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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Undergraduate Course: Interdisciplinary Research (EFIE09002)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryConceive, plan and deliver a collaborative research project with a multi-method approach. Working in a small research team with the support of a supervisor, you will apply the skills and knowledge developed in pre-honours core courses to create a new research project in response to a selected global challenge. The course develops your advanced skills and knowledge in interdisciplinary research.
Course description This course brings together skills and methods developed in the pre-honours courses for Edinburgh Futures Institute's undergraduate degree programme. You will work together in interdisciplinary teams to develop and apply a mixed methods approach to a selected research question, hypothesis, or enquiry, relating to a key global challenge. Groups will be comprised of students with emerging skills in diverse methods. These might include a combination of the categories introduced in the Researching Global Challenges courses (for example, Data Collection, Data Analysis, Creative Practice, and Cultural Analysis). Global challenges can only be addressed by working together, finding shared approaches, and adapting to new situations. This course requires application of interdisciplinary methods and practices that will equip you with the skills and experience you need to help create better futures.

An important feature of this course is its flexible structure. Students on the programme may be spending a semester studying abroad. Taking place across both semesters, but with variation in key formative and summative assessment points, the course therefore offers you a degree of agency in finding the most effective supervision and meeting structure for the year. This may include a hybrid approach with a programme of in-person, online and asynchronous supervision and individual and group work. Early in the course, you will work with supervisors to agree a detailed timeline for progress towards flexible submission points. Progression through the course will be clearly structured through a series of tasks and submissions. The course will introduce a number of potential models and frameworks for developing a research project, as well as exploring broad topic areas that may inform the choice of project. Using a hybrid model, full class introduction and training sessions will be delivered, which may include further skills development in working with specific types of text, data and media. You will then complete a formative assignment individually exploring a potential topic and methodology. As research teams are created, you will be supported as you share ideas and approaches, leading to an agreed group project with clearly defined individual roles and responsibilities within a team structure. Groups will usually be comprised of 3-5 students and would only be outside this range in exceptional circumstances. A group presentation will take place midway through the agreed timeline and this will be centred around a hybrid event at the end of semester 1, which will include an asynchronous component for those who may be studying or working away at this point in the year. The final submission will be a co-authored paper submitted at the end of the course.

It is recognised that group research at undergraduate level can be challenging and requires a flexible supervision process that ensures all students are well supported. This course is designed to ensure that all students can participate in a well-conceived and planned research project, learning to respond to complex global challenges through interdisciplinary collaboration.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the scope and defining features of a complex research problem in order to develop an appropriate research enquiry.
  2. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in identifying, selecting, employing a range of appropriate research methods with a coherent interdisciplinary methodology.
  3. Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues, both independently and collaboratively.
  4. Interpret, use and evaluate different types of data to complete a collaborative research project.
  5. Work in ways that show awareness of own and others' roles and responsibilities in a collaborative process.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:

Students will research their own hypothetical research projects in semester 1; and will work with their group on the collaborative project in semester 2. As such, the range of subjects and literature will vary significantly per group. Reading on research methods is introduced in the pre-requisite courses, summarised below. General reading on undergraduate research is also provided.

Mixed Methods:

Creswell, John W. 2014. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches 3rd edn. London: SAGE

Creswell, John W., and Plano Clark, Vicki L. 2017. Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research 2nd edn. London: SAGE

Ivankova, Nataliya V., and Plano Clark, Vicki L.. 2015. Mixed Methods Research: A Guide to the Field. London: SAGE

General Research:

Lyall, C., Bruce, A., Tait, J., & Meagher, L. 2011. Interdisciplinary Research Journeys: Practical Strategies for Capturing Creativity. London: Bloomsbury

Robson, Colin. 2014. How to Do a Research Project: A Guide for Undergraduate Students. London: Wiley

Wisker, Gina. 2018. The Undergraduate Research Handbook. London: Macmillan Education

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 2016. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books

Methods Literature Introduced in Researching Global Challenges Pre-requisite Courses:

Data Collection
- Olsen, Wendy. 2011. Data Collection: Key Debates and Methods in Social Research. London: SAGE Publications.

Data Analysis
- Hardy, Melissa and Bryman, Alan. 2009. Handbook of Data Analysis. London: SAGE Publications.
- Perez, Caroline Criado. 2019. Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men. London: Vintage.

Creative Practice
- Mannay, Dawn. 2015. Visual, Narrative and Creative Research Methods: Application, Reflection and Ethics. London: Routledge.
- Nelson, Robin. 2013. Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
- Smith, Hazel and Dean, Roger, T. (eds.). 2009. Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts. Edinburgh University Press.
- Owens, Allan and Adams, Jeff (eds.). 2021. Beyond Text: Learning Through Arts-Based Research. London: Intellect Books Limited.

Cultural Analysis
- Pickering, Michael. 2008. Research Methods for Cultural Studies. Edinburgh University Press
- Bignell, Jonathan. 2002. Media Semiotics: An Introduction, Second Edition. Manchester University Press.
- Davidov, Eldad; Schmidt, Peter; Billiet, Jaak; and Meuleman, Bart (eds.). 2018. Cross-Cultural Analysis: Methods and Applications 2nd Edition. London: Routledge.
- Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 2016. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On completion of this course, you should:

- Have developing skills in research and enquiry and the ability to identify and creatively explore and respond to global challenges.
- Have personal and intellectual autonomy to critically evaluate ideas, evidence and experiences from an open-minded and reasoned perspective.
- Be able to draw on a range of sources in making judgements.
- Adapt to new situations with sensitivity and integrity.
- Have communication skills that can be used to enhance understanding of a topic or context and to engage effectively with others.
KeywordsCreative Practice,Cultural Analysis,Data Analysis,Data Collection,Group work,Interdisciplinary
Course organiserDr David Overend
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