ALC8003 : Research Portfolio

Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0


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
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture202:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading111:0011:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision161:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1530:00530:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1.       The research portfolio aims to enhance students’ cross-cultural communicative competence and various skills required in cross-cultural communication and professional work by focusing on the similarities and differences in communicative norms and values across cultural groups. All written files and oral presentation require skills in synthesising and evaluating research information, as well as organisational skills in presenting the information clearly and coherently. The 3rd research file will require students to use empirical data and demonstrate the ability of planning, managing and analysing and presenting their own research.
2.       The 'Methods in CCC Research' lectures and seminars are effective and efficient ways to familiarise students with theories, models and approaches used in research on language and communication, to promote good practice and to encourage students to learn from each other and provide support for each other. While students are encouraged to carry out independent and private study to develop their ability of problem-solving, ability to take initiative, adaptability, planning and organising, and interpersonal communication, individual supervision will cater for individual students’ developmental needs and provide guidance in each case.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper1M20Research file 1: Critical incident and annotated bibliography (written) 2500 words
Research paper2M30Research file 2: Critical evaluation of methods & design of a published empirical project (oral presentation) 15 minutes
Research paper3M5Research file 3: Research proposal (written) 1500 words.
Research paper3M45Research file 3: Empirical research project (written) 5500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment fits well with the overall aim of the programme, which is to develop students’ cross-cultural communicative competence for professional work both in knowledge and skills. In particular, the written files provide opportunities to research on the target cultural groups in terms of communicative practices by applying and critically evaluating the existing theories and findings. The oral presentation, apart from skills required for the written files, provides opportunities to present a piece of professional work orally, with powerpoint, handout and other facilities.
Empirical study is required for the 3rd research file to provide opportunities to carry out an original empirical study and to present research findings professionally.

Reading Lists