ICM176-Research Skills and Methods for Practitioners

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Ivan Sangiorgi

Email: ivan.sangiorgi@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module provides students with an understanding of key concepts in academic research and writing, including research design, conducting a literature review, reading academic sources, basic quantitative and qualitative methods, and presenting research both in writing and orally.

This module is for students studying the MSc in Regulation and Compliance (Degree Apprenticeship) only.


This module seeks to develop students’ independent research skills – both through taught sessions and guidance to introduce key elements of good academic research practice but also in practice as students will choose their own research topic and conduct a critical literature review. This will form the basis for individual research projects that students will undertake in the following module (ICM307) 

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students should be able to: 

  1. Identify a research question 

  1. Build a bibliography of relevant secondary works 

  1. Conduct a critical review of this literature 

  1. Find relevant pr imary source material and to understand the difficulties posed by different sources 

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of different research methodologies and techniques that could be used 

Additional outcomes:

Students will also develop their ability to work independently on a topic of their own choice and confidence in presenting their research ideas to an audience. 

Outline content:

The module will prepare students to undertake independent research. Key concepts will be covered in four full-day sessions, including lectures and seminar-based learning. In addition to assigned and independent reading on the general skills covered in the modules, the student will be expected to undertake substantial independent study to identify a research topic. The expectation is that this will form the basis for their individual research projec t in the following module (ICM307). There will be the opportunity for an individual discussion session with an assigned academic to discuss and advise on the student’s independent study. The student will present a short paper on their potential research topic, discuss each other’s work and respond to questions from an academic discussant and the audience. They will also write a critical literature review on their chosen topic. 

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  1. Research design and literature review 

  1. Qualitative research methods 

  1. Quantitative research methods 

  1. Presenting your research 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Taught content for this module will primarily be delivered through lectures and syndicated learning, which will be delivered in four full-day sessions either at Henley Business School or at a central London location. Relevant materials and learning will also be shared through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that is intended to facilitate and aid the students’ learning journey within the MSc Programme. Students will also be expected to conduct substantial guided independent learning using materials available via the university library. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 8
Demonstration 1
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 75
    Advance preparation for classes 24
    Preparation for presentations 12
    Essay preparation 60
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will give a ten minute presentation introducing their chosen research topic to their fellow students and academics. Presentations should include PowerPoint slides and/or a hand-out. Presentations will be assessed on their academic content but also clarity, fluency and responses to questions.  

Students will write a critical literature review on their chosen study (maximum 4,000 words) including an annotated bibliography 

Formative assessment methods:

Students will receive formative feedback on their research ideas during the supervision session. They will also deliver practice presentations on the fourth teaching day and receive/provide peer review, as well as getting feedback from academics. 

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

50% weighted average mark

Reassessment arrangements:

By resubmission of coursework only, as part of the overall examination arrangements for the MSc programme

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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