Introduction to Research

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
South East Asia Section

Module overview

This module introduces students to a range of skills, including designing an independent study project, laying the foundation for writing an ISP or dissertation, either in their year abroad or in their final year, and taking up some other form of extended research.

The classes will be based very much on group work, with students encouraged to explore the issues and questions raised each week through a combination of peer discussion and shared homework exercises. Students will be encouraged to

  • think about what makes a good research question
  • consider different approaches to tackling their questions
  • evaluate extant literature
  • consider the types of sources that might be available
  • consider how to analyse and work with data collected.

Students will also be encouraged to reflect on different ways of presenting research, including gaining practice in giving oral presentations. The final assessment will consist of a research proposal developed over the term. Students will receive individual feedback on the proposal in term three, either from the programme convenor or from other members of the department depending on the subject matter.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Understand some of the key questions to consider before embarking on a research project.
  • Assess any ethical implications of their research.
  • Evaluate different possibilities for how to present their research.
  • Conduct a review of literature.
  • Plan a research project.
  • Develop a research proposal.
  • Approach oral presentations of research with confidence.


Classes will consist of 2-hour tutorials every week.

Scope and syllabus

The main topics for each week will likely include the following topics:

  1. What is research? Types of projects
  2. Methodologies and ethics
  3. Identifying a problem?
  4. Literature Reviews
  5. How to present.
  6. Reviewing Drafts
  7. Locating Sources.
  8. Analysing data.
  9. Developing interview techniques.
  10. Doing Presentations
  11. Proposal feedback
  12. Proposal feedback

Method of assessment

  • 20% - Literature review, 600 words
  • 50% - Project proposal, 1500 words
  • 20% - End-of-term presentation, 5-10 minutes
  • 10% - Completion of online Epigeum Ethics Training
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page

Suggested reading

  • Flick, U., 2007. The Sage qualitative research kit. London: Sage Publications.
  • Greetham, B., 2014. How to write your undergraduate dissertation (2nd edition.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kvale, S., 1996. Interviews: An introduction to qualitative research interviewing. London: Sage.
  • Nordstrom, C., & Robben, A. C. G. M., 1995. Fieldwork under fire: Contemporary studies of violence and survival. Berkeley ; London: University of California Press.
  • Walliman, N. S. R., 2010. Research methods: The basics. New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Wisker, G., 2009. The undergraduate research handbook. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire [England] ; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.