SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMW226497
Module Leader Thomas Peschken
School GCU London
Subject GCU London
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

Graduates increasingly need highly developed transferable professional skills as well as subject-specific knowledge to prepare for and to gain future employment. This module provides an opportunity for students to undertake practical experience within a research environment to develop their social and interpersonal skills, an in depth understanding of research procedures, operational aspects, ethics and other aspects of research projects. Students will work with researchers supporting existing or new research activities and develop themselves along the Vitae Researcher Development Framework to develop effective professional practices as a researcher; specifically across the four domains: A: Knowledge and intellectual abilities, Domain B: Personal effectiveness, Domain C: Research governance and organisation and Domain D: Engagement, influence and impact. The module is designed to develop critical reflective practice, specialist skills, and act as a focus for the student's continuous professional development as a researcher and their career aspirations. The professional practice experience may also become the context for or inform the subsequent Master Research Project module but also prepare graduates for progression into a research career or doctoral programmes.


Pre-Research Experience: Research project expectations; Vitae Researcher Development Workshop Writing a Researcher Development Agreement; Reflective learning During Research Experience: The learning during the research project is explicitly experiential, and individually oriented. As such, the researcher development agreement between the student and the lead academic will form the basis of the learning undertaken.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:-1. Work independently as part of a team and successfully manage aspects project management, professionalism and ethics within a research setting.2. Negotiate a work programme (researcher development agreement), operate in the research based environmet confidently and demonstrate positive contribution to the research project.3. Evaluate the role, responsibilities and relationships developed and undertaken by relevant professionals/ researchers within the project team.4. Critically appraise and reflect upon own personal and employability skills developed via consultant-client negotiations, experience and implications for future career and continuous professional development plans.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will be allocated to a research project whilst being expected to work independently but will be supported in a variety of ways; through the Career Planning and Professional Development and Introduction to Research Methods modules in the first and second trimester of the MSc programme; through GCU London Research events and activities; through module-specific workshops in the run-up to the professional practice trimester. Research-based experiences can take the form of supporting an existing research project or do background research of a new project under guidance of an academic. Students are required to complete a minimum of 200 hours of work with flexibility of engagement to suit the needs of the student and the research project organisation and specified in a researcher development agreement. Students will negotiate, with their academic research lead for the project a research development agreement - based on Vitae Research Development Framework -, which will identify relevant objectives for the period of the research project. These, once approved by GCU, will form the framework for supervisor feedback for their research project portfolio. During the research project, each student is assigned a lead academic supervisor, who will meet or contact the student at least twice during the project. The first visit is to verify that the student understands the project, to ensure that both the student and the work-based supervisor understand what is expected of them and to ensure that the student's work is relevant to their researcher development agreement. The second visit is due after three quarters of the project. Its aim is to verify that things are still on track, as well as to provide guidance on the completion to the internship portfolio.

Indicative Reading

-108 Essential reading: Bell, E. & Bryman, A. (2018), Business Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bryman, A. (2015), Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press Vitae Researcher Development Framework: <> Key texts. Anderson, L E & Bolt, S B (2013) Professionalism: skills for workplace success. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson. Bassot, B, (2016) The Reflective Journal. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Caproni, P (2012) Management Skills for Everyday Life. (3rd International Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Cottrell, S (2010) Study Skills for Success. The Personal Development Planning Handbook. (2nd ed). Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Dowson, P (2015) Personal & Professional Development for Business Students, London, Sage Durrant, A., Rhodes, G. and Young, D. (2011) Getting started with university-level work based learning, 2nd edition. Faringdon. MacMillan Knowles, M. S. Holton, F. E. & Swanson, R. A. (2014) The adult learner: the definitive classic in adult education & human resource development. 8th ed. London : Routledge Moon, J. (2013) Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice, Kogan Page Limited, London. Raelin, J.A. (2008) Work-based learning bridging knowledge and action in the workplace. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Kolb, D. A. (2015) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development. 2nd ed. Pearson, FT Press Roberts, A. (2009) Encouraging reflective practice in periods of professional workplace experience: the development of a conceptual model. Reflective Practice, 10(5), 633-644. Rook, S. (2013). The Graduate Career Guidebook: Advice for Students and Graduates on Careers Options, Jobs, Volunteering, Applications, Interviews and Self-employment. Macmillan International Higher Education. Schon, D.A. (1991) The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action. Arena: Basic Books.

Transferrable Skills

Students following this module will develop the following core transferable skillsets: Self-Presentation & interview skills Research & Analytical skills Objective setting Accepting responsibility Cooperation Adaptability Personal Motivation Organisation and Time Management Self-awareness and self-evaluation Personal Reflection Personal Development Planning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 330.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Placement 200.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 50% Professional Practice Research Project Portfolio including impact assessment, supervisor feedback, personal reflection and researcher development plan