Masters Project Module


In this module, students will conduct, write up and orally present an independent research investigation. A principal supervisor and a second supervisor are allocated to provide support for all stages of the research process.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with the opportunity to utilise the skills and knowledge acquired in the PGDip component of their MSc programme to conduct and report on an independent research project with appropriate supervision.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Design and carry out a piece of research that has been approved by the School Research Ethics Committee.

2.  Develop a working relationship with a supervisory team, participate in effective supervision meetings, plan and manage their own time.

3.  Conduct extensive and focused literature research.

4.  Successfully defend and carry out their choice of methodology and data analysis.

5.  Present the completed project in written discipline-appropriate style.

6.  Orally present a research paper based on the completed MSc project.

Indicative Content

1 Participating in the research community

Immersion in the literature. Organising research materials, keeping records and logs. Conducting meetings with outside agencies and communicating tasks and findings to participants.

2 Becoming an effective researcher

Critically evaluating your own ideas, identifying the right question to ask, relating your ideas to the literature, ethical issues and how to address them.

3 Writing skills

Developing a mature and confident writing style; use correct referencing style for research projects. Troubleshooting in writing skills; how to copy, edit, and proof-read; updating spelling grammar knowledge.

4 Application of Methods

Applying the appropriate methods. This may include use of specialised software: e.g. N-Vivo, Superlab, E-Prime.

5 Working with a supervisor

Making the most of supervision, becoming a confident independent learner, setting goals, evaluating progress.

6 Research in practice

Learning about research in practice. This may include dealing with methodological issues, techniques of analysis, limitations of statistical techniques, pilot work, creating experimental materials, using experimental control programmes, problems in implementation.

7 Data management

Collecting data efficiently, keeping good records, analysing data appropriately, interpreting the results. Ensuring confidentiality of data.

8 Communicating the results

Writing in discipline-appropriate format, being your own editor, criticising your own work effectively, relating your findings to the literature.

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students are expected to work independently on their research project. All students will be allocated a supervisory team who will offer appropriate support and guidance. Students will be required to enter into an informal supervision contract/arrangement with their supervisors. Students and staff will be expected to discuss and agree the responsibilities of both the student and the supervisor at the start of the research process. Students will have the opportunity to influence the form of the meetings and the topics discussed in these meetings. Students should note that staff may be unavailable from the University for some periods especially over the summer months. However, appropriate support will be made available to students. The module provides the foundation required for applying knowledge gained in other modules and prepares students to carry out their independent research projects. Delivery and assessments are designed to align student development with the Abertay Graduate Attributes. This module will allow students to become knowledgeable and confident researchers. The project process develops students’ interpersonal skills to work, negotiate and collaborate with others (including supervisors and participants as well as potential external agencies) and develops both their problem−solving and decision making skills. The process of carrying out an independent piece of research develops students in to confident, motivated, enquiring and reflective thinkers. The learning outcomes of the module are assessed via a written research project and an oral presentation based on the completed project work. Teaching comprises a combination of lectures and drop−in workshops.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 600
Lecture 0
Tutorial/Seminar 6
Supervised Practical Activity 14
Unsupervised Practical Activity 60
Assessment 200
Independent 320

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.