Identify a problem within your chosen subject area
Search for literature which shows previous attempts at solving the problem and review it
Find your own way of solving the problem and put it into practice
Present your findings and conclusions
You will need to decide on a topic area and research project which is related to your chosen Undergraduate programme of study, achievable in the limited time available and agreed with your teacher.
Your research project will continue through semester 2, but the deadline for assessment 1 is as early as week 5, so you will need to begin immediately in order to achieve a successful start (and conclusion) to your research project. There will be sessions through the semester which will be entirely practical in nature, meaning that you can make use of the class time to continue your work and use your teacher to help and advise, but most of the work you do for your project will be conducted outside of class time, and it will involve a lot of time spent reading, thinking and writing. The three assessments do not directly evaluate your time management skills, however, you will need to ensure you work to a plan, and stick to it, in order to succeed.
You are advised to view this unit and its assessment regime as a mini-dissertation, with assessment 2 being the dissertation report and assessment 3 being the dissertation presentation. In keeping with this theme, your teachers for this unit become your dissertation supervisors and as such, you should seek to meet them as and when needed during the course of the semester. We will reserve tutorial slots for this purpose during semester 2.
Note: the purpose of a research supervisor is to offer advice and assistance. In order to gain the maximum benefit, you need to come to meetings with questions to ask. Your supervisor will do his/her best to help, but you need to decide what the problems are before attending meetings.
Assessment 1: The Problem Based Report Document
Write a problem based report which introduces a problem connected to your chosen area of study.
Your report should consist of three sections:
An explanation of the problem
A discussion of results and conclusions of previous research projects. This will be the result of a small literature review, involving your reading of four sources; two of them should be electronic and two should be hard copy.
An introduction to the approach you are going to take in solving the problem. Tell the reader how you will conduct your research and gather data and results. This section should begin with a clearly defined research question, followed by a clear explanation of the research you are going to undertake and how you will go about it, including some indication of why you believe you can complete the work of the project within the limited time available.
Weighting: This assessment carries 30% of the overall grade for the unit.
Deadline and submission:
Submission will be in electronic form, via BREO. A submission box will be set up for you a week before the deadline.
In marking and grading your work, we will be looking for evidence of the following:
Clear and concise writing in a uniformly academic style
A clear structure, which follows the instructions as set out above
A clearly defined problem and research question which is relevant to the problem and achievable within the time limit.
A well organised literature review which is relevant to the problem and your research project.
Your adherence to referencing conventions as set out in the Harvard Referencing handbook
Understanding of and detailed reading around the topic and problem
That you have precisely followed the instructions in this task sheet
You will receive written and oral feedback within a working week of submission, including a provisional grade.
Assessment 2: The Project Report
Write a research report, which reports the research you undertook, the results and the conclusions. You should also include a section in which you reflect on the success or otherwise of the approach you took to solving the problem, with some identification of how you might choose to do things differently the next time you carry out a research project.
Your research report should include:
Some background information on the problem you have been researching
A discussion of your research methods
A discussion of your findings and results
The conclusions you have reached
An evaluation of the success of your chosen research method.