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ALC8003 : Research Portfolio

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Judith Reynolds
  • Lecturer: Dr Navaporn Snodin, Dr Adam Brandt, Dr Spencer Hazel, Professor Tony Young, Dr Sara Ganassin, Dr Alina Schartner
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0
European Credit Transfer System


The overall aim of the Research Portfolio is consistent with the overall aim of the programme: to develop students’ knowledge of empirical research in Inter-Cultural Communication (ICC) and Cross-Cultural Communication (CCC), in conjunction with their chosen specialism, and to develop their skills as independent, critical researchers. More specific aims for students are:

1.       To apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired from the taught modules to independent research.
2.       To provide opportunities for students to critically evaluate information they read in the literature.
3.       To design an appropriate piece of research.
4.       To collect, analyse and evaluate information/data.
5.       To present their work to a high standard, orally and in writing.
6.       To present written reports which include a relevant literature review and a discussion of research findings.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is structured to fit around the three Research File assignments. As such, the course is divided into three main parts:

Part 1: Introducing Empirical Research for ICC/CCC
In these sessions (semester 1), students are:
•       Introduced to some theoretical issues pertaining to ICC/CCC
•       Introduced to the concept of empirical academic research, particularly as it relates to the topic of intercultural communication (ICC) and cross-cultural communication (CCC)
•       Introduced to criticality – how to critically evaluate empirical research
•       Given guidance on using library and information resources for your own research and assignments
•       Given further information and guidance on reflecting on ‘critical incidents’ and on how to produce an annotated bibliography (in preparation for writing the RF1 assignment)

Part 2: Data collection and analysis for ICC/CCC
In these sessions (over semesters 1 and 2), students are:
•       Introduced to a variety of data collection and data analysis methods which are of use to scholars investigating ICC and CCC
•       Encouraged to critically evaluate the various strengths and weaknesses of these (and other) methods
•       Enabled to develop skills in selecting the most relevant forms of data collection and analysis for various research projects
•       Given guidance on how to critically evaluate the research methods and research design of published empirical studies (in preparation for the RF2 presentation assignment)

Part 3: Proposing, Planning and Conducting an ICC/CCC Research Project
In these sessions (semester 2), students are:
•       Given guidance on designing effective research questions, and planning a research project
•       Given guidance on writing an research proposal
•       Given guidance on writing a research paper
•       Given further details on RF3 proposal and RF3

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion175:0075:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture212:0042:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1100:00100:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching141:0014:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision51:005:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1308:00308:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide an introduction to the weekly content, establish a basic level of understanding of the topic, provide opportunities for discussion and personal reflections, and signal areas for individual further study and essential and further reading. Group activities are often linked to pre-class weekly reading.

Structured Guided Learning activities provide students with weekly opportunities to consolidate learning through guided tasks linked to the weekly topic.

In some weeks, students will practise their data collection and analysis techniques in seminar workshops.

Independent study will enable wider reading, further personal self-reflection and assignment preparation.

Throughout the taught stage of the module, students will be prepared for conducting their own research project (Research File 3). In the research stage, students will be supported through 1-1 tutorials with an appointed supervisor.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1A20Research file 1: Critical annotated bibliography + Research skills reflection (1500 words), submitted in November.
Research paper2M30Research file 2: Presentation: a critique of a published empirical study and its methodology (10 mins plus 5 mins discussion time). Taking place at beginning of Easter break.
Research paper3M5Research file 3: Research proposal (written) 1500 words. Submitted in May.
Research paper3M45Research file 3: Empirical research project (written) 5500 words, submitted at end of August.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The theory- and study skills-related outcomes will be assessed through Research File 1 (Critical annotated bibliography + Research skills reflection). The ability to identify and critically evaluate relevant methodological approaches and practices will be assessed in Research File 2 (presentation). The ability to identify relevant gaps in the field of research, to identify links between research and practice, and design a research project is assessed in the Research File 3 (proposal). The skills outcomes, including ability to conduct data collection and data collection, and to understand how data analyses can contribute to a field of study, will be assessed through Research File 3 (research project).

Reading Lists