Module Catalogue 2020/21

CSC8623 : Research Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Paul Watson
  • Other Staff: Miss Jennifer Wood
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To prepare for working on group and individual research projects.
To read and interpret the professional and research literature.
To understand and gain experience in the process of writing research papers.
To understand and gain experience in the process of how to give research presentations.
To understand the ethical and legal implications of working within the area of Big Data.
To prepare for working with the media.

Outline Of Syllabus

The research publication landscape: technical reports, conference proceedings, journals of record.

The research publication process, including the role of peer review and ethics.

Reading and interpreting research literature: identifying information needs, locating and accessing information, critical evaluation.

The ethical and legal implications of working within the area of Big Data.

Writing research papers: writing styles, standards in the discipline regarding use and citation of sources, presentation of claims with supporting arguments, comparing and evaluating sources.

Preparing and delivering technical presentations.

Writing for the media.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

To be able to describe and discuss the sources of information, and standards of information quality that apply in relevant research areas

To understand approaches to writing for the media

The ability to locate and extract information from relevant research publications

An understanding of the process of writing research papers

An understanding of the ethical and legal implications of working within the area of Big Data

An understanding of the process of preparing and delivering a technical presentation.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The ability to demonstrate the skills of:
- critiquing a technical paper
- writing a technical paper
- delivering a technical presentation
- critically reflecting on the ethical and legal issues of working in the area of Big Data
- writing for the media

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion302:0060:00Coursework
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture52:0010:00Intro, Paper Reading, Paper Writing, Presentation skills, Writing for the Media, Ethical Issues
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching32:006:00Student presentations
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study241:0024:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce each major topic, and demonstrate the key concepts, with examples. Students will expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

Student presentation sessions will afford students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a practical setting.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by coursework.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M50Paper on topic chosen in collaboration with module leader (max 1,500 words)
Written exercise2M25Media piece on topic chosen in collaboration with module leader (max 1,000 words)
Prof skill assessmnt1M25Oral Presentation to peers and module leader on chosen research topic
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessed coursework provides an opportunity for the students to demonstrate the skills they have gained from the taught parts of the module, and their own research. This is made up of an oral presentation, a media report and technical paper.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

We intend to build on some elements from the existing research skills development programme developed by the faculty team in line with Vitae skills framework. These will inform the taught material and assessments

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.