LSMERM-Essentials of Research Methods

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Jackie Laws

Email: j.v.laws@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
To introduce students to the basic tenets of research in the Social Sciences so that they can experiment with and critically evaluate different approaches, designs, data collection methods and forms of analysis in relation to their own research project and those in the literature.

Aims:
To introduce students to the basic tenets of research in the Social Sciences so that they can experiment with and critically evaluate different approaches, designs, data collection methods and forms of analysis in relation to their own research project and those in the literature.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module it is anticipated that the students will be able to:

- demonstrate an awareness of a range of approaches and methods in research;
- critically evaluate approaches and methods in relation to particular research hypotheses/questions
- make well argued decisions in relation to courses of action in research

Additional outcomes:
Course members should be able to:

- demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of literature and resources relevant to research;
- use the web as a resource for learning and research

Outline content:
Part A: Research Design
Types of experimental design; variable and data types; introduction to descriptive statistics

Part B: Data Processing
Parametric and non-parametric data types, pair-wise and multiple comparisons, understanding the basics of statistical tests

Part C: Data Analysis I
using SPSS for statistical tests

Part D: Data Analysis II
How to report statistical output

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course is delivered through lecture/seminar sessions every other week; hands-on experience of dealing with data sets will be provided. Exercises will be set and the results discussed in class.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 10 10
Guided independent study: 90 90
       
Total hours by term 2 2
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Autumn Term: Write a comparative commentary of 1,500 words on two published articles in your proposed research area. Discuss the experimental design and data types adopted by the researchers and the appropriateness of the approach employed. To be submitted on or by Thursday of week 11 of the Autumn Term. (relative percentage of coursework: 50%)

Spring Term: Write a 1,500 word discussion of the methodology and data processing techniques to be used in your proposed research project in relation to other methodologies in your field. To be submitted on or by Thursday of week 11 of the Spring Term. (relative percentage of coursework: 50%)

Formative assessment methods:

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:
A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-submission by 1 September of the year in which the course is taken

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: 5 July 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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