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HH7021 Research Training 1

  • Status: Compulsory
  • Credit Weighting: 5 ECTS
  • Semester/Term: All year
  • Contact Hours: 15-20
  • Module Staff: Co-ordinator: Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate)
  • Pre-requisite / Target audience: students in year 1 of the PhD/MLitt programme

Leaning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students are able to demonstrate the competences expected at the end of the first PhD year, namely to:

  • Devise and develop a substantial, challenging and original (for PhD) / intellectually independent (MLitt) research project relating to their field of study.
  • Identify, access and critically appraise the relevant primary sources and scholarly literature relevant to their research project and present these in an appropriately formatted bibliography.
  • Outline cen­tral re­search questions, aims and objectives.
  • Identify the prin­cipal conceptual issues their research raises.
  • Select suitable investigative methods, theoretical and practical approaches, concepts and terminology.
  • Situate their project within the context of existing scholarship and explain how it will make a meaningful (MLitt) / original and significant (PhD) contribution to knowledge in the field.
  • Critically evaluate academic research presentations and assess the relevance of the methodologies and/or theoretical approaches encountered for their own research agenda.
  • Confidently participate in subject-specific academic discus­sions in seminars, workshops and conferences.
  • Analyse and plan the development of their own academic and advanced generic skills.
  • Demonstrate basic project and time management skills.

Leaning Aims

The aim of this module is to support first year research students in their academic and professional development and research and career planning, and help them develop their initial research idea into a fully fledged research project suitable for a PhD or MLitt thesis. Students are prepared not only for successful completion of a PhD or MLitt in Histories and Humanities but also for entry into working environments requiring advanced analytical, research, writing and presentation skills. Students develop academic knowledge and skills specific to their research project; awareness of the wider academic context and debate in their discipline; ability to critically assess contributions to scholarship and modes of presentation; discussion skills; academic writing skills; organisational skills; proficiency in oral presentation and discussion.

Module Content

(A) Throughout the first year of the PhD/MLitt programme: atten­dance at research seminars in the student’s area of re­search (e.g. Classics Research Seminar, Medieval History Research Centre Seminar, Early Modern History Research Seminar: see section 6.4).
If this is impossible, e.g. due to work commit­ments, the student must ensure equivalent exposure to high level academic discourse through other activities, to be specified in their Research and Professional Development Plan and approved by their supervisor(s) and the Director of Teaching and Learning.
(B) 6 weeks into the programme: submission of a draft Research and Pro­fes­sional Development Plan, following the School template.
(C) 8.5 months into the programme: submission of Year 1 progress review mate­rials as follows:

  1. A review essay of approximately 8,000 words. This essay should:
    • introduce your subject of research, outline your cen­tral re­search questions, aims and objectives, discuss the prin­cipal conceptual issues your research raises;
    • indicate the principal primary sources your research draws upon, critically assess the methodological questions your project poses and introduce investigative methods and theoretical frameworks you intend to use;
    • place your project in the context of the existing scholarly literature and explain how it will make a significant and (for PhD) original contribution to knowledge in this field.
          References in this document should follow a format approved by your supervisor(s).
  2. A complete bibliography of all primary and secondary works consulted to date, orga­nised and formatted as approved by your supervisor(s).
  3. A progress report, completed by both student and supervisor, on the School Progress Report form.
  4. An up to date Research and Professional Development Plan, containing all ele­ments specified in the School template, such as a detailed plan of work for the following year, a list of research seminars and other academic pre­senta­tions attended in Year 1, etc (see Appendix).
(D) 9 months into the programme: attendance at a progress review meeting (45 mins.) with a panel consisting of the Director of Teach­ing and Learning or nominee, a reader appointed to assess the submitted materials, and the student’s supervisor(s).

Assessment Details

  • This module is assessed pass/fail in a review meeting (D) by a panel consisting of the student’s supervisor(s), a reader and the School’s Director of Teaching and Learning, assessing attendance and submitted materials as outlined under Module Content (A, C), in an oral discussion and written reports.
  • Re-assessment: repeat review meeting after sub­mis­sion of revised materials; in case of unsatisfactory attendance: agreed equivalent academic engagement.
  • Students must pass this module to progress to Year 2.