RSCH09028 2022 Research Thesis

General Details

Full Title
Research Thesis
Transcript Title
Research Thesis
N/A %
Subject Area
RSCH - Research
SOCS - Social Sciences
09 - NFQ Level 9
55 - 55 Credits
Start Term
2022 - Full Academic Year 2022-23
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Esther Quinn, Breda McTaggart
Programme Membership
SG_HPROF_M09 202200 Master of Arts in Professional Leadership

The objective of the research thesis is to provide an independent and critical appraisal of an issue. The research project will allow the learner to investigate a real-life professional leadership issue/area of interest, using knowledge skills and competencies acquired at earlier stages of the Masters Programme. Learners will demonstrate their ability to successfully complete a Level 9 Research Project.

Learners will select, modify and apply research skills, to critically analyse, research independently and formulate responses to unpredictable, complex and problems, in order to develop new knowledge, ideas, processes, procedures.

They will decide a work plan, examine and define the issue(s), undertake a critical review of existing literature, decide the methodology and method appropriate to undertake the project, evaluate evidence-based conclusions and prepare and present their findings. The work will cumulate with the submission of a research thesis, where the learner will be required to present their project and partake in a viva voce examination.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Discuss and critically debate the effectiveness of any research approach identified.


Critically examine literature and draw inferences from this body of knowledge.


Select and apply a range of standard and specialised research or equivalent tools and techniques of enquiry to the research project.


Interpret, critique and synthesise data that is state of the art in a relevant leadership area. 


Demonstrate the validity of the research process undertaken.


Carry out the research project in an ethical manner.


Produce a research project in a format appropriate to level 9 award.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This is an individual project where the learner will research a core topic related to the programme.

Learners will avail of one to one supervision with a designated supervisor and may undertake additional workshops that their supervisor considers of value. This support will ensure that the transdisciplinary nature of leadership is considered through viewing problems through a variety of lens, ensuring that the connection of disciplinary knowledge to the practice of leadership is made and that the values and ethos of the programme are reflected. To undertake this successfully students must fully engage with their research supervision.

Module Assessment Strategies

There are two distinctive assessments within this learning experience.

Milestone management (5%)

Individual lecturers will expect students to engage in milestone management opportunities. This is specific to each project, but students must adhere to these requirements. Midway through the first semester of the project, all students will present their work to date to their peers and the supervision team. This will equate to 5% of the overall grade. (This may be adjusted if needed in line with any changing health emergency).

Research Project Summative (95%)

This research thesis will be assessed both verbally and with a written submission. There are two components to this assessment.

  1. Written submission will be 30,000 words, including references. (75%).
  2. Students in their oral presentation will be expected to defend their research project and process to examiners. At the start of this oral examination, students will present their work using a poster or visual aid. They will also be required to outline their project's contribution to knowledge in the field of leadership and indicate a dissemination opportunity for their work (20%)

The research study must adhere to IT Sligo's RESEARCH ETHICS PROCEDURE.

Repeat Assessments

Where a learner fails this module the Examiners will identify where the deficits in learning occurred. The learner will then have an opportunity to address these deficits and resubmit the project for a full re-examination.

Any repeat submission is capped at 40%.

Module Dependencies

RSCH09029 201900 Research Design & Development

Indicative Syllabus

LO1) Discuss and critically debate the effectiveness of any research approach identified. Students will develop, discuss and defend why they have chosen a particular topic, research process and format.

LO2) Critically examine literature and draw inferences from this body of knowledge. Students are expected to critically review key literature relevant to their chosen research area. They are expected to demonstrate and evaluate forms of knowledge and how different knowledge can influence the format of the information presented e.g. policy document, legislative document, and peer-review publication, whilst not ignoring the importance of different sources to a research area. They are expected to present and argue literature which clearly demonstrates increased knowledge and expertise in their fields, and where appropriate informs the development of further stages of their research project.

LO3) Select and apply a range of standard and specialised research or equivalent tools and techniques of enquiry to the research project. Paradigms of enquiry, methodologies methods of data collection, tools and techniques are decided within the student-supervisor relationship but must demonstrate clear relevancy to the research chosen. Students must be able to justify and clearly articulate these decisions, as the best fit for their research project. Explaining how chosen techniques are used to create, interpret and present knowledge.

LO4) Interpret, critique and synthesise data that is state of the art in a relevant leadership area. The student must demonstrate their ability to gather, generate and analyse data that leads to appropriate recommendations and conclusions 

LO5) Carry out their research project in an ethical manner. The research study must adhere to IT Sligo`s  Research Ethics Policy and Procedure 

LO6)  Produce a research project in a format appropriate to level 9 award. Students completed work will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competency that are required for a level nine award in this area. It will be presented and published in a manner appropriate to this award level e.g. typed, bound.

LO7) Demonstrate the validity of the research process undertaken. In addition to the written thesis, a  poster presentation and viva voce will be undertaken by the student, allowing them to present and defend their work to examiners. Students must demonstrate a thorough understanding of all aspects of their research project. Questions to be answered accurately and fluently and the discussion to be extended with confidence in familiar and unfamiliar areas.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Milestone Management Coursework Assessment Oral Exam/Presentation 5 % Week 10 1,2,3,4
2 Reserach Project Project Project 75 % Week 30 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
3 Viva Voce & Visual Presentation Project Oral Exam/Presentation 20 % Week 30 1,2,3,4,5,6

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Directed Learning Not Specified Reserach Supervision 1.5 Weekly 1.50
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 1.50 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Required Reading
2013-12-27 Business Research Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN 0230301835 ISBN-13 9780230301832

A concise and straightforward guide for students undertaking a research project for the first time. The new edition details the entire research process, from reviewing the literature to writing up results. It features balanced and expanded coverage of collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data, and new chapters on academic decision making and preparing research proposals. Students find this book very practical, as it provides the tools they need to successfully embark on research projects and applies theories to real life scenarios. It also features an excellent glossary and practical troubleshooting section which identifies potential problems and provides likely solutions. A companion website is available providing lecturer and student resources, including PowerPoint slides, datasets and interactive revision questions.

Required Reading
2017-02-01 How to Write a Thesis Open University Press
ISBN 0335262066 ISBN-13 9780335262069
Required Reading
2015-07-23 Research Methods for Business Students Prentice Hall
ISBN 1292016620 ISBN-13 9781292016627

Revised edition of Research methods for business students, 2012.

Required Reading
2010-02-11 Research Methods for Managers SAGE Publications
ISBN 9781847870940 ISBN-13 1847870945

This edition provides a step-by-step guide to implementing particular methodologies, while simultaneously encouraging a strong awareness of philosophical assumptions.

Recommended Reading
2012-05-18 Researching Power, Elites and Leadership SAGE Publications Ltd
ISBN 9780857024299 ISBN-13 9780857024299

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources
Journal Resources

This is project dependant, students will be guided by their supervisor.

URL Resources

This is project dependant, students will be guided by their supervisor.

Other Resources

Supervisors may advise students of additional readings appropriate to their project.

Additional Information

Specialised training may be required dependant on the project, if so the supervisor and student will negotiate this requirement