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Course Design Blueprint

Research Skills and Attributes


All students are expected to be provided with an introduction to research within their curriculum as appropriate to the awards subject area and level.  The term 'Research skills' has a variety of meanings, and it is likely to be different for each subject area. Each course team will need to identify which research skills and attributes they expect their students to be able to understand and/or employ, and also determine the level at which these will need to be explored to enable students to progress within learning and assessment.

The University's frameworks for undergraduate and postgraduate awards both require the inclusion of explicit research methods content in most courses at level five or above.  In undergraduate courses there should normally be a twenty credit module that explores subject relevant research methodologies, enabling students to select and plan research activity in preparation for their final year dissertation or project.  Similarly, all Masters degrees are required to include a research methods module of at least 20 credits.

Promoting a research culture

Emphasising the place of research within each course's subject area and encouraging students to engage positively and constructively with current research developments is an essential aspect of University culture.  Schools and individual course teams could adopt a number of strategies to embed research into their student's experience, including by:

  • instituting regular School research seminars that are activily promoted to students as a substantive part of their experience, particularly their final year studies.
  • involving tutors and the University's researchers (including Masters and PhD students) in the delivery of modules, making explicit links between module content and current research activity and trends.
  • including a 'Contemporary Issues' module that is flexible enough to allow students to be explosed and to explore current research within their subject area.
  • requiring students to develop assessment artifacts that are in a format suitable for research publications.
  • stage annual conferences where students' work is shared with local or national audiences alongside established researcher's work.
  • encourage students to work together to create and publish collections of their cohort's work - particularly relevant for creative and artistic subject areas.