• University of Southampton

Developing Your Research Project

Undertaking an Extended Project Qualification, IB extended essay or any other scholarly research? This guides you step-by-step.

147,622 enrolled on this course

A young woman sat at a laptop, working on her research project, with post-its on the wall be hind her detailing her development

Developing Your Research Project

147,622 enrolled on this course

  • 8 weeks

  • 1 hour per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    8 weeks
  • Weekly study

    1 hour
  • 100% online

    How it works
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    $189.99 for one yearLearn more

Curiosity is one of humanity’s most important characteristics. It has enabled us to make the unknown known, to break barriers and to shine a light on all aspects of life, from our day to day hobbies to the exploration of the stars. Our innate desire to explore is responsible for many of our proudest achievements. This course will help train you to harness your curiosity and use it to undertake your own research projects in a scholarly manner.

The course is intended for anyone who is currently undertaking or planning to undertake a piece of academic research, be that the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), International Baccalaureate Extended Essay, Welsh Baccalaureate Individual Project, coursework or a piece of independent scholarship. The course is running throughout the year so you can chose the start date that suits you (select your preference below).

Developed and delivered by research-active academics, the course will support you with every step of the research process, from developing a hypothesis and finding sources to writing up and presenting one’s findings.

The practical, hands-on lessons will give you the opportunity to share your ideas with fellow researchers from all over the world, to receive peer feedback on your research proposals and enable you to review and comment on the work of other researchers, building a supportive community of like-minded curious learners.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Starting an academic research project

    • Getting started

      Welcome to 'Developing your research project'. You will find information about the course structure & assessment and some notes for tutors / supervisors. You will meet the course educators and the online mentoring team.

    • Why do academic research?

      By the end of this activity you will have a clear understanding of what academic research is and the broad range of transferable skills you can develop from undertaking a research project

    • Critical success factors

      By the end of this activity you will have a clear understanding of the wider factors to consider when planning on undertaking a piece of academic research.

    • Week 1 - summary activities

      In this final activity we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learnt.

  • Week 2

    Drafting a research proposal

    • Drafting a research proposal

      We will be discussing the process of selecting a suitable theme and topic for a research project. By the end of this week you will be able to identify key research questions drawn from your draft research proposal & hypothesis

    • Developing your ideas

      In this peer review activity you are encouraged to share your draft hypothesis and initial research questions and for you to feedback on each other's ideas to develop them further.

    • Week 2 - summary activities

      In this final activity we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learnt.

  • Week 3

    Undertaking research and recording your findings

    • Finding information

      This week’s activities will provide guidance on how to find and select reliable sources, as well as how to record the origins of these sources to make sure you can prove where your evidence came from.

    • What sources are available?

      We will be providing you with a brief introduction to different types of sources. By the end of the activity you will understand the pros and cons of using different types of sources and you will know how to record your findings.

    • Starting your research

      So how do you actually get going with your research? You will find that 'exploding out' the terms in your draft title can help you to get on your way!

    • Week 3 - summary activities

      In this final activity we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learnt.

  • Week 4

    Choosing an appropriate research methodology

    • Identifying different research methodologies

      This week's activities will introduce you to the different research methodologies you can employ to build your argument and to consider what you think might be a suitable methodology to use and why.

    • Choosing an appropriate research methodology

      By the end of this activity, you will have identified a methodology which you think best fits your research project and will be able to update your research proposal

    • Week 4 - summary activities

      In this final activity we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learnt.

  • Week 5

    Academic reading

    • Academic reading

      Getting through all of the available information for a research project can seem overwhelming. By the end of this week you will have a range of effective reading techniques and know which is suitable for what source.

    • Developing academic reading techniques

      We will introduce you to ways of varying your style and approach depending upon the nature of the task. You will develop techniques to actively note down the important information you find when you're doing this reading.

    • Week 5 - summary activities

      In this final activity we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learnt.

  • Week 6

    Referencing

    • Referencing

      This week we will provide guidance on how to effectively reference your work. By the end of this week you will be aware of the different styles of referencing and know how to set your references out to an academic standard.

    • When to reference? what to reference?

      The list of things that you could possibly draw evidence from, cite within your text and produce a bibliography for, is virtually endless.

    • Week 6 - summary activities

      In this final activity we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learnt.

  • Week 7

    Writing up your research

    • Writing up your research

      This week we will explore how to plan out a lengthy essay whilst integrating the results of your research. By the end of this week, you will know how to construct a well-supported, original academic argument.

    • Writing a summary of your research proposal

      Writing a summary of your proposal will prepare you for writing an abstract for your research project. This is also an ideal opportunity to feedback once again to each other on your ideas so far.

    • Week 7 - summary activities

      In this final activity we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learnt.

  • Week 8

    Presenting your research

    • Presenting your research

      This week we cover the key elements of delivering an effective academic presentation based upon your research project. By the end of this week you will be aware of what the core elements are that you must include.

    • End of course test

      In this final week, we test a little of what you have learned about the research skills needed to undertake a research project.

    • Week 8 - summary activities

      In this final activity we summarise the main points covered this week and encourage you to reflect on what you've learnt.

    • What next?

      In this final activity we say thank you & goodbye, link you to additional resources, point you towards opportunities for further study at the University of Southampton and to the post-course survey.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Develop a research hypothesis
  • Formulate research questions
  • Summarise a research proposal
  • Assess the validity of a research proposal
  • Justify the choice of a specific research methodology
  • Explore academic literature about a specific research subject
  • Prepare a presentation to illustrate the key components of your specific research project

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone currently undertaking or planning to undertake a piece of academic research at any level. You do not need any previous experience to get the most out of this course.

Who will you learn with?

Learn with US Transition Leader, University of Southampton. Research Interests: political behaviour in the UK, the student experience and the value of the EPQ. Twitter: @DrEmmaThompson #FLcuriosity

Post-doctoral researcher on economic inequality and social jusice & Learn with US Transition Officer at the University of Southampton. www.soton.academia.edu/RichardPenny @DrRichPenny #FLcuriosity

Who developed the course?

University of Southampton

Southampton is a place for ambitious people keen to stretch their intellectual abilities and help change the world.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$189.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$44/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 6 Apr 2023

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 28 February 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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