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The University of Southampton

HUMA5004 Research Project

Module Overview

This module will allow you to independently undertake a piece of research that relates to your future Masters programme. Through applying the skills learnt on other Pre-Masters modules and taking full advantage of weekly 30-minute tutorials, this module will encourage you to formulate your own methodologies, conduct your own research and deliver a clearly structured project. This module will provide a strong preparation for further research at Masters level.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate deep knowledge and understanding of an issue related to your future Masters programme
  • Understand the characteristics of an effective project plan
  • Identify appropriate methodologies for conducting your research
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Engage with and critically implement a range of concepts, theories and discourses surrounding your chosen topic
  • Synthesise and critically evaluate a range of appropriate academic texts (books, journal articles) and non-academic materials (reports, web resources) related to your topic
  • Formulate a clear, well-structured argument in a long essay
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate your own work and identify effective research strategies that can be taken forward to Masters level
  • Access, and assess the value of, multiple sources of information
  • Provide a clear and comprehensive project plan including an annotated bibliography that provides evaluation of a range of appropriate texts
  • Write at length on a complex issue by delivering a long, detailed and carefully-structured essay
  • Work efficiently as an independent learner, managing your time effectively to meet deadlines


This module asks you to investigate in detail a topic relating to your Masters programme. The module is focused on independent research and as such emphasises careful planning and time management, and is supported by regular contact with a supervisor. In the first few weeks of the module, you will attend one introductory lecture and a small number of group tutorials. These tutorials will cover the following:  - Choosing a research topic and narrowing down your focus  - Devising a title for your project  - Tips on how to get started with research and how to search for relevant material  - How to structure a project plan/outline and compile an annotated bibliography  - How to manage your time and devise a timetable for completion Following these group tutorials, you will work individually on your project, meeting with your tutor once a week for advice and feedback. In your first individual tutorial, your will devise a timetable for completion in agreement with your tutor, setting a series of milestones that will be in place for the duration of the semester. Between each supervision session, you will be expected to work independently, manage your time effectively and work towards completing each pre-arranged milestone. The assessment on this module is spread across three assignments. The Project Plan including Annotated Bibliography will be completed midway through the semester and will assess your abilities to communicate a clear thesis statement, appropriate research methodology and indicative essay outline, as well as a discussion of provisional sources in preparation for your Essay. You will be able to discuss feedback on your Project Plan with your supervisor and implement any suggested alterations. The Essay will be submitted towards the end of the semester and will examine your abilities in synthesising and critically evaluating the material you have found, presenting your ideas and arguments in a clear and logical fashion, and demonstrating a thorough understanding of the issues at hand. The third assignment, a Reflective Log, asks you to evaluate your project and to consider the effectiveness of your research.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include  - One introductory lecture (Week 1)  - Group tutorials (Weeks 2-4)  - Weekly one-on-one tutorials (approximately 30 minutes per session) Learning methods include  - Attending tutorials and discussing your research with your supervisor  - Engaging with your classmates' ideas in group tutorials  - Independent study

Independent Study142
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Stella Cottrell (2017). Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. 

Stella Cottrell (2003). The Study Skills Handbook. 

Jeanne Godfrey (2013). How to Use Your Reading in Your Essays. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay/report  (2500 words) 60%
Project plan  (1000 words) 30%
Reflective log  (500 words) 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Anything else not covered elsewhere

There are no specific costs to you linked to this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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