the internet.

  2. Demonstrate an advanced and critical understanding of current research methodologies and issues in the Arts and Humanities and the ways in which these approaches relate to individual research plans.

  3. Formulate appropriate research questions and design research projects.

  4. Articulate and substantiate, both verbally and in written form, the aims and methods of the student’s own research approaches and plans.

  5. Correctly deploy academic conventions relating to citations and bibliographical information in the writing up of research.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY bibliography

Produce a bibliography of background literature concerning your chosen dissertation area. 1. Find suitable sources (around 15-20 references) 2. List sources according to the appropriate referencing system. 3. Create a short analytical summary of the main arguments presented in each of the selected sources and explain how it will contribute to the project. 4. Write an introduction to the bibliography (ca 500 words) justifying the choice of sources and describing the search process (databases, search engines used, search types, search terms, search results and general observations)

ESSAY Research Proposal

Write a 2,500 to 3,000 word research proposal for MA dissertation and research plan for this proposal.

The research proposal should address the following: 1) provisional title of dissertation and keywords; 2) abstract; 3) research context (broad background against which research is conducted, overview of general area of study and identification of gaps that student's research intends to address); 4) research questions; 5) methodology (outline of methods and critical approaches and inclusion of details on specific techniques - for example interviews or discourse analysis -, awareness of ethical issues concerning sources and research, and awareness of planning); 6) significance or research (importance, relevance and originality); and 7) bibliography (short bibliography indicating most relevant sources for topic of study)

ORAL Presentation

Present your chosen dissertation project to academic staff. A 10 minute presentation followed by 5-10 minute questions. This will take place in week 1 or 2 of S2.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


One two-hour seminar every week.

Private study

Students are required to read extensively and engage critically with primary and secondary sources related to their research topic.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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.
  • 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

Subject specific skills

  • Extract and synthesise key information from written and/or spoken sources in English / Welsh and/or the target language. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas within the framework of a structured and reasoned argument in written and/or oral assignments and class discussions. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • Critical skills in the close reading, description, reasoning and analysis of primary and secondary sources in the target language and/or English or Welsh (incl. filmic, literary and other sources). (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.14, 5.15)
  • Competence in the planning and execution of essays, presentations and other written and project work; bibliographic skills, including the accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions and appropriate style in the presentation of scholarly work. (Benchmark statement 5.10, 5.14, 5.15)
  • The ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints and to place these in a wider socio-cultural and/or geo-historical and political and/or socio-linguistic context and to revise and re-evaluate judgements in light of those of the course leader, certain individuals or groups studied and/or fellow students. (Benchmark statement 5.13, 5.15 and 5.16)
  • The ability to write and think under pressure and meet deadlines. (Benchmark statement 5.15)
  • The ability to write effective notes and access and manage course materials including electronic resources / information provided on online learning platforms and library resources. (Benchmark statement 5.15, 5.16)
  • The ability to work creatively and flexibly both independently and/or as part of a team. (Benchmark statement 5.15).
  • The ability and willingness to engage with and appreciate other cultures and to articulate to others (in written and verbal form) the contribution that the culture has made at a regional and global level. (Benchmark statement 5.7)
  • The ability to comprehend, critically engage with and apply relevant theoretical concepts to materials being studied. (Benchmark statement 5.10)
  • The ability to engage in analytical, evaluative and original thinking. (Benchmark statement 5.14)
  • The ability to organise and present ideas and arguments in presentations, classroom discussions and debates. (Benchmark statement 5.14, 5.16)


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Please click on the following link to access the Talis reading list for this module:

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: