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TCP8911 : Research Design

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Diego Garcia Mejuto
  • Demonstrator: Dr Neil Adrian Powe
  • Lecturer: Dr Jane Midgley, Dr Andrew Donaldson
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


• To develop knowledge and skills in methods of data collection, analysis and research that benefit urban planning and landscape planning and management practitioners.
• To aid students in developing appropriate research designs for their specialised study and their dissertation at postgraduate level.
• To introduce students to a range of different types of research for different purposes and contexts.
• To introduce students to the basic principles of commissioning research for a range of professional purposes.
• To stimulate students into thinking about their dissertations early and identifying and refining a research topic.

This module prepares students to undertake research for their final dissertation and for planning policy development and practice. It explores a range of approaches to the design and undertaking of methodologically robust research, it raises students’ awareness of the rigorous standards expected of both practice and academic research, and it also helps students identify and refine their final dissertation topic.

Outline Of Syllabus

• Introduction to research design
• Researching urban planning / landscape planning and management
• The researcher: positionality and ethics
• Framing research and building a literature review
• Broad methodological approaches and frameworks
• Qualitative and quantitative research
• Data collection and sampling, and data analysis
• Evidence and criteria for evaluation of research
• Presenting your research (dissertation and other conventions)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture72:0014:00Lectures where the materials for the module will be introduced.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00Workshops supported by members of staff to help students make progress in the assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Surgery session to provide advice on draft research proposals before the deadline.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study178:0078:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lecture materials, delivered throughout the module, provide the substantive content of the module. The preparation of the assessment is supported by a series of alternative teaching sessions: three workshops with staff members starting in week 4 and separated by several weeks, and a final drop-in session.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal1A100Research proposal (3000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment supports and tests the achievement of all knowledge and skills learning outcomes. A single research proposal is an appropriate way of both assessing the student’s knowledge of the research process, a research topic of their choice and the different methodological practices used in the social sciences, and assessing the student’s ability to critically review the existing literature on a topic and to develop an appropriate research design and methodology to investigate it. In addition, the assessment ensures that the student is capable of developing a postgraduate research dissertation. This module must be passed before a student can progress to TCP8099 Dissertation.

Reading Lists