FCH3888B - Independent Study

2022/3 Module description

StaffMike Dobson - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesCannot be taken at level 5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

This module gives you the opportunity to display your abilities in the collection, handling and ordering of research materials. It is also an exercise in the communication of ideas, appropriate to research topics chosen, with help and guidance from members of the academic staff. You will have the opportunity to develop your independent research skills; to obtain a good knowledge of the issues pertaining to your dissertation topics; to develop your abilities to explore your chosen subject area in-depth; and to present your arguments and opinions in relation to your chosen area through library research, fieldwork or other relevant study.

Module aims

  • To permit academically robust investigation of a significant aspect of your individual degree programme through appropriate independent research and evaluation. You will be responsible for suggesting an appropriate topic, and this will be refined in consultation with the supervising member(s) of academic staff, who must also approve it. The work will require a focussed appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of the programme. You will demonstrate appreciation of, and will prove capable of the discipline and conduct of independent research and of its reporting.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Identify worthwhile areas of research and investigation within an overall taught programme
  • 2. Define and secure approval for a significant study proposal
  • 3. Construct an appropriately comprehensive bibliography or other informational data base
  • 4. Find and gather adequate data
  • 5. Analyse and interpret the data in an appropriate manner
  • 6. Communicate the outcomes of the analysis and interpretation in an appropriately formatted and well- constructed way, supported by well-chosen evidential examples

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. Demonstrate substantially the interrelationship of the fields of study
  • 8. Reflect in some detail on the interaction of fields of study illustrating this by precise examples
  • 9. Identify and access appropriate learning resources

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Demonstrate the capacity to take responsibility for research
  • 11. Undertake self-managed enquiry, research and self-directed study
  • 12. Manage learning-time
  • 13. Demonstrate command of a variety of IT skills
  • 14. Obtain and process information from a wide variety of sources
  • 15. Show effective analytical and appropriate presentational skills

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

To be agreed with the supervisor(s) and reported to the FCH office on the appropriate form sent to you by FCH.

The proposed area and nature of the study will be agreed with the relevant FCH co-ordinator by the end of the summer term of the preceding year in which the module is to be taken. The co-ordinator shall identify one or more appropriate supervisors for the study. Suitable bibliographic or other data sources are 
assembled and discussed with the supervisor(s) during the early part of the first semester in which the module is taken. Thereafter there will be a minimum of four further meetings with the supervisor(s), during which the appropriate format for the study and deadlines for submissions etc., shall be agreed. Supervisors will see and provide feedback on a first draft only.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching4Supervisory meetings
Guided independent study145Independent Study

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
As agreed with the Supervisor e.g. traditional written dissertation or written and practical elements1006000 words or equivalnet1-15Oral and written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Suitably revised version of original submissionAs agreed with the Supervisor e.g. traditional written dissertation or written and practical elements1-15Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

As appropriate for the type of study being undertaken.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

FCH, Flexible Combined Honours, Independent Study, Dissertation

Important please note

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Foreign Language Centre modules

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.