Module code: ELAM024

Module Overview

This module provides in-depth and targeted opportunities for students to prepare for their dissertation through reviewing the literature, spotting research gaps, developing research questions and developing a research proposal. It will also provide them with an opportunity to communicate these research ideas to a wider audience.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

DIPPOLD Doris (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 22

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative topics include:

  • Developing a research proposal

  • Writing a literature review

  • Identifying research gaps

  • Research ethics

  • Communicating research ideas to a wider audience

  • Finding and critiquing sources

  • Understanding genres ¿ Disseminating research

  • Planning the Dissertation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2000 word Literature Review 50
Oral exam or presentation Research poster + 20 minute poster discussion 50

Alternative Assessment

Students unable to take part in the poster discussion will prepare a 10 minute pre-recorded presentation presenting and defending their approach to the research.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate skills in identifying and critically reviewing both primary and secondary sources, identify research gaps, plan a research project and disseminate and communicate research to a range of audiences.

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • a 2000 word literature review (LO 1, 2, 3): In this literature review, parts of which can later feed into the dissertation, you need to review a range of academic and non-academic sources in order to develop research questions which may become the focus of your dissertation. This contributes to developing employability skills (synthesizing information), and digital capabilities (using bibliographical software).

  • A research poster + 20 minute online poster discussion (LO 2, 4, 5): For this assessment, you prepare a research poster outlining, the background, the research questions and the proposed methodology for your dissertation. You then discuss your poster with a peer in an online meeting, which is recorded. You will be marked based on your discussion and not on the poster itself. This assessment contributes to developing resourcefulness and resilience (accepting feedback, responding to challenges), employability (planning a large scale project) and digital capabilities (preparing a poster).

Formative assessment / feedback:

  • Tutor feedback: You will have the opportunity to discuss their approach to the literature review with the tutor. You will also be given one opportunity for a 1-1 meeting with your tutor to discuss your research proposal.

  • Seminars: Informal opportunities will be provided to discuss your literature review, your findings and proposed methodology.

  • Peers: You will be given feedback on your proposed project by your peer during the poster discussion session.

Module aims

  • develop students's understanding of the entire research process from the planning to the writing and dissemination stage
  • give students the opportunity to start engaging with a specific area of interest
  • provide students with the skills to communicate their ideas to different audiences

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify a range of primary and secondary sources and critically read them CK
002 Identify research gaps suitable to further investigation in a Masters level dissertation project CK
003 Write a comprehensive literature review on a specific topic P
004 Develop a feasible and well-designed research proposal targeting an identified research gap CP
005 Confidently Communicate research plans to different audiences PT

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 encourage interaction and communication with all group members. The mode of study is online and therefore the synchronous seminars and discussion board activities are crucial to the development of a group identity.

Captured content

You will have access to pre-recorded short videos and different supporting resources such as pdf slides, short articles and language learning materials. The captured content aims to develop understanding of key concepts and theories. You will be expected to engage with the captured content in order to participate in the interactive activities both online and in the synchronous sessions. All the captured content will be accompanied by a guided learning worksheet. In order to maximise the learning opportunities from the captured content, and to make links to the in-session material, you will be expected to engage with the captured content prior to the synchronous sessions. All the captured content will be accompanied by a guided learning worksheet which you will be expected to complete prior to the synchronous sessions. Engagement with the captured content and other online resources support the development of your digital capabilities and ability to work autonomously.


Weekly synchronous seminar sessions

The synchronous seminar sessions will build on the captured content and will allow students to explore issues and reflect on their own practices. It is expected that you will bring your completed guided learning worksheet to these sessions. These synchronous seminar sessions will involve interactive tasks either whole class or in break out rooms, quizzes and presentations. The aim of the seminar sessions is to apply the theories and concepts from the captured content to your own learning and teaching contexts and to critique the theories presented in the literature. To maximise the potential for sharing ideas and learning from others, you will be expected to participate in whole group and smaller group activities and discussions based on the pre-session and in-class material. Class activities also develop your digital skills by enabling you to engage with different digital tools. You are able to apply these skills directly in employment contexts.


Guided study

The guided study comprises a number of reading activities drawing on the key literature in the field. All readings are accompanied by a reading comprehension worksheet which will allow you to read key texts and engage with theories in their own contexts. Guided study aims to encourage independent work and develop planning and monitoring skills


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: ELAM024

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:


Employability: A career in international education requires from graduates the ability to synthesize information from various sources and present evidence to key stakeholders in an audience-focused manner. The assessment for this module is based on these requirements, asking you to gather and summarize information, prepare a visually pleasing poster and defend your plans against challenges. This simulates the requirements you are likely to encounter in a professional context. 

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Peer review is a key feature of the research process, the results of which can be unsettling and upsetting as it entails making changes to the proposed approach. The peer discussion of the poster develops your ability to respond to feedback and challenges and accept feedback, thus developing your resilience in dealing with what might, at times, be negative feedback.

Digital Capabilities: To prepare your research poster, you will have to use design software such as Canva. Moreover, you will have to use a self-directed online space to conduct and record your poster discussion. This develops the digital capabilities required in an educational context. Writing the literature review is also facilitated by bibliographical software, the use of which will be taught during the class.

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 2025/6 academic year.