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POL3103 : Community-based Research in Politics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Judy Murray
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 20 student places

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System


Students who take this module will have the opportunity to develop their research skills (as well as a range of generic skills, including presentation and communication skills, leadership, teamwork, time management, project management and working with external partners) through active involvement in a real research project that is designed to address a genuine gap in the knowledge/understanding of policy-makers/practitioners interested in Newcastle and the North-East of England. The student researchers will have the opportunity to broaden and deepen their understanding of effective research practice. Throughout the module, students will be asked to critically reflect on their own strengths and weaknesses as researchers (as well as their generic skills) and they will be encouraged to contribute to the research project in ways that will allow them both to demonstrate their existing strengths and improve their skills in areas where they are less strong.

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1: Overview of the module
Week 2: Meet the partner organisations
Week 3: Team allocation and identifying a research question
Week 4-5: Reviewing the literature
Week 6: Research design
Week 7: Ethics in research
Week 8: Ethical approval
Week 9-11: Planning data collection and analysis
Week 12-13: Data collection
Week 14-17: Data analysis Week 17-19: Drafting report
Week 20: Prepare report for presentation Week 21: Present report at workshop Week 22: Review of workshop
Week 23-24: Prepare portfolio

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials221:0022:00Pre-recorded lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching221:0022:00PIP Weekly student-led meetings to discuss their research
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops16:006:00End of year workshops with community partners.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops222:0044:00PIP Workshops
Guided Independent StudyProject work1200:00200:00Students working independently and in groups to complete research project.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity401:0040:00Students reflecting on their development of skills and how to present them to potential employers.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study166:0066:00Students working independently to revise and prepare material for their research portfolios.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will engage directly with practitioners and policy-makers to identify potential research questions. Students will then select a preferred project and be placed on a student research team for the duration of the academic year. Students will be required to attend one weekly 2-hour lecture/project related supervision session and one weekly 1-hour small group teaching session in which students will discuss the progress of their individual research projects. Additional skills training (e.g. teamwork, project management, presentation skills, writing policy reports) will be provided through a series of prerecorded lectures. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their learning and skills development throughout the module. Findings will be presented directly to practitioners in a half day workshop at the end of the academic year.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2M80Individual Research Portfolio (8000 words)
Report2M10Group Policy Report
Prof skill assessmnt2M10Group Presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Given this module constitutes a significant component of the final year of study, it is important to ensure that a significant portion of the assessment is based on individual performance and attainment. As a result, the students will primarily be assessed on an individual research portfolio. This portfolio will be highly structured with 4-6 individual pieces of work addressing different aspects of the research process broadly, the student’s research project specifically, and self-reflective exercises regarding skill attainment, The individual research portfolio gives students the opportunity to develop their personal research and reflective skills while also moving towards an overall group goal.

The work done in the individual research portfolios provides the research teams with the resources to formulate a policy report and presentation given on behalf of their partner organisation. This aspect of the assessment emphasises the importance of teamwork and offers the students the opportunity to showcase their achievements.

Reading Lists