The module exposes students to contemporary perspectives in academic research, and in particular focuses on developing a range of skills affecting the identification and formulation of project titles. Special focus is placed on the critical review of available literature and information resources, the use of online databases and other sources. Emphasis is given to the methods used in scientific research, reviewing a range of statistical and non-statistical methods of analyses appropriate for projects in terms of both qualitative and quantitative research. Finally, students will become aware of any research issues associated with conducting research.
Regarding the topic chosen, students may wish to follow a classic dissertation approach or a more consultancy-oriented project (consultancy to a business of choice).
Seminars on the process and expectations of the module will be arranged at the early stage of the module. The librarian will also be leading sessions on the use of the library resources that students may need. Lab sessions of analysing primary and secondary data are provided. Furthermore, academic writing sessions will be held.
BCA provides an academic supervisor for tutorial input to the research project. Appreciating the dynamics of the student-supervisor relationship is essential to facilitate effective supervision. Also understanding the ‘ground-rules’ helps to ensure a rewarding experience for both students and staff.
Supervisors are allocated before the beginning of the supervision period. Course leaders, research methods lecturers and research project co-ordinators seek to match up the interests of staff with the topics chosen by students. The research proposal submitted at previous level of studies is the basis on which these decisions are made but it is not binding!
A further advantage of doing so is that a peer group with same interest on a specific issue can be formed. Each group will be able to engage in debates and discussions on the same selected topic. A peer supporting group is beneficial in addition to the support provided by the allocated supervisor.
However, the final research project submitted remains an individual research report from each student.
Direct Level 6 entry students are expected to develop an introductory research proposal chapter which then must be approved by the nominated supervisor before they fully embark on their research project journey.