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XX50207: Independent research essay

[Page last updated: 04 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences (units for MRes programmes)
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: To allow study students the opportunity to develop a more in depth understanding of a key research related issue of their choice.

Learning Outcomes: 1. By the end of the unit students will have understood the significance of alternative epistemological positions that provide the context for theory construction, research design and the selection of appropriate analytical techniques.
2. By the end of the unit students will have demonstrated an ability to examine research principles applied to a specific topic of their own choosing.

Skills: Understand principles of research design, methodological application and analysis
Ability to understand the application of research principles in specific disciplinary areas
Ability to develop and present a coherent argument supported with relevant data, concepts, models or illustrations
Ability to access and review critically relevant research literature
Ability to synthesise information from a number of sources
Ability to produce work to agreed specifications and deadlines
Ability to work independently.

Content: This unit is intended for those wishing to focus on a particular topic in which they can engage with some aspect of the formulation or application of research principles. The unit is appropriate for those with demonstrated capacity for self-guided work. The independent research essay should be on a topic that is distinct from students' SRAP, LRAP or dissertation topic(s). This unit may be linked to a placement or internship.

Programme availability:

XX50207 is Optional (DEU) on the following programmes:

Department of Education
  • THXX-AFM81 : MRes Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences
  • THXX-AFM82 : MRes Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences (Leading to PhD)
  • THXX-APM81 : MRes Advanced Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences
Department for Health Department of Psychology Department of Social & Policy Sciences

XX50207 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Education Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies
  • THXX-AFM50 : MRes Politics & International Studies
  • THXX-AFM51 : MRes Politics & International Studies (Leading to PhD)
Department of Social & Policy Sciences


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
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