AT7025 - Research Project

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What will I learn on this module?

The module will build upon the concepts and theories presented during the KB7030 Research Methods module. It will require you to develop, consolidate, and apply your independent research, academic study, and research project management skills to the investigation of a topic of your own choice (or a topic that has been pre-approved and recommended by the module tutor) that is relevant to your programme of study. You will be required to undertake analytical and evaluative research that will result in the production of a research publication, either as a journal paper or a dissertation. If you choose to present your research project and findings as a journal paper, you will be required to comply with the presentation and formatting requirements stipulated by the publisher of the pre-selected, module-approved research journal. If you undertake a work-based study, you are not permitted to present your research project and findings as a journal paper. Alternatively, if you choose to present your research project and findings as a dissertation, you will be able to undertake a study that will lead to the presentation of either a traditional or work-based dissertation and subsequently required to comply with the presentation and formatting requirements stipulated in the module handbook. Pre-selected, module-approved research journals to which you will be required to ‘theoretically’ aim to submit your journal paper will be listed in the module handbook.

How will I learn on this module?

In addition to the module commencement lecture that you will receive when you officially start the module, at the beginning of your penultimate semester of study, you will receive a module introduction lecture that will provide you with an overview of the requirements of the module, including a presentation of the learning materials that will be made available to you on the Blackboard course when you officially start your studies. The module introduction lecture will also introduce you to the research project proposal, which you will be required to complete and submit for formative assessment towards the end of your penultimate semester of study. Your proposal may be based on your industrial experience, professional practice, laboratory work, topics covered in your programme of study that you wish to explore, or a topic that has been pre-approved and recommended by the module tutor. The function of the proposal will be for you to introduce your proposed topic of investigation, outline the purpose and rationale of your intended study, state your research goals and question(s), and indicate the delimitations and limitations of your planned work, and outline your intended research methodology and choices pertaining to data collection, handling, and analysis. This requirement will also include the requirement to provide an explanation how your proposal is aligned to the educational ethos of your programme of study. Additionally, you will also develop a project plan that you will implement during the execution of your investigation (with indicative key stages and milestones) designed to enable you to meet the module’s learning outcomes. You should note there are no marks allocated to the research project proposal or project plan. Your proposal will be formatively assessed in order to ascertain the potential of your topic to satisfy the module’s learning outcomes and the educational philosophy of your programme of study. Your proposal will also be used to inform the allocation of your research supervisor by the module tutor. Your supervisor will provide you with guidance and support during the execution of your research project and while writing your research publication. Additionally, your supervisor will monitor your compliance with the University’s research ethics and governance policies and procedures, compliance with the University’s health, safety, and well-being policies and procedures, and your adherence to the University’s codes of practice to safe guard the confidential nature of the data you have collected and analysed. This includes ensuring you have been granted Northumbria University research ethics approval to conduct your study, prior to your data collaction stage, by submission of key information and documentation associated with your research project to Northumbria University’s Ethics Online tool: research ethics approval system.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

As your research project will require you to engage in a substantive amount of independent work, you will be allocated a research supervisor. The delegation of a supervisor will enable you to obtain formative feedback on the development and progress of your research project. Throughout your period of engagement, your supervisor will guide you through the process of formalizing, executing, preparing, and writing-up your research project during supervision sessions. If you are a full- or part-time student, you will meet regularly with your supervisor in order to discuss and reflect upon your progress; whereas if you are a distance learning student, you will correspond regularly with your supervisor by Blackboard Collaborate, email, or telephone (or a combination of all three). The Blackboard course for the module will provide support to you outside of your formal scheduled teaching and supervision sessions. It will include the module handbook, Talis Aspire online dynamic reading list, and exemplars of past students’ work (where available and deemed appropriate by the module tutor).

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: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Propose a clear and logical research design, data collection, and analysis strategy which is appropriate to the research context, variables, and attributes of your intended data.
2. Evaluate different methodological approaches and data collection and analysis techniques.

Intellectual / Professional Skills & Abilities:
3. Define, refine, and operationalize a researchable topic that is succinctly focused and critically justified in terms of its theoretical framework and research methodology and accurately reflects the philosophy of your programme of study.
4. Conduct a focused literature search of library and web-based materials (including institutional data and advanced scholarly material) and critically appraise and analyse your findings.
5. Integrate and/or modify ideas, concepts, and theoretical models that you have selectively extracted from scholarly literature sources.
6. Critically appraise and test the applicability of theoretical models to your researchable topic.
7. Design a detailed programme of research, data collection, and analysis that integrates research goals, data requirements, and standardized methods of collection and analysis, and takes into consideration theoretical and methodological constraints and limitations.
8. Identify carefully considered gaps in your completed research and propose appropriate and relevant possibilities for further research.
9. Write an original research publication, which does not exceed the stipulated word limit, in an academically acceptable format, which is theoretically and methodologically linked, paying particular attention to the integration of the literature review, the focused choice of methodology explained in comparative terms, the critical evaluation of your data, and the clear and concise presentation of new results

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
10. Design and execute a detailed programme of research, data collection, and analysis that takes into consideration the professional, research ethics, and governance characteristics of a Northumbria University postgraduate student.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will take place via a Research Project Proposal: You are required to first complete a 2,000 word research project proposal using a standardized template. This will include your research project plan. You will submit these documents towards the end of your penultimate semester of study. Your proposal will be formatively assessed in order to ascertain the ability of your topic to satisfy the module’s learning outcomes and the educational philosophy of your programme of study. The proposal will provide an opportunity for the in-process evaluation of your intended investigative topic at a relatively early stage in its development. There are no marks allocated to the research project proposal or research project plan.

You will be required to submit your research project proposal using the TurnitinUK tool in the Blackboard course. Your formative assessment feedback will be released to you using the GradeMark facility in TurnitinUK. The QuickMark and Rubric Score Card tools will be used to provide consistent formative assessment feedback for all students enrolled on the module. [MLO: 1]


Summative Assessment
You will be summatively assessed by one item of coursework. This will be your research publication, which may be presented as either a journal paper or a dissertation.

Research Publication: Your research publication will be a written record of your research project and its findings. It will include a statement of your research aim(s); research question(s) (and hypothesis/es where appropriate); and a demonstration of the appropriateness of your research methodology and the methods you employed during data collection and analysis. Your publication will also illustrate the development of a clear and focused theoretical perspective and include an integrated critical appraisal and detailed analysis of existing literature; a focused demonstration of methodological issues appropriate to your study; the accurate new interpretation and evaluation of primary and/or secondary data; and the clear and concise presentation of new results, including an account of the theoretical and practical limitations of your study in terms of its relation to the area/topic you chose to study.

Your research publication will end with a conclusion, during which you will present a critical and holistic reflection of the appropriateness of your study’s research goals; theoretical development; methodological approach; derived results; limitations and recommendations for improvements and further research.

You will be required to submit your research publication using the TurnitinUK tool in the Blacboard course. Your summative assessment feedback will be released to you using the GradeMark facility in TurnitinUK. The QuickMark and Rubric Score Card tools will be used to provide consistent summative assessment feedback for all students enrolled on the module. [MLOs: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10]

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

The module facilitates a process by which you will use and extend the knowledge and skills you have acquired thus far as a postgraduate student. Using an appropriate research methodology and associated research methods for the collection and analysis of data, you will critically synthesize a body of knowledge relevant to your programme of study in order to investigate an approved topic of your own choice. Upon successful completion, you will be able to demonstrate an ability to conduct research and organize the findings into a comprehensive formal original research publication. This will require you to critically evaluate your contribution to current knowledge and understanding of your chosen topic area. You will be allocated a supervisor who will provide appropriate guidance and support throughout the module whilst encouraging learner autonomy.

What will I learn on this module?

The module will build upon the concepts and theories presented during the KB7030 Research Methods module. It will require you to develop, consolidate, and apply your independent research, academic study, and research project management skills to the investigation of a topic of your own choice (or a topic that has been pre-approved and recommended by the module tutor) that is relevant to your programme of study. You will be required to undertake analytical and evaluative research that will result in the production of a research publication, either as a journal paper or a dissertation. If you choose to present your research project and findings as a journal paper, you will be required to comply with the presentation and formatting requirements stipulated by the publisher of the pre-selected, module-approved research journal. If you undertake a work-based study, you are not permitted to present your research project and findings as a journal paper. Alternatively, if you choose to present your research project and findings as a dissertation, you will be able to undertake a study that will lead to the presentation of either a traditional or work-based dissertation and subsequently required to comply with the presentation and formatting requirements stipulated in the module handbook. Pre-selected, module-approved research journals to which you will be required to ‘theoretically’ aim to submit your journal paper will be listed in the module handbook.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location Netherlands

City Amsterdam

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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