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

Undergraduate Course: Capstone Project (EFIE10002)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryAs the final 'capstone' project for your degree, this course offers you a high degree of flexibility in choosing what you submit and how you are assessed. You have the option to write an individual or group dissertation, or to propose an alternative format. A series of specialist training workshops will be available, and you will be supported along the way by a dedicated supervisor.
Course description This course provides the structure and support that you need to embark on a large-scale final project, which draws together all the learning that you have done across Edinburgh Futures Institute's Global Challenges degree programme. The course provides four distinct streams, one of which you will select at the beginning of the process. These are: Individual Dissertation, Group Dissertation, Individual Special Project and Group Special Project. The more conventional academic route of dissertations will be available individually or as a small research team completing a group project. A variety of other formats may also be possible, and you may wish to propose a film, a performance, an educational programme, a website, a portfolio, or any other form that will allow you to demonstrate your work. These options recognise that different students prefer to work in different ways and have distinct approaches to knowledge creation and dissemination. They also acknowledge a variety of pathways into employment or additional education. As such, you will be supported to select the most appropriate format to reflect your experience, skills and goals. You will also have the opportunity to negotiate the assessment structure, working with your supervisor to agree a plan for balancing individual and group assessment, critical argument and reflection, and peer and self-assessment. At this stage in the degree, you will be offered agency in designing and structuring your learning journey, allowing you to develop the skills to shape your own future.

As with the Level 9 course on Interdisciplinary Research, the first part of this course is devoted to finalising group formation (for those students who have opted to work in that mode) and topic selection. This will be driven mainly by preferred stream and research interests, which will relate to a key global challenge. Proposals will be carefully considered by the supervision team and final approval must be provided before you can proceed with the research. It is important to ensure that you have the relevant skillset and support structure in place. Throughout the year, a series of workshops will be provided, and you will select from a list of training sessions offered as one-off opportunities from staff across the university. For example, these might include advanced data analysis, working with community groups, artistic skills training, or research ethics. These are offered as a mix of online and in person. Alongside these sessions, you will be allocated a supervisor to work with you on the development of your capstone project. This will be well structured with some fixed points for proposals, presentations, reports and submissions throughout the year.
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 detailed knowledge and understanding of a selected global challenge, and critically engage with appropriate theories, concepts and methods to design a research project.
  2. Deliver a defined project of research, development or investigation, using a selection of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are required for completing an individual or group project.
  3. Offer professional insights, interpretations and potential solutions to problems and issues arising from your selected challenge.
  4. Interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of data, which may include numerical and graphical information, to communicate specialist knowledge in an appropriate format.
  5. Exercise autonomy, responsibility and initiative whilst working individually or with others, to bring about change, development and/or new thinking.
Reading List
As with the Level 9 core course Interdisciplinary Research, students will research their own projects, which may include conventional dissertations as well as a range of special projects. As such, the range of subjects and literature will vary significantly. Reading on research methods is introduced in the pre-requisite courses, summarised below. General reading on mixed methods and undergraduate research is also provided here:

Mixed Methods:

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

Creswell, John W., and Plano Clark, Vicki L. 2017. Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research 2ndedn. 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:

- Be prepared to make a positive difference to both yourself and to the world around you, responding to challenges and shaping better futures.
- Take personal responsibility for pursuing your goals and opportunities to grow and develop beyond the course.
- Draw on the quality, depth and breadth of your experiences to engage positively, ethically and respectfully with the communities and the world around you.
- Use highly-developed skills in research and enquiry to identify and creatively tackle problems, and to seek out opportunities for learning.
- Use personal and intellectual autonomy to critically evaluate ideas, evidence and experiences from an open-minded and reasoned perspective.
- Effectively collaborate and/or share knowledge, and adapt to new situations with sensitivity and integrity.
- Use skilled communication to enhance your understanding of global challenges and to engage effectively with others.
KeywordsCreative Practice,Cultural Analysis,Data Analysis,Data Collection,Interdisciplinary,Research Methods
Course organiserDr David Overend
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