CE2CRS-Research Skills

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Ian Ewart

Email: i.j.ewart@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Understanding the process of doing research is essential preparation for the final year dissertation. This module will give students the grounding in research methods, data collection and analysis, and the process of writing a dissertation. It is delivered by active research staff with a mix of lectures, group work and hands-on activities. During the module students will gain key research skills, develop ideas for a research project, prepare a dissertation proposal, and find out about the range of research activities going on within the School of the Built Environment.


Develop the knowledge and skills necessary for students to prepare a research proposal in preparation for undertaking their dissertation. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

The student will be able to:

• Identify a suitable topic for academic research, formulate a clear research question and develop research aims and objectives.

• Select a research strategy, sampling technique, data collection method and data analysis strategy appropriate to the research question.

• Undertake analysis and evaluation of data.

• Understand issues of research ethics.

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• Develop a research proposal. 

Additional outcomes:

Transferable skills in interpersonal communication, written communication, critical thinking, problem solving and time management. 

Outline content:

  • Library and study skills

  • Journal paper reading and literature reviews

  • Qualitative research methods and analysis

  • Quantitative research methods and analysis

  • Examples of past dissertations and proposals

  • Practical hints and tips; getting started on your dissertation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Classes will be a mix of interactive sessions, as both individuals and groups, and traditional lectures. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study: 78
Total hours by term 100
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Preparation of a Research Proposal (80%)

Blackboard Quiz (20%)

Formative assessment methods:

Regular in-class and blackboard feedback

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Re- submission of failed elements

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 25 September 2020


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