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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Guided Research Project
Module Code LG2180
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ross Carroll
Semester 2: Ross Carroll
Autumn: Ross Carroll
Module TeachersRoss Carroll
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
An independent study project of no more than 10,000 words on a topic of the student's choice

The purpose of this module is to plan and complete a substantial piece of independent research on a topic relating to a contemporary issue in international relations. Students will explore and operationalise appropriate research design strategies and research methods. By the end of the course students should have a better understanding of what constitutes a substantial piece of research, how to begin and manage research projects, how to identify appropriate sources and what kind of problems might be encountered.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify, synthesise, and critically appraise academic and other relevant literature relating to topics in contemporary international relations.
2. Identify a range of research designs that can be used to address puzzles and problems in the study of international relations.
3. Distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research methods and specify rules for successful case selection.
4. Identify a range of sources appropriate to the completion of a research project.
5. Plan and manage their own work over a prescribed period.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture33No Description
Independent Study342No Description
Total Workload: 375

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Research Design
This session aims to familiarise students with the process of developing research questions and hypothesis. It also explores a range of appropriate research strategies (cross-sectional/longitudinal studies, comparative, case studies).

Literature review
In this session students will learn how to find relevant secondary sources. The session also provides students with guidance on how to map the literature and locate their own project within their research area.

Writing up
This session focuses on how to structure the project. It also provides students with guidance for effective time management and for developing the habit of writing.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentAn independent study project of no more than 10,000 words on a topic of the student s choice100%Week 24
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Smith, K., Todd, M. & Waldman, J.: 2009, Doing Your Undergraduate Social Science Dissertation, Routledge, London,
  • Baglione, L: 2006, Writing a Research Paper in Political Science, Wadsworth Publishing Co Inc, US,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
IRBA in International Relations

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