PE7000 - Research Methods

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What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will engage with materials that will enable you to plan and designa substantive research based investigation in your discipline area. This student-led, independent study allows you to synthesize and apply previous learning and experience, and build upon existing academic, research and personal skills.

Aspects will include:
• Engagement with the purpose and process of research
• Identification and refining of appropriate research questions
• Critical awareness of research theory, approaches, methods and ethics, to inform effective research design
• Searching for, managing and evaluatingsources for inclusion in a literature review

You will develop your skills as autonomous, reflective learners in support of the process of completing the dissertation.

How will I learn on this module?

Your learning in this module is through actively engaging with the research process through defining your own study objectives, the parameters of the research, identifying and evaluating relevant literature and initiating the design of an appropriate research.

In this module you are empowered as partners in the learning process, taking responsibility for your own learning. The self-directed aspects of this module are supported by guidance at the module level – provided via the vle.

Module information ensures that you have a clear understanding of what is required at the outset of the module. A theoretical overview of the research process provides the basis for the learning materials in this module. Engaging with the materials (including written, audio and video formats), undertaking interactive tasks, and following up directed reading, will provide a framework for informing and justifying your decisions in relation to your own study.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be an autonomous, self-motivated learner within a supportive distance learning environment. The module tutor provides generic module guidance in various formats via the vle. This includes an introductory video from the module tutor as well as a module handbook, guides to particular aspects of the process (eg supervision), and an evolving ‘frequently asked questions’ section of the module site. The module tutor provides regular updates via the vle throughout the process of completing this module.

Learning materials are provided via the vle in relation to the different aspects of the research process, using a variety of written, audio and video methods. Interaction with these modules, as well as directed and independent reading, will develop your understanding of the research process which you can then apply to your individual study. The university library provides additional support in terms of research skills as well as identifying literature in relation to your chosen topic.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• MLO1: A critical evaluation of the purpose and process of research

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO2: Define a researchable problem, establishing aims and objectives and research methodology,
• MLO3: Identify and critically evaluate relevant literature
• MLO4: Design a programme of research.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: Demonstrate the capacity for independent working, critical reflection and autonomous decision making, initiative and creativity in problem solving, and effective project management

How will I be assessed?

How will I be assessed? (SRS 0006)
Please give details of all formative and summative assessment process indicating which MLOs will be addressed and how feedback will be provided.

Formative assessment: Engaging with tasks in the learning materials will provide formative feedback in terms of general understanding of the research process.

Summative assessment: There is one component..

1. Dissertation Proposal. This assignment requires students to present their plans for the dissertation including aims and objectives, an overview of the literature, planned empirical research design, proposed timetable). It tests MLO1,MLO2, MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5.

As a result of this coursework you will receive summative feedback which can be used to inform the ongoing evolution of your research based study.


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Module abstract

You will design a substantive research based investigation in order to address a self-selected, authentic work based or professional/practice related problem within your discipline area. This student-led, independent module allows you to synthesize and apply previous learning and experience, and develop your understanding of the research process. Through actively engaging with the research process you will explore ways in which knowledge is created and contribute to new knowledge. This challenging and rewarding enquiry based module is supported through module information and learning materials about the research process on the vle, and, guidance from the module tutor/teaching team to developyour research skills and critical thinking.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Distance Learning

Department Architecture and Built Environment

Location Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start July 2019, October 2019, January 2020 or April 2020

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