KB7052 - Research Project

APPLY NOW Book an Open Day Add to My Courses Register your interest / Course PDF

What will I learn on this module?

The module will build upon the concepts and theories presented to you during KB7030 Research Methods. 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 Leader) that is relevant to your programme of study. You will 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 findings as a Journal Paper, you will comply with the presentation and formatting requirements stipulated by the publishing house of the pre-selected, module-approved research journal. If you undertake a work-based study, you are not permitted to present your findings as a Journal Paper. Alternatively, if you choose to present your findings as a Dissertation, you will undertake a study that will lead to the presentation of either a traditional or work-based Dissertation and comply with the presentation and formatting requirements stipulated in the Module Handbook. Pre-selected, module-approved research journals to which you will ‘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 Introduction Lecture that you will receive when you start the module, you will also receive a Briefing Lecture at the beginning of KB7030 Research Methods. The Briefing Lecture will provide you with an overview of the module, including a presentation of the learning resources that will be made available to you on the Blackboard course when you start. The Briefing Lecture will also introduce you to the Research Proposal that you will complete and submit for formative assessment before you start.

Your Research 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 Leader. The Research Proposal will allow 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. The Research Proposal will also include an explanation how your project will be aligned to the educational ethos of your programme of study. You should note there are no marks allocated to the Research Proposal. Your Research Proposal will be formatively assessed to ascertain the potential of your topic to satisfy the Module’s Learning Outcomes and the educational philosophy of your programme of study. The Module Leader will use your Research Proposal to allocate a Supervisor to you.

Your Supervisor will guide you during your execution of your research project and while you write 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 safeguard the confidential nature of the data you collect. This includes ensuring you have received research ethics approval following your engagement with the University’s Research Ethics Online tool. You must gain research ethics approval before you collect any data; this is a mandatory University requirement. When you have received research ethics approval, you will upload the e-mail message you will receive from the University’s Research Ethics Online tool to the assignment submission tool in the Module Assessment area of the Blackboard course.

Submission of the Research Ethics Approval will be graded as either Pass or Fail. Without a Pass result, the internally moderated mark for your Research Publication will not be confirmed at the Progression and Awards Board (PAB) but will be retained by the Module Leader until such time that you present evidence to confirm you have received research ethics approval.

You will also maintain a reflective research diary using the e-Journal tool in the Blackboard course. Your diary will include your reflections as a researcher during the process of completing your project and the documents outlined in the Module Handbook. Your e-Journal will be reviewed by the Module Leader if concern arises regarding the originality or integrity of your Research Publication or your inadequate engagement with your Supervisor. You must meet with your Supervisor on at least 6 occasions.

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 Supervisor. The allocation of a Supervisor will enable you to obtain formative feedback on the development and progress of your project. Throughout your period of engagement, your Supervisor will guide you through the process of formalising, executing, preparing, and writing-up your Research Publication during supervision sessions. You must meet with your Supervisor on at least six occasions.

If you are a full- or part-time student, you will meet with your Supervisor to discuss and reflect on your progress. Your supervision may involve being part of an action learning set, i.e., a group of like-minded students undertaking a research project. If you are a distance learning student, you will correspond regularly with your Supervisor using Blackboard Collaborate, e-mail, or telephone (or a combination of all three). Distance learning students may also receive supervision as part of an action learning set using Blackboard Collaborate. The Blackboard course for the module will provide support to you outside of your formally scheduled teaching and supervision sessions. It will include the Module Handbook and Talis Aspire online dynamic reading list.

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 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 standardised 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 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 first to complete a 2,000-word Research Proposal using a standardised template. You will submit this towards the end of your penultimate semester of study. Your proposal will be formatively assessed to ascertain the ability of your topic to satisfy the Module’s Learning Outcomes and the educational philosophy of your programme of study. Your Research 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 Proposal, which will be used by the Module Leader to allocate a Supervisor to you.

You will submit your Research Proposal using ATLAS. You will receive your feedback for the Research Proposal from your Supervisor during your first supervision meeting. [MLO: 1]


Summative Assessment
You will be summatively assessed by two items of Coursework. These will be the Research Ethics Approval and the Research Publication. The Research Publication may be presented as either a Journal Paper or a Dissertation.

Research Ethics Approval: The University has indicated that all research conducted by students and staff must be ethically scrutinised and receive research ethics approval before data are collected. You are required to gain Research Ethics Approval using the University’s Research Ethics Online tool. When you have received confirmation you have been granted Research Ethics Approval, you will submit your confirmatory e-mail message to the Assignment submission tool in the Module Assessment area of the Blackboard course. The Research Ethics Approval is considered a Pass/Fail component of assessment. Without a Pass result, the internally moderated mark for your Research Publication will not be confirmed at the Progression and Awards Board (PAB) but will be retained by the Module Leader until such time that you present evidence to confirm you have received Research Ethics Approval to be granted a Pass.

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 Research Publication will 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 also evaluate the appropriateness of your study and findings to current practice in your field of study.

You will submit your Research Publication using the TurnitinUK tool in the Module Assessment area of the Blackboard 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 synthesise 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.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time
2 other options available

Department Mechanical and Construction Engineering

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Admissions Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy
Admissions Complaints Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/complaints