The main purpose of this course is to teach the students how to design a research project and to guide them in the process of developing one for their own master thesis research. Over the course students develop the knowledge and skills relevant for preparing a research design, formulating research questions, selecting appropriate methodology, conducting a review of the scientific literature and writing an academic text following scientific convention.
The main learning objective is that graduates get academic and research skills like independently searching for and identifying additional literature, critically reflecting and discussing on issues in the domain, taking responsibility for his or her development, designing a research proposal and executing and reporting on an (applied) research project. Graduates are able to give a structured written and oral presentation in English about individual work.
After following the training on research ethics, students are able to recognize ethical issues which may arise in the context of their research and are able to ethically test their research proposals for impact on human subjects.
After following the training on academic writing, students are able to identify problem areas in their own texts, apply the scientific norms related to giving proper credit and referencing and the scientific conventions for academic writing.
The course provides students with the tools to design their own and independent scientific project in the framework of their Master’s thesis. The course is tailored to students at all levels of expertise. It covers project design, methodology choices, academic writing and research ethics.
The course addresses conceptual and technical design of a research project. Subjects like clarifying the research objective, constructing the research framework, elaboration of the research questions and the definition and specification of the theoretical concepts used are dealt with, next to data gathering and data analysis methods. Emphasized is that these elements are mutually dependent and thus the conceptual design should be an iterative process, by which eventually all aspects should be fitting in a coherent manner. Additionally, hands-on tutorials about research ethics and essential academic writing skills are provided.