Module Catalogue 2022/23

SEL2210 : Independent Research Project

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Leanne Stokoe
  • Lecturer: Dr Robbie McLaughlan, Dr Chloe Ashbridge, Professor Neelam Srivastava, Dr Emma Whipday, Dr Jacob Jewusiak
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

Each student must also take at least two modules from the following list:
SEL2201 Writing the Renaissance
SEL2202 Writing New Worlds, 1660-1800
SEL2203 Revolutionary Britain, 1789-1832
SEL2204 Victorian Passions: Victorian Values
SEL2205 Fictions of Migration
SEL2206 Class, Nation and Identity
SEL2207 Modernisms
SEL2217 Popular Performance Here and Now
SEL2219 Monsters, Misery and Miracles


-To help students develop skills in researching, planning and writing an extended piece of independent work;
-To give students the chance to develop specialised knowledge of a subject area of their own choosing and to explore it in depth;
-To help students develop skills in presenting their work to their peers and to respond to constructive appraisal in the formation of a final version of their project.

Outline Of Syllabus

The Independent Research Project guides students in forming a research question for a 3,000-word discursive essay. Students will have considerable scope for selecting a historical period and cultural phenomenon (from the subject areas taught in Literature at Stage 2 in the School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics), for selecting methods of inquiry and for specialising in prose, poetry, drama or film. In developing their research areas, students might choose to study a particular text or body of texts that falls within the subject area of another module but which is not studied in depth on that module, or to design a comparative study of several texts (again normally working with primary works not studied in depth in other parts of the Stage 2 curriculum). Students are first directed in the processes necessary for establishing a question appropriate to their chosen area of research and, in small-group seminars, are then guided through the tasks necessary to argue an informed answer to that question.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Detailed knowledge of a particular area of English literature and/or film;

Knowledge of some of the conceptual and methodological approaches relevant to research in literary and/or film studies.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Skills in planning, researching and writing independent, self-directed work;

Skills in presenting work in progress to a group of peers;

Skills in using feedback to help shape, refine and write the final version of the project.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture71:007:00Lecture materials
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading175:0075:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching171:0017:00Seminars and study groups
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities81:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Drop-ins with seminar tutors and Module Leader
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study160:0060:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials will be used to help students develop their research questions and to introduce them to some of the theoretical and conceptual approaches they will need to help them produce independent work. The seminars, chaired by a member of staff, are designed to help students develop their research. The primary focus here will be formative appraisal of work in progress introduced to the seminar by students. These sessions will foster long-term planning, clarify approaches to writing at length and give students the opportunity to refine their skills in research and presentation.

Study groups will allow students to interact with their peers and share ideas about their developing projects, usually in response to set activities.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A853,500-word essay.
Written exercise2M15500-word essay plan and annotated bibliography.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation2MMid-module presentation on research topic.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1 x 500-word research plan and annotated bibliography: 15%

1 x 3,500-word essay: 85%

Producing the mid-module essay plan and annotated bibliography will encourage students to express their research project in a concise and structured way. It will also allow them to reflect upon the relevance of the secondary materials that they have gathered to date.

Producing the final essay will allow students to apply the research skills they have developed over the course of the seminars and consultations with their seminar tutors. It will also provide students with the experience of writing a substantial essay prior to embarking upon their dissertation at Stage 3.

The mid-module formative presentation will allow students to express their research project to their peers and seminar tutors in a way that helps them to reflect upon its structure, methodology and argument.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Original Handbook text:

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 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 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.