Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module ENGL51130: Research Methods and Resources

Department: English Studies

ENGL51130: Research Methods and Resources

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to offer a fitting training in research methods and resources in literary studies;
  • to facilitate the transition from undergraduate studies to postgraduate research;
  • to stimulate critical thinking about bibliographical issues and their relation to literary studies;
  • to foster an awareness of the wider scholarly community and of the standards and conventions concomitant with membership of that community;
  • to inculate academic standards of accuracy, consistency and integrity in the presentation of material and the deployment of secondary sources;


  • The content of seminars may change from year to year, but is likely to involve some or all of the following:
  • Orientation Tours of the University Library;
  • University Library Workshops (Electronic Resources);
  • Bibliographical Skills (I): Using the MLA Handbook;
  • Bibliographical Skills (II): The Book as Physical Object;
  • Archival Resources: Finding and Using Special Collections in Durham and Elsewhere;
  • Bibliographical Skills (III): Compiling Footnotes and Annotating a Bibliography;
  • Bibliographical Skills (IV): 'Annotated Bibliography' Workshop;
  • Research Management: The Dissertation;
  • Research Methodologies (I): Editions and Editing;
  • Research Methodologies (II): Authorship and Readership;
  • Research Methodologies (III): Critical Theory and Practice;
  • Professional Development: Conferences, Reviewing and Networking;

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • to demonstrate an appropriate awareness of research resources, understanding of research methods, and mastery of scholarly conventions of presentation and documentation of sources, tested through an annotated bibliography and an essay;
  • to distinguish, where appropriate, between different kinds of knowledge;
  • to handle an appropriate range of bibliographical terms;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • to reflect critically on some of the bibliographical and/or editorial issues raised by the texts chosen for inclusion in the annotated bibliography;
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Through a variety of teaching activities and approaches, seminars will facilitate the development of research skills. Sessions will introduce a range of bibliographical, critical, theoretical and professional topics, contexts and frameworks to aid the development of skills in analysis and research.
    • Two summative assignments, an annotated bibliography and a reflective essay, will assess the competencies and outcomes outlined above and foster advanced independent study.
    • Typically, directed learning may include assigning student(s) an issue, theme or topic that can be independently or collectively explored within a framework and/or with additional materials provided by the tutor. This may function as preparatory work for presenting their ideas or findings (sometimes electronically) to their peers and tutor in the context of a seminar.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Seminars 10 Fortnightly 2 hours 20
    Independent student research supervised by the Module Convenor 10
    Preparation and Reading 270
    Total 300

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Annotated Bibliography 40%
    Essay 3000 words 60%

    Formative Assessment:

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University