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SEL2210 : Independent Research Project

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jacob Jewusiak
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


-To help students develop skills in designing, planning and executing an extended piece of independent work;
-To give students the chance to develop specialised knowledge of a subject area of their own choosing and then to explore it and write about it in depth;
-To help students develop skills in presenting their work to their peers and to respond to constructive appraisal in the formation of a final version of their project.

Outline Of Syllabus

The Independent Research Project guides students in the investigation of a research question for a 4,000-word discursive essay. Students will have considerable scope for selecting a historical period and cultural phenomenon (from the subject areas taught in Literature at Stage 2 in the School of English Literature, Language & Linguistics), for selecting methods of inquiry and for specialising in prose, poetry, drama or film. In developing their research areas, students might choose to study a particular text or body of texts that falls within the subject area of another module but which is not studied in depth on that module, or to design a comparative study of several texts (again normally working with primary works not studied in depth in other parts of the Stage 2 curriculum). Students are first directed in the processes necessary for establishing a question appropriate to their chosen area of research and, in one-on-one tutorials and small-group workshops, are then guided through the tasks necessary to argue an informed answer to that question.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical41:004:00Skills workshops (library, special collections and presentation skills)
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading179:0079:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study165:0065:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to help students develop their research questions and to introduce them to some of the theoretical and conceptual approaches they will need to help them produce independent work. The workshops, chaired by a member of staff, are designed to help students develop their research. The primary focus here will be formative appraisal of work in progress introduced to the workshop by students. These sessions will foster long-term planning, clarify approaches to writing at length and give students the opportunity to refine presentational skills. Tutorials will give students the chance to discuss and refine the details of their particular project.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation52M10N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A904000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1 x 4000 word independent, self-directed essay 100%

1 x presentation of around 5 minutes. If the student cannot present live, the student can film or do a powerpoint with recap (classroom space/time will be provided). This presentation, made in the workshop and based on the student’s evolving research plans, is compulsory.

Producing the essay will give students the chance to demonstrate the effectiveness of their independent research and their skills in planning and executing an extended piece of critical writing.

The presentation will demonstrate to the marker that the student was pursuing a considered research programme and developing her or his ideas as the module progressed. Further, the presentation will give students the opportunity to receive formative feedback from their peers and their tutor.

Reading Lists