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SEL8531 : Research Methods for IPhD and MLitt Students

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gabriel Martinez Vera
  • Lecturer: Miss Louise Cowan
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module equips students with the methodological skills set as well as the analytical and critical abilities required to conduct PG level research. More specifically, the module will:
•       equip students with a wide range of tools required to carry out research in linguistics, including their chosen subfield
•       enable students to critically appraise published research
•       hone students' writing skills, with particular focus on argumentation
•       develop students' oral skills in presenting their own work

Outline Of Syllabus

Linguistics component
- Focus on the scientific research process

Library component
- Introduction to the Library’s resources and services
- Searching the research literature
- Referencing and annotation software
- Scholarly communication in the 21st century

Linguistics component
- Focus on data analysis skills
- Dissertation preparation

Library component
- Library refresher

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1155:00155:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching201:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision51:005:001-2-1 student-supervisor meetings (Sem 2) to start shaping research-phase project
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used primarily to impart information and provide an overall coherence for the module.
Small group teaching and workshops will focus on developing students’ research and transferable skills. They also aim to enhance interpretation of divergent approaches to linguistic data analysis, improve oral and writing skills, and build team work in a specific area.

One-to-one student-supervisors meetings will provide students with the opportunity to regularly meet with their supervisor to start shaping the research project to be carried out in the research-phase of the programme.

Independent study enables students to undertake relevant reading, investigate relevant areas, execute independent research, and develop their methodology.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A50Critical evaluation of research methods (1,000 words)
Research proposal2A50Summative 2,000 word essay detailing research proposal
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MFormative 1000 word diagnostic essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The critical evaluation of research methods will demonstrate students’ ability to:
•       identify methods relevant to their proposed research-phase thesis project
•       evaluate the strengths and limitations of these methods
•       assess how past research practices could be improved upon in the project proposed for the research-phase thesis project

The critical evaluation of a recently published research paper will demonstrate students’ ability to:
•       identify recently published research relevant to their proposed research-phase thesis project
•       evaluate the quality of the paper, with a special emphasis on issues of validity and reliability
•       assess what contribution the project proposed for the research-phase thesis project could make to the topic discussed in the chosen article

Reading Lists