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The University of Southampton

LING6017 Research Skills

Module Overview

The aims of this module are to further develop the research, study and time management skills you will need for a substantial independent research investigation.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • A specialist topic in applied linguistics/ English language teaching relevant to your personal interests and context
  • Current theoretical approaches relevant to your chosen topic
  • Current empirical studies, policies and/or practices relevant to your topic
  • Research methods and ethical issues relevant to the investigation of your topic
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Formulate a research problem and design a manageable independent study to investigate it
  • Conduct a systematic literature review
  • Develop appropriate data collection and analysis procedures
  • Reflect critically on the research process
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Manage a substantial independent project
  • Search literature effectively and develop and maintain a bibliographic database
  • Use information technology appropriately to support data collection and analysis


This module provides you with support in identifying a topic and developing plans for your independent MA dissertation. The group activities of the module complement the individual supervision received from your dissertation tutor. You will further develop your library research and bibliographic skills and read in depth for your individual topic. You will develop a detailed plan for your dissertation project.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - Lectures on project development and research methods; - Tutor led seminars on aspects of project design. Learning activities include: - Identifying your area of interest and formulating your research problem; - Library and internet research and development of your own specialised bibliography; - Developing and sharing specific fieldwork skills relevant to your project; - Taking part in group evaluative discussions and acting as ‘critical friend’ to peers.

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Bell, J (1999). Doing Your Research Project: A guide for first-time researchers in education and social science. 

McDonough, J and McDonough, S (1997). Research Methods for English Language Teachers. 

Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. 

Boréus, Kristina, and Göran Bergström (2017). Analyzing Text and Discourse: Eight Approaches for the Social Sciences . . 

Cohen, L, Manion, L and Morrison, K (2007). Research Methods in Education. 

Brown, J D and Rodgers, T S (2002). Doing Second Language Research. 

Richards, K (2003). Qualitative Inquiry in TESOL. 

Walliman, N (2001). Your Research Project: A step by step guide for the first-time researcher. 

Sarah J Tracy  (2019). Qualitative Research Methods: Collecting Evidence, Crafting Analysis, Communicating Impact ,. 

Mackey, A and Gass, S M (2005). Second Language Research: Methodology and design. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback - Discussion with tutors of draft annotated bibliography and dissertation proposals; - Group discussion and feedback on research topic, fieldwork plans and draft instruments.


MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation proposal  (2000 words) 50%
Report  (2000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation proposal  (2000 words) 50%
Report  (2000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation proposal  (2000 words) 50%
Report  (2000 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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