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TCP2027 : Research Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jane Midgley
  • Lecturer: Professor Rose Gilroy, Dr Abigail Schoneboom
  • 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 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module introduces students to quantitative and qualitative (social science) research methods, as well as key stages of the research process such as research design. A range of methods for data collection and analysis are introduced and opportunities for practicing the skills are given through structured workshops and coursework assignments. The latter will be achieved through an intensive fieldwork period where data collection methods are tried in real-world applied settings. The research skills and techniques learned in this module will act as a foundation for the individual dissertation studies undertaken in Stage 3, with some time given for discussing each student’s individual research project proposal in dedicated workshops.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Research Realities.
(i) Why do we undertake research and what does it do?
2.       (ii) How do we build on existing research to develop our own research projects. The role of the literature review in framing the research. Generating a research topic, aims, objectives and questions.
generating a research topic, question and aims.(iii) Thinking about our role in the research process. Ethics in research2. Exploring data and research methods:
(i) Text. Identifying possible sources of texts as data (policy documents, archives, media and digital sources). Analysing documents and texts using discourse analysis and content analysis.
(ii) Looking and doing. Ethnographic approaches, observation (structured and participant), visual data and mapping.
(iii) Talk. Collecting data through talking with others – interviews (particularly semi-structured interviews) and focus groups. Analysing talk through thematic analysis.
(iv) Numbers. Collecting and analysing more structured data through questionnaire surveys design and analysis.
3. Designing your own research proposal.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture161:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1146:00146:00Reading and learning as set out within the lectures and developed in the workshops.
Guided Independent StudySkills practice21:002:00Computer practicals - literature review and statistical analysis.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00Research surgeries spread over three weeks - Present in Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Student led group presentations and discussions (to all students) at end of fieldtrip.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops41:306:00Workshops to practice analysis/work through key skills.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Structured session preparing for fieldtrip and group work activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork36:0018:00Field trip days including external presentations, site visits and field research (excludes travel)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module is designed to introduce social science research knowledge and skills. Therefore the module’s teaching is through a combination of lectures, group work, surgery sessions, and taught practical workshops so that students gain an experience and knowledge of a range research methods and the research process.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M702,500 word research proposal for independent dissertation study
Essay2M301,500 word assignment critically reflecting on a method practiced during the fieldwork.
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
Prof skill assessmnt2MFormative group presentation on work undertaken during the fieldtrip to inform essay 1.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Written assignment 1 will reflect on the experience of using a method and provide a critical consideration of its potential applications. The formative group presentation reflecting on methods used and issue research will help inform the content of the assignment.

The research proposal will outline students proposed independent dissertation study. Students are expected to draw on skills learnt about the research process and apply it to a topic of their own interest which they wish to take forward for their dissertation study in stage 3 (the proposal will explore why the topic is important, possible research questions to answer, brief literature review and sources of literature, and potential methods of data collection and analysis they may use in addressing their research question).

Reading Lists