GEOG40390 Research Design

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module introduces students to the tools and techniques of designing an effective research proposal. It requires significant independent reading, writing and thinking. The training will allow students to initiate and progress work toward the MA/MSc dissertation. Successful completion of this module will be a requirement to proceed to the thesis component of the Masters programmes.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module students should have:
1. Formulated the research framework for their MA/MSc dissertation.
2. Developed critical thinking, critical reading, writing, presentation skills and research design skills.
3. Advanced their understanding of research themes in a specialist area of geography.
4. Greater awareness of the demands and requirements of autonomous learning.

Indicative Module Content:

Literature reviews: Search process (topics, keywords, bibliographies – relevance)
Research approaches
Critical thinking and reading
Critical writing and writing strategies / literature map
Research questions: Identification, hypotheses and effectiveness
Elements of a research proposal
Academic writing
Project management
Giving presentations

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This is a student-led module which requires active/task-based learning including some peer and group work to supplement in-class lectures. Learning and assessments require critical writing and reflective learning which facilitates the steady progress of thesis dissertation writing involving enquiry & problem-based learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Written Proposal Unspecified n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: A series of research design tasks, class participation, including attendance to School's research seminar series Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Presentation: Presentation Unspecified n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback for the assessments throughout the trimester will be given to the student individually post submission and/or during class.

Name Role
Professor Niamh Moore Cherry Lecturer / Co-Lecturer