|School||Cardiff School of Geography and Planning|
|External Subject Code||K400|
|Number of Credits||20|
|Language of Delivery||English|
|Module Leader||Dr Kersty Hobson|
This module gives students the opportunity to complete an individual research project on a subject of their choice, whichdemonstrates their ability to design, manage and execute a programme of independent research activity. Students can use the module to follow up on a research problem identified while on a placement year (if applicable), or alternatively to assist with the development of specialised studies in a particular field (e.g. urban design, regeneration, housing etc). Students are expected to undertake independent inquiry and investigation with the support of an allocated supervisor and a selection of introductory lectures. 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.
In terms of Knowledge/Understanding:
show a clear understanding and knowledge of planning through evidence of engagement with the spatial, social and institutional context of the research;
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;
argue and illustrate critical engagement with the merits and deficiencies of a selected area of planning activity by reaching justified conclusions and making recommendations for policy and/or practice change in that area;
use language and media related to planning in a professional way;
show knowledge and understanding of professional values and behaviour.
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 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;
successfully manage an independent, small-scale research project;
organise and structure a complex document constituted of written materials and illustration.
understand, discuss, reflect upon and assess ethical issues related to a research project
In Terms of Values/Attitudes:
display awareness of the principles of ethical research conduct by compliance with relevant legislation and good practice principles
appreciate the merit of adopting a critical and questioning approach to existing knowledge and how research is conducted;
understand the relevant views of stakeholders who have an interest in the topic concerned;
appreciate the contribution research can make to improved subject knowledge and understanding by reflecting upon the value of the research undertaken.
Q&A sessions and introductory lectures on selected topics at key stages in the project (circa 8 hours)
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.
See above in the skills/presentation section
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.
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
O’Leary, Z. 2010. The essential guide to doing your research project. London: Sage.
Farthing, S. 2016 Research Design in urban planning. Sage Publications
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,.
The Palgrave Study Skills series also has some items related to preparing and writing your undergraduate research project.