Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module UXS-2099:
Research and Methods

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Steffan Thomas

Overall aims and purpose

This module has been designed to support students in designing, conducting and producing research projects.

This module aims to equip students with an understanding and critical overview of the key conceptual and methodological issues associated with various types of research enquiry appropriate to students seeking to write a dissertation.

It addresses theoretical and practical issues in designing research projects, and therefore will also develop key transferable skills for the world of work. The topics to be addressed include research paradigms, research ethics, conducting literature reviews, textual and discourse analysis, and engaging in field research.

Course content

Topics such as *Choosing a research topic * Research Paradigms: Positivism vs Interpretivism * Textual analysis & Content analysis * Designing Questionnaires, interviews and focus groups * Ethnography and participant observation * Quantitative and qualitative methods * Research Ethics * Conducting a literature review will be covered during the module.

During the seminars students will develop key skills in presenting, discussing and critically evaluating research questions and proposed methods.

Assessment Criteria


D [40-49]

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

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


A [70-100]

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

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


C [40-59]

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

  • Good structure and logically developed arguments.
  • At least in parts draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  • Assertions are, in the main, backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

B [60-69]

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

  • Very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  • Draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  • Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

Learning outcomes

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

  2. Define a coherent approach to a research question, by designing and implementing a programme of study to support this question.

  3. Appraise academic or practice-based research within an appropriate set of cultural, social, institutional, economic and/or critical frameworks.

  4. Make use of appropriate literature to argue and evaluate the current body of knowledge in response to a research topic.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Students will give 3 short presentations during the seminars to demonstrate their thinking and development regarding their research ideas.

ESSAY Methodology 45
ESSAY Literature Review 45

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Lectures (1 x 1 hour per week for 11 weeks): mixture of one-to-many and interactive style so to demonstrate methodological approaches

Private study

Students should use this time to read and review appropriate methodology text books as well as investigating relevant literature for their intended project. Seminar preparation should also be conducted during this time.


Seminars (1 x 1 hour per week for 11 weeks): interactive/hands-on exercises; study skills exercises; student presentation and systematic feedback sessions


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.
  • 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

  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Technological skills – digital capture, digital expression, digital innovation
  • Intellectual skills shared with other disciplines – research and exploration, reasoning and logic, understanding, critical judgement, assimilation and application
  • Skills of communication and interaction – oral and written communication, public presentation, team-working and collaboration, awareness of professional protocols, sensitivity, ICT skills, etc.
  • Skills of personal management – self-motivation, self-critical awareness, independence, entrepreneurship and employment skills, time management and reliability, organisation, etc.


Talis Reading list

Reading list

Banks, M., 2001. Visual Methods in Social Research, London: Sage Publications Ltd. Barrett, E. & Bolt, B., 2007. Practice as research: approaches to creative arts enquiry, London: I.B.Tauris. Berger, A.A., 2011. Media and Communication Research Methods: An Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches 2nd ed., Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. Bolton, G.E.J., 2010. Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development Third Edition., Sage Publications Ltd. Dean, R.T., 2009. Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Emmison, M. & Smith, P., 2000. Researching the visual: images, objects, contexts and interactions in social and cultural inquiry, SAGE. Harper, G., 2008. Creative writing studies: practice, research and pedagogy, Multilingual Matters. Kershaw, B., 2011. Research Methods in Theatre and Performance, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Lewis, J., 2008. Cultural studies: the basics 2nd ed., Los Angeles: Sage Publications. Messenger Davies, J., 2006. Practical Research Methods for Media and Cultural Studies Making People Count, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Pickering, M., 2008. Research Methods for Cultural Studies, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Prosser, J., 1998. Ìmage-based research: a sourcebook for qualitative researchers, Psychology Press. Schon, D.A., 1991. The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action New edition., Ashgate Publishing Limited. Smith, H. & Dean, R.T. eds., 2009. Practice-led research, research-led practice in the creative arts, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Sullivan, G., 2010. Art practice as research: inquiry in visual arts 2nd ed., Thousand Oaks [Calif.]: Sage Publications. Thompson, S., 2008. The Critically Reflective Practitioner, Basingstoke [England] ; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: