Module code: POL3085

Module Overview

This module is an opportunity for students who are not writing a dissertation to take part in some primary research and produce a short research paper. Students will have the opportunity to be involved in ongoing research (including data planning and data collection) being undertaken by members of staff in the department in the form of research labs. Supported by staff, students will collect data, draft a conference paper and present their findings to fellow students and/or the department at a research seminar.

Module provider


Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 22

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

This module is not available to students taking POL3061 Dissertation.

Module content

The module allows students to engage with empirical research currently being undertaken by staff in the department. They will engage in research planning and data collection in the form of research labs, producing a short research report and presentation within the area of politics/international politics. The type of research being undertaken will fall within the area of politics/international politics and could involve a qualitative or quantitative approach. Students may for instance be involved in:

• Literature review (collection of literature as well as discussion/analysis)
• Planning methodological frameworks (including for example discussing coding frames, selecting relevant datasets)
• Data collection (e.g. undertaking document analysis, coding written material, focus groups)
• Data analysis

Students will present the results of the research in the form of a conference paper. They will also present the findings to staff and/or students in a research seminar in the department.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Conference Paper (4000 words) 70
Oral exam or presentation Presentation (10-15 mins) 30

Alternative Assessment

An 800 word blog could be produced by students who were unable to complete the presentation.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:
• Strong use of primary research skills
• The ability to critically analyse research data and explain its significance in relation to current academic literature.
• The ability to present research findings in different formats (oral/written)

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
• Conference Paper – 4000 words (70%)
• Presentation – 10/15 mins (30%)

Formative assessment

The class will run as a research lab and therefore students will receive ongoing guidance from staff regarding the research being undertaken. Time will be set aside in class to discuss the conference paper and presentation. Where students are asked to undertake tasks in preparation for the research lab, verbal feedback will be given as part of the class.

Module aims

  • Provide an opportunity for students to put research skills developed through their undergraduate programme into practice.
  • Allow students to understand and explore some of the theoretical and methodological challenges of carrying out research.
  • Enable students who are not completing a dissertation to complete a short research based paper and presentation.
  • Develop students’ ability to work independently as well as part of a research team.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Select appropriate research methods to answer a research question CKPT
002 Critically analyse quantitative or qualitative data CKP
003 Work independently following a research framework PT
004 Work effectively as part of a research team PT
005 Present research findings in both written and oral format to convey key findings CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

• Introduce students to research projects, working as part of a team to carry out a small scale piece of empirical research.
• Familiarise them with the challenges of undertaking research in the real world.
• Enable them to work closely with staff on a piece of original reseach.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Research Labs (11 x 2 hr)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: POL3085

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Politics BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics with Creative Writing BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics with Psychology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.