Full course descriptionThis research training is focused on implementation of a research project. In the first part of the course, students revise and further refine the research proposals for the 'pilot' project related to the topic of their MSc thesis (prepared in the previous course on Research Design). An emphasis is now placed on 'upgrading' the proposals by developing a solid theoretical and methodological framework based on the courses followed within the specialization track of each student. In the second (and main) part of the course, students are asked to implement the individual pilot projects by following their own research project proposal (including inter alia carrying out the data collection and data analysis methods proposed, according to the envisaged timetable, leading to the proposed project output, etc). At the end of the course, students present and defend their 'pilot thesis', and discuss the potential and the limitations of the project. Students will receive personal coaching by way of meetings with the course coordinator, potential thesis supervisors and methods course coordinators throughout the course. The design and implementation of the pilot project aims to prepare students for developing and executing their MSc thesis projects via a 'learning-by-doing' approach. Students are made aware of potential logistical and methodological pitfalls which may occur in the research process, they learn how to better judge the feasibility of carrying out a research plan, and develop a better feel for the linkages between research design and research project (implementation).
Course objectivesAfter this course students should: • have developed a research project that addresses a research question that is relevant in the context of a critical discussion of the state of the art within the thematic specialization of the student, with a view to the proposed thesis project; • have the skills to design and implement an independent research project, including the implementation of data collection and data analysis methods using the research techniques acquired within the methodological specialization of the student; and the development of a critical awareness of the linkages between research design and research project (implementation), and good judgment of the feasibility of carrying out a research plan. • be able to defend a research thesis, and critically reflect on the strengths and limitations of a research project
Recommended readingZina o'Leary (2004; 2009). The Essential Guide to Doing Your research project, SAGE, London.
5 Apr 2021
4 Jun 2021
Assessment methods:Presentation, Assignment
Keywords:Pilot research project; planning and implementing a research project; presenting research results; MSc thesis