GV342L      Half Unit
Philosophy, Politics and Economics: Research Project

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Rafael Hortala-Vallve


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

This course is exclusively for fourth year BSc PPE students.

Course content

The focus of the course is on the production of an individual academic paper and poster presentation. This is your chance to choose a topic of your interest and use what you’ve learnt during the degree into what interests you most. You will be encouraged to develop an interdisciplinary research question.

The initial weeks in Lent Term will be focused on outlining your research plans. Group feedback and individual feedback sessions will take place regularly throughout term. The aim of this course is not only to produce a written piece of research but to also summarise your research in a poster and be able to present it in an informal setting.


2 hours of seminars in the MT. 4 hours of seminars in the LT. 3 hours of workshops in the ST.

The course is structured around an initial presentation and various group and individual feedback sessions. In week 11 of MT we’ll have a two-hour introductory session. During this session we’ll establish the goals of the course and you will then have the Christmas break to think about the topic you want to work on in the LT. There will be group feedback sessions in weeks 2, 5, 8 ands 11. These seminars / workshops will be supplemented with regular individual feedback sessions .

This year, teaching in the course will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus workshops and help sessions.

Formative coursework

Students must prepare a draft outline synopsis for their individual project by Thursday of Week 1 Lent Term, and present on it in a seminar in Week 2. Students must then present a detailed account of their progress in weeks , 8  and 11.

Indicative reading

On writing:

  • Inger Furseth, Euris Everett and Larry Everett, Doing Your Master's Dissertation: From Start to Finish (Sage Study Skills Series, 2013);
  • Stella Cottrell, Dissertations and Project Reports: A Step by Step Guide (Palgrave Study Skills, 2014);
  • Diana Ridley, The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students (SAGE Study Skills Series, 2008);
  • Christopher Hart, Doing a Literature Review (SAGE Study Skills Series, 2018);
  • Sharon M. Ravitch and J. Matthew Riggan, Reason and Rigor: How Conceptual Frameworks Guide Research (2nd edition, Sage Publications, 2016).

On research:

  • Catherine Hakim, Research Design: Successful Designs for Social Economics Research, 2nd ed. (Routledge, 2000);
  • Joseph A. Maxwell, Qualitative Research Design (3rd edition, Sage, 2013);
  • Alan Bryman, Social Research Methods, 5th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2015);
  • David Partington, Essential Skills for Management Research (Sage Publications, 2002).

A list of readings will be made available on Moodle.


Report (80%) in the ST Week 1.
Other (20%).

There are two pieces of assessment. A final report (max 5,000 words) to be submitted by Week 1 of ST (counts towards 80% of the final mark). And a poster and a short informal presentation (around 3 minutes) on your key conclusions.

The poster and presentations will be assessed during the GV342 Summer Capstone Showcase (count towards 20% of the final mark).

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2019/20: Unavailable

Average class size 2019/20: Unavailable

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills