Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Methods of Research

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Arts

DESCRIPTION The study-unit introduces the postgraduate student to basic research methods skills needed for writing the master's dissertation. The main topics covered in the lectures/seminars include: introduction to postgraduate research; the research proposal; supervision and the research process; research and writing skills; examples of different research methods; examples of good and bad practices; working with different sources; formulating research questions; the working hypothesis; the ethics of research; the dissertation bibliography; choosing the required style; key aspects of the writing process; avoiding plagiarism; working with drafts; submitting the dissertation; preparing for the viva voce exam; and the follow-up from the viva voce to the final version.

Study-unit Aims:

- To offer students knowledge and insights into the different skills required to produce the postgraduate dissertation;
- To offer students the opportunity to form a critical understanding of the research process leading to the writing of the postgraduate dissertation;
- To make students aware of different approaches towards the postgraduate research process;
- To emphasize the interconnection between the different stages in the dissertation research and writing processes.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Explain the main objectives of the research project;
- Discuss the methodological choices made in the research process;
- Describe the main approaches taken to carry out the research proposal;
- Distinguish the different stages in the research and writing processes;
- Discuss the subject of the postgraduate dissertation in an academically acceptable style.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Read critically the literature pertaining to the subject of study;
- Plan the main stages of research according to a particular schedule;
- Carry out postgraduate research in different contexts by using a variety of techniques;
- Select the best sources for the postgraduate dissertation;
- Write about the research project in a clear, consistent and structured way.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Recommended Introductory Handbooks:

- Lucinda Becker, How to Manage your Arts, Humanities and Social Science Degree (Palgrave Study Guides, 2002).
- John Biggam, Succeeding with your Master's Dissertation (Open University Press, 2011).
- Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb & Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research (University of Chicago Press, Third Edition, 2008).
- Stella Cottrell, The Study Skills Handbook (Palgrave Study Guides, 2004).
- Martin Coyle & John Peck, The Student’s Guide to Writing. Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation (Palgrave Study Guides, 1999).
- Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (Modern Language Association of America, Seventh Edition, 2009).
- Leonard Rosen & Laurence Behrens, The Allyn and Bacon Handbook (Prentice Hall, Fifth Edition with MLA Update, 2004).
- Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses and Dissertations (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing and Publishing, Seventh Edition, 2007).
- Gina Wisker, The Postgraduate Research Handbook (Palgrave Study Guides, 2001).


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Charles Dalli

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.