CP0314: Research Project

School Cardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department Code GEOPL
Module Code CP0314
External Subject Code K400
Number of Credits 20
Level L6
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader DR Kersty Hobson
Semester Spring Semester
Academic Year 2017/8

How the module will be assessed

Type of assessment





(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Research Project



Research project

7,000 words


Students are permitted to be reassessed in a module which they have failed, in line with the course regulations. The reassessment will usually take place during the summer.

How the module will be delivered

  • Q&A sessions and lectures on selected topics at key stages in the project (circa 8 hours)
  • Online learning resources for key stages, such as literature review
  • Regular meetings and discussion sessions, as well as feedback on draft written and illustrative work, with an allocated project supervisor (circa 6 hours);
  • Independent research and investigation according to a planned and managed schedule of work agreed with the supervisor.

Outline Description of Module

This module gives students the opportunity to complete an individual research project on a subject of their choice, which demonstrates their ability to design, manage and execute a programme of independent research activity. Students can use the module to follow up on a research problem identified while on a placement year (if applicable), or to develop specialised studies in a particular field (e.g. urban design, regeneration, housing etc). Students are expected to undertake independent inquiry and investigation with the support of both an allocated supervisor and group lectures. The assessment of the module is based on a written and illustrated submission. The project is a substantial piece of work and will be assessed as an important, individual component of final year undergraduate studies.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

In terms of Knowledge/Understanding:

  1. show a clear understanding and knowledge of planning through evidence of engagement with the spatial, social and institutional context of the research;
  2. exhibit in-depth understanding of a specialised area of planning by identifying the limits of existing knowledge on the subject and the potential for further research;
  3. illustrate critical engagement with the merits and deficiencies of a selected area of planning activity by reaching justified conclusions and making recommendations for policy and/or practice change in that area;
  4. use language and media related to planning in a professional way;
  5. show knowledge and understanding of professional values and behaviour.


In Terms of Skills/Presentation:

1. demonstrate ability to identify, collect and analyse relevant planning and social science data;

2. demonstrate ability in appropriately using textual and graphic media to express ideas, present arguments and illustrate findings;

3. define and defend a clear and focussed research question, and related aims and objectives for the research project;

4. approach a range of questions or problems with an inquisitive and critical attitude;

5. demonstrate effective research and appraisal skills, evident in data collection, investigation, quantitative and qualitative data analysis,  weighing evidence and reaching appropriate conclusions;

  1. successfully manage an independent, small-scale research project;
  2. organise and structure a complex document constituted of written materials and illustration.
  3. understand, discuss, reflect upon and assess ethical issues related to a research project


In Terms of Values/Attitudes:

  1. display awareness of the principles of ethical research conduct by compliance with relevant legislation and good practice principles
  2. appreciate the merit of adopting a critical and questioning approach to existing knowledge and research conduct;
  3. understand the relevant views of stakeholders with an interest in the topic concerned;
  4. appreciate the contribution research can make to improved subject knowledge and understanding by reflecting upon the value of the research undertaken. 

Skills that will be practised and developed

See above in the skills/presentation section

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Project 100 Research Project N/A 1 N/A

Essential Reading and Resource List

O’Leary, Z. 2010. The essential guide to doing your research project. London: Sage.

Farthing, S. 2016 Research Design in urban planning. Sage Publications

Background Reading and Resource List

Flick, U. 2011. Introducing research methodology: a beginner’s guide to doing your research project. London: Sage.

Reardon, D, D. 2006. Doing your undergraduate project. London: Sage.

Robson, C. 2007. How to do a research project: a guide for undergraduate students. Oxford: Blackwell.

Walliman, N. 2013. Your research project: designing and planning your work. London: Sage.


Learning Central includes some web-based materials for particular stages of your research project.

Syllabus content

  • Introduction to doing a research project
  • Identifying a suitable topic for research
  • Preparing a literature review
  • Managing your research project
  • Handling and analysing your data
  • Writing and structuring your research project
  • Developing your conclusions and recommendations
  • Preparing the final submission

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