Module Identifier IP36820  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator To Be Arranged  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Literature Review: 1 x 3500 words  60%
Semester Assessment Research Proposal: 1 x 1500 words  40%

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of this module, students should be able to:

Brief description

The aim of this module to give students the writing, research and presentation skills necessary to complete the compulsory dissertation. Through an examination of different research strategies, students will be able to grasp the strengths and weaknesses of various methodologies. In the module we will investigate how social scientists frame research questions, formulate hypotheses, construct research designs, collect data, and analyse these data. The module includes sessions on basic academic skills; research methods and strategies; the use and abuse of statistics and survey research; comparative political analysis; choosing a dissertation topic; academic standards of presentation; methodology; and advanced use of libraries and other information sources in and outside of Aberystwyth.


The lectures will address issues such as how to formulate a research question and the requirements of a research proposal. It then moves on to discuss key terms, ideas and approaches to conducting research in the political sciences. An overview of different methods of data collection and analysis will be given, and the ethics of conducting research will be considered. Four workshops will provide the opportunity for students to apply the concepts and ideas introduced in the lectures to their own research projects.

Transferable skills

Throughout, students will be required to practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills. In lectures, students will develop listening and note taking skills. In workshops, students will use their analytical and reasoning skills. The research proposal and literature review will require students to think independently, show evidence of searching for information using a variety of IT and library-based methods, clear organisation of thought and succint and focussed writing.


This module is at CQFW Level 6