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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: International development: research design and practice (PGSP11420)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits0 ECTS Credits0
SummaryThe course is mandatory for all students in the MSc Africa and International Development and MSc International Development. It provides important skills and knowledge necessary for success in the taught and research components of the degree, including academic essay writing in the field of international development, information about work-based placements, information on standard dissertations and work-based dissertations, dissertation research design, ethics in the context of research and a work-based placement, and important information on health and safety as well as visa regulation prior to departure. The course will be organised in coordination with the Practice Programme Manager.
Course description Semester 1:

(Induction week): Introduction (2 hours)

How to write an academic essay in international development (2 hours)

Development research in practice I (2 contact hours)

Feedback on essay writing (mock essay) (2 hours)

Development research in practice II (2 contact hours)

Semester 2:

Information session on standard dissertations and work-based placement dissertations (2 hours)

The MSc dissertation in international development: research design I (research question) (2 hours)

The MSc dissertation in international development: research design II (research methods part 1) (2 hours)

Ethics in the context of a work-based placement and research for a standard dissertation (2 hours).

Pre-departure workshop (2hours)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  120
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will not be assessed. It does however require the submission of two pieces of writing: a mock essay in semester 1, and a research proposal outline (accompanied with ethics self-audit) in semester 2.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Learn how to write academic essays and other texts in the field of international development based on a critical understanding of the main debates in this field as they are being taught in the core courses of the two programmes.
  2. Acquire knowledge of research design, the range of techniques of enquiry, and other skills needed to develop and conduct research for a standard dissertation or work-based placement dissertation within the field of International Development;
  3. Learn to deal self-reflexively with complex ethical and professional/academic issues and make informed judgements on issues arising in the context of independent research or a work-based placement;
  4. Develop a positive rapport with peers and staff and a sense of cohesion as a cohort
  5. Ability to critically analyse a theme of their choosing in the field of international development through dissertation research addressing that theme.
Reading List
Desai, Vandana (2006) Doing development research.
Laws, Sophie (2013) Research for development: A practical guide.
Olivier de Sardan, Jean-Pierre (2005) Anthropology and development: understanding contemporary social change.
Spradley, James P. (1979) The ethnographic interview.
Spradely, James P. (1980) Participant observation.
Strauss, Leonard and Anselm Schatzman (1973) Field research: strategies for a natural sociology
Sumner, Andrew and Michael Tribe (2008) International development studies: theories and methods in research practice.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course will provide students with the skills needed to conduct independent research or applied research for a host organisation offering a work-based placement in the field of international development. Students will acquire knowledge about writing an academic essay and a MSc dissertation in this field, the ability to assess ethical challenges of work and research in international development, basic knowledge about formulating a relevant research question and choose the appropriate methodology. Students will learn to work in a host organisation. Students will acquire basic information about health and safety as well as relevant government regulations.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jose Munoz Martin
Tel: (0131 6)51 5678
Course secretaryMiss Kate Ferguson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5122
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