What you will study
You will choose a subject for your project that you can study from a development management perspective, using knowledge and understanding, concepts and theories, drawn from modules you have studied previously for your MSc. This gives you a wide choice. It may well be that your subject will relate to work you are involved in, though it doesn’t have to. Whatever your subject, it should be something that you can formulate in development management terms – and that you are confident will sustain your interest over the whole six-month period.
As well as the substantive subject of your research project, this module is about the research process itself, and is structured in such a way as to guide you through that process. You will learn and practise a skill that is increasingly important in development management, the skill of doing research in a rigorous fashion to produce knowledge that can be trusted.
The module is divided into four blocks that support your project work and that are linked to the assignments and to the final project report.
Block 1: Preparing your project proposal
This block explains the nature of the development management project; helps you to choose a suitable topic; explains some of the common pitfalls that you might encounter; offers guidance that will help you to put your proposal together and prepare you for the rest of the project; and helps you to complete your initial proposal.
Block 2: Defining the problem
This block helps you develop a clearer understanding of the development management problem you will be exploring; shows you how to carry out an effective literature search and review; requires you to draw on concepts and theories from modules you have previously studied in order to define a development management problem in a clear and researchable fashion; and encourages you to identify a set of good research questions that will guide your exploration of that problem.
Block 3: Designing and doing the research, dealing with the data
This block establishes the nature and significance of research methodology; reviews the various kinds of data and styles of research; helps you build up the knowledge and understanding you need to collect data successfully; explains how to evaluate quantitative and qualitative data; helps you to organise your own research work; and shows you how to make sense of the information you have gathered.
Block 4: Writing your report
The final block offers advice to help you to write effectively and produce a professional report of your project work.
Throughout the module you will be encouraged, and required, to reflect critically on what you have done and are doing, and on how your understanding of your research problem is developing.