- Follow a systematic approach to address a research topic informed by relevant and current literature.
- Spend 7-10 hours per week across the duration of the project.
- Work under the supervision and support of a tutor from their area of study.
- Meet with their advisor and periodically present and discuss progress with colleagues and faculty.
The Research Project consists of a final dissertation representing a piece of original thought developed by the student. It runs parallel to the academic programme’s senior year. Students will have the opportunity to combine their consolidated knowledge with their autonomous learning skills to address a research question in their area of study.
The Research Project is mainly aimed at students who wish to pursue academic post-graduate studies.
Topics will be available at the beginning of each academic year and students are encouraged to identify up to three topics and list them by order of preference. Students will submit a proposal no later than the end of June of their second year of studies. Students are encouraged to match their topic to a potential supervisor’s area of interest, as they will be able to find it on the staff profile webpage. It is the responsibility of the relevant programme head to validate the proposals and choice of advisor. Project preparation starts at the beginning of the student’s final year of studies.
During project preparation, the candidate and the advisor will have at least five periodical meetings. A midterm preliminary results/progress tracking presentation will take place and provide the candidate with an early opportunity for feedback and improvements.
The development of the research project will provide the student with a number of benefits. Some of the most preeminent advantages include:
- The development of autonomous research skills.
- Developing a mastery of the literature in their chosen area.
- Development of lateral thinking skills.
- Training in the ability to gather and analyse a wide variety of documents/sources/data; a skill essential for many roles in the workplace.
- Fostering an entrepreneurial approach to work that provides the student with a wide range of skills and competencies.
- Applying theoretical knowledge to the addressing of a research question.
- Generation of an academic output that will positively differentiate the student’s future master’s programme/research job applications.
- Establishing a scholarly ‘mindset’ that will prepare the student for future post-graduate studies.
Evaluation is performed by academic faculty and its criteria can be summarised by the following learning objectives on which the candidate’s work and progress will be assessed:
- The development of critical thinking skills and the ability to pursue individual and autonomous work.
- Mastery of a strand of academic literature
- The development of interpersonal, teamwork and communication skills.
- The achievement of solid theoretical and analytical background in the specific area of the programme and the capacity to apply this knowledge to approach new issues and solve practical problems.
- The use of sophisticated quantitative and qualitative tools and advanced technologies to analyse and solve problems in complex environments and under incomplete information.
- The ability to take decisions, with a sound awareness of the ethical and social constraints and expectable consequences
The certificate will follow the five-stage structure detailed in the figure below. Candidates will have a minimum of six meetings with the advisor with the first one establishing the overall aims of the project and each of the following at a stage of the research project. A preliminary presentation to faculty will occur no earlier than the end of the Problematization stage and no later than the end of the Analysis stage. The guidelines for the five stages are as follows:
The development of a Research Project contributed to the development of a highly prized set of skills and competencies, including:
- Displaying a command of and having a critical perspective on existing knowledge in the specific field of the undergraduate programme.
- Demonstrating analytical skills through the ability to ask relevant and insightful questions.
- Evaluating relevant sources of information and using methodological tools for evaluation, analysis and problem-solving.
- Demonstrate an ability to study and work independently in exploring specialized literature, asking relevant questions, and using suitable methodological tools while demonstrating initiative, self-discipline and time management skills.
- Present information and ideas in an informative manner to researchers and professionals or to the general public.