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Skip to 0 minutes and 6 secondsEMMA THOMPSON: Welcome to Developing your Research Project. I'm Emma, and I'm a political scientist here at the University of Southampton.

Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsRICHARD PENNY: And I'm Richard. I'm a researcher in moral and social philosophy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 16 secondsEMMA THOMPSON: For both of us, part of our role involves the transition of students from further education to higher education and the acquisition of skills that you will need to do really well at this level of education.

Skip to 0 minutes and 27 secondsRICHARD PENNY: In this course we're going to help you do just that by taking you through every stage of the research process, from forming your research question to starting the research, and ultimately writing it up and presenting it at the end.

Skip to 0 minutes and 38 secondsEMMA THOMPSON: So we really hope you enjoy it.

Welcome to the course

In this short video Emma Thompson and Richard Penny welcome you to the course.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this course is that it provides you with the opportunity to be part of a much wider community of researchers as we bring together students and supervisors undertaking research projects from all over the world.

The structure of the course is as follows:

Week 1: Starting an academic research project

Week 2: Drafting a research proposal

Week 3: Undertaking research and recording your findings

Week 4: Choosing an appropriate research methodology

Week 5: Academic reading

Week 6: Referencing

Week 7: Writing up your research

Week 8: Presenting your research

Your online mentoring team

During the course, Holly Dunbar, Manuel Leon, Johanna Walker, and Nic Fair will be supporting Emma and Richard. You can follow them by clicking the links to their FutureLearn profile pages and selecting ‘follow’. That way, you’ll be able to see all the comments that they make.

Additional course support materials

This course is designed to take around an hour’s study a week. However here at the University of Southampton, we have developed a comprehensive set of booklets in PDF format which cover many of the areas that we touch upon during this course in far greater depth.

These PDF booklets will be referred to throughout the course and can be viewed and downloaded from Step 8.11 Additional course resources.


There is a short multiple choice test at the end of Week 8 which will test your understanding of the research skills required to undertake a research project. There are some quizzes throughout the course and the test questions will be of a similar type.

Prove what you’ve learned with a certificate

If you complete at least 90% of the Steps in this course you will be eligible to purchase a Certificate of Achievement to prove what you’ve learned on this course. You will need to make sure that when you complete each Step, you mark it as ‘complete’.

This personalised certificate and transcript details the syllabus and learning outcomes. The Certificate comes in both printed and digital formats, so you can easily add it to your portfolio, CV or LinkedIn profile.

Certificate of Achievement

Checking your progress …

When you’ve finished this Step just click the pink ‘Mark as complete’ button. You will then be able to see at a glance which Steps you have completed on your ‘To do’ list, and so we can show you how much you’ve completed on your Progress page.

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This video is from the free online course:

Developing Your Research Project

University of Southampton

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: