CP0314 - Research Project

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0314
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
LevelL6
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Neil Harris
SemesterSpring Semester
Academic Year2014/5

Outline Description of Module

This module requires students to complete an individual research project that demonstrates their ability to design, manage and execute a programme of independent research activity. The module enables students to choose between different approaches to designing, conducting and presenting findings for different types of research problems or questions related to planning. Students can use the module to follow up on a research problem identified while on a placement year, or alternatively to assist with the development of specialised studies in a particular field (e.g. urban design, regeneration, housing etc). The module expects students to undertake independent inquiry and investigation, with the support of an allocated supervisor and a selection of introductory lectures and workshops. The assessment of the module is based on a written and illustrated submission. The project is a substantial piece of work and will be assessed as an important, individual component of final year undergraduate studies.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

In terms of Knowledge/Understanding:

1. show a clear understanding and knowledge of planning by showing evidence of engagement with the spatial, social and institutional context of the research; 
2. exhibit an in-depth understanding of a specialised area of planning by identifying the limits of existing knowledge on the subject and the potential for further research; 
3. argue and illustrate critical engagement with the merits and deficiencies of a selected area of planning activity by the reaching of justified conclusions and the making of recommendations for change in that area; 
4. use language and media related to planning in a professional way; 
5. show knowledge and understanding of professional values and behaviour; as well as awareness of professionalism as a contested notion. 
 
In Terms of Skills/Presentation:
1. Demonstrate ability to identify, collect and analyse relevant planning and social science data; 
2. Demonstrate ability in appropriately using textual and graphic media to express ideas, present arguments and illustrate findings; 
3. Define and defend a clear and focussed research question, and related aims and objectives for the research project; 
4. Approach a range of questions or problems in a number of different spheres with an inquisitive and critical attitude; 
5. Demonstrate effective research and appraisal skills, evident in data collection, investigation, quantitative and qualitative data analysis,  weighing evidence and reaching appropriate conclusions; 
6. Successfully manage an independent, small-scale research project; 
7. Organise and structure a complex document constituted of written materials and illustration. 
8. Understand, discuss, reflect upon and assess ethical issues related to a research project 
 
In Terms of Values/Attitudes:
1. Display an awareness of the principles of ethical research conduct by compliance with relevant legislation and good practice principles and recognition of such issues in a reflective manner; 
2. Appreciate the value of adopting a critical and questioning approach to existing knowledge and how research is conducted; 
3. Understand the relevant views of all stakeholders who have an interest in the topic concerned; 
4. Appreciate the contribution that research can make to improved subject knowledge and understanding by concluding on the value of the research undertaken. 

How the module will be delivered

Q&A sessions and introductory workshops on selected topics at key stages in the project (circa 8 hours), complemented by informal workshops and surgeries;
Online learning resources for key stages, such as literature review
Regular meetings and discussion sessions, as well as feedback on draft written and illustrative work, with an allocated project supervisor (circa 6 hours);
Independent research and investigation according to a planned and managed schedule of work agreed with the supervisor.

Skills that will be practised and developed

See above in the skills/presentation section

How the module will be assessed

Type of assessment

%Contribution

Title

Duration
(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Research Project

 

100%

Research project

10,000 words

Spring

The opportunity for reassessment in this module

Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Dissertation 100
Dissertation
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Introduction to doing a research project

Identifying a suitable topic for research

Preparing a literature review

Managing your research project

Handling and analysing your data

Writing and structuring your research project

Developing your conclusions and recommendations

Preparing the final submission

Essential Reading and Resource List

O’Leary, Z. 2010. The essential guide to doing your research project. London: Sage.

Background Reading and Resource List

Flick, U. 2011. Introducing research methodology: a beginner’s guide to doing your research project. London: Sage.

Reardon, D, D. 2006. Doing your undergraduate project. London: Sage.

Robson, C. 2007. How to do a research project: a guide for undergraduate students. Oxford: Blackwell.

Walliman, N. 2013. Your research project: designing and planning your work. London: Sage.
 
Learning Central includes some web-based materials for particular stages of your research project, including for example materials on completing a literature review.
 
The Palgrave Study Skills series also has some items related to preparing and writing your undergraduate research project.
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