Work Based Research Projects
How will I Develop my Research Skills and Ideas?
The Research Methods Distance Learning Module is compulsory for any student wishing to complete an MSc, MRes or Professional Doctorate. This module runs three times a year and is essential for anyone undertaking a work-based research project. It can be taken any time before you start your research but is usually taken as the last taught module. Most students will already have an idea of the research that they would like to carry out before commencing this module.
If you are already employed in a relevant sector, you will want to undertake research which is closely aligned to your work and it is crucial that your employer is supportive of both the research aims and the time commitment your proposed research will involve. Whilst the academic focus will be on your completion of an advanced piece of research, embedding this research within your place of work will provide potential opportunities for innovation within your workplace. We would recommend talking through your ideas with your employer and tutor as soon as you are able to.
If you are not employed in a relevant sector, you may want to complete a desk-based dissertation or to carry out research.
How much work is a Dissertation?
Two dissertation routes available through this programme:
- 60 Credit Dissertation – this forms the research component of the Masters (MSc). It will normally be 12,000 – 15,000 words in length, with a maximum of 20,000 words. Part-time students should expect to complete their dissertation in a year.
- 120 Credit Dissertation - approximately 20,000 words in length, this forms the bulk of the Research Masters (MRes) and is the ‘short thesis’ component of the Professional Doctorate. We anticipate that most part-time students will take two years to complete their MRes dissertation.
What Sort of Activities will I Carry Out in the Research Project?
Both dissertations build on the research proposal developed in the Research Methods module. You will be provided with structured academic support enabling you to carry out applied research at work. The milestones within both types of dissertation will be:
- Further development of your research proposal
- Deeper development of your literature review
- Carrying out your research competently and efficiently
- Evaluating your results using appropriate statistical analyses
- Presenting and discussing your findings
- Producing a learned report of the investigation in the form of a dissertation in accordance with University guidelines