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Independent Research Review

Module titleIndependent Research Review
Module codeESS3303
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Gavin Buckingham (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module allows you to investigate a question from any of the sub-disciplines in Exercise and Sport Sciences or a question that is interdisciplinary in nature. You will then present a critically analytical literature review on this question. This module allows you to study independently to develop your literature-based research skills, your ability to critically analyse the evidence and present a well-argued and considered answer to your research question. There are no pre- or co-requisites for this module and it is suitable for non-specialist students.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of independent research review module is to present a critically analytical literature review on a specific research question of your choosing. The question you choose to investigate can be from any of the sub-disciplines in Exercise and Sport Science or may be interdisciplinary in nature. This independent study module will allow you to develop your literature-based research skills, your ability to critically analyse the evidence and present a well-argued and considered answer to the research question.

Graduate attributes. As part of this module you are expected to develop the following skills:

  • Strategic thinking and problem solving in designing your search strategies.
  • Application of knowledge in interpreting findings of your literature search.
  • Building confidence as a communicator in discussing your literature search results with peers and your supervisor
  • Enquiring mind in pursuing further reading on topics you discuss with your supervisor and find in your independent study.
  • Data management skills in collecting and recording literature and critically interpreting results

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Identify and define a research question
  • 2. Obtain and appraise the relevant research literature or documentation
  • 3. Interpret the data/evidence and draw meaningful conclusions

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Demonstrate skills of research, analysis, and critical evaluation
  • 5. Examine the meaning from quantitative or qualitative data

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Take responsibility for your learning, including appropriate time management, arranging student-supervisor meetings, data collection, study write-up
  • 7. Present ideas and information competently and cogently in both written and poster formats

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

  • IRR proposal
  • Formulate / clarify research review question
  • Formulate a search strategy. Identify search terms and pertinent databases
  • Progress in literature review
  • Submission of draft review in December – February
  • Feedback on the proposed review and action
  • IRR write up and hand in – present your IRR is writing
  • IRR conference – present your literature review via a poster presentation

Learning and teaching

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 Teaching0.5Introduction to module
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1.5IRR supervision meetings
Scheduled Learning and Teaching6Lecture and Q&A session from module leader
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2Undergraduate Conference – including delivery of a poster presentation
Guided Independent Study20Develop research question and search terms. Produce a coherent methodology
Guided Independent Study50Independent search and critical review of literature relating to a particular research question
Guided Independent Study70Write up final version of IRR and prepare poster presentation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft review (not to include the discussion section of the IRR)Up to 2500 words1-7Written/oral
Commenting on the design and content of the poster presentation15 minute tutorial1-7Oral

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
Research review80200 word abstract plus 3000 words maximum (tables, figures, appendices, and table/figure captions are not included in the word limit)1-7Written
Conference presentation20A2-sized poster along with 5 minute presentation and 5 minutes questions1-7Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Research reviewResearch review1-7August/September assessment period
Conference presentationConference presentation1-7August/September assessment 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 sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Please note that you are encouraged to read more specific texts about your research question. You should familiarise yourself with the Dissertation/IRR Guidelines document, available on ELE.

  • American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC: APA.
  • Barrass, R. (2002). Scientists must write: A guide to better writing for scientists, engineers, and students (2nd ed.). London, UK: Routledge.
  • Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th ed.). London, UK: Sage.
  • Huck, S. W. (2008). Reading statistics and research (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
  • Vincent, W. J. (2005). Statistics in kinesiology. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • Sternberg, R. J., & Sternberg, K. (2010). The psychologist’s companion: A guide to scientific writing for students and researchers (5th ed.) New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
  • Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. B. (2000). The elements of style (4th ed.). New York, NY: Longman.
  • Thomas, J. R., Nelson, J. K., & Silverman, S. J. (2011). Research methods in physical activity (5th ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

You should also take the opportunity to read exercise and sport science journals. In particular ‘Sports Medicine’. This journal publishes commissioned review articles that interpret and evaluate the current literature to provide the rationale for and application of research findings in the field of sport and exercise science.

Key words search

Literature review, critical evaluation, biomechanics, physiology, psychology

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

ESS2303 Research Methods and Analytical Procedures, ESS2304 Quantitative Research Methods or PSY2206 Methods and Statistics in Psychology II

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date