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LN401 Independent Research Project

The LN401 Independent Research Project (15 CATS) is for final-year students who wish to undertake a piece of guided research over the course of one term. The project you produce will be 4,000-4,500 words (excluding bibliography and footnotes) and constitutes 100% of the assessment for this module.

Doing an Independent Research Project involves developing a coherent project, with support from a supervisor. It enables you to pursue an interest in an area represented on the taught curriculum, to expand this through guided individual research, and to produce a written report discussing the results of that research. To support your work, you will have access to the skills training offered to LN400 Dissertation students.

Students are permitted to undertake an Independent Research Project at the discretion of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. This page offers further information about the conditions you need to meet and how to apply.

2024-2025 Module Convenor: Dr Tom Whittaker

Email: t dot whittaker at warwick dot ac dot uk

Who is the SMLC Independent Research Project for?

All final-year students in the School with a good record of academic achievement on non-language modules in intermediate year (usually over 62%) are eligible to apply. The Research Project is especially suitable for students who are considering further study or careers that include a research element, but who prefer to focus their research on a shorter piece of written work completed over just one term.

If you wish to complete a more extended research project, you might consider the LN400 Dissertation (30 CATS) instead of the Independent Research Project.

If you're planning on applying for the 15-CAT Independent Research Project, you should consider the following:

  • The module is only available to final-year students
  • The subject of the independent research project should relate to the content and methodology of an existing SMLC cultural module
  • Students may only take this module once in their final-year, in either term one or term two. If you wish to work on a research project in both terms one and term two, you should apply for the LN400 Dissertation
  • The Independent Research Project can only be taken in an area for which appropriate supervision can be provided in the relevant term. Your topic should be connected to the teaching and research interests of your supervisor/s. For workload reasons, the number of students allocated to each supervisor is capped at three students per supervisor. Students should contact the relevant supervisor/s to check whether they are able to supervise the project before submitting an application
  • Students must normally have obtained an average of more than 62% in their intermediate-level non-language modules before they will be permitted to pursue the Independent Research Project
  • Students must have relevant linguistic knowledge of at least an intermediate level enabling them to read and analyse sources and secondary material in the target language(s)
  • A capacity for self-motivation, planning, and meeting deadlines will be essential

If you have any questions about the above requirements, feel free to contact the module convenor to discuss.

What will you learn and how?

The Independent Research Project offers students the opportunity to go deeper into research areas represented within the SMLC taught curriculum. You will develop your own project with the support of a supervisor or supervisors and the LN400 coordinator, and produce a written report discussing the results of this research.

The Independent Research Project thus aims:

  • to enhance research skills, critical analysis, argumentation, creative thinking, and written communication skills
  • to foster the intellectual interests and aptitudes of individual students

You will be guided in identifying a suitable topic; mastering a relevant bibliography; handling primary sources; and constructing a coherent and logical argument. You will do this through three 30-minute supervisions with your academic advisor/s in the term when you are taking the module, and through a programme of academic advice and skills training offered by the LN400 module convenor and the Library. In term one, students will attend the study skills sessions organised as part of the LN400 Dissertation module; in term two, online resources for study skills will be made available.

The module thus enables you to:

  • develop your knowledge of a chosen topic;
  • enhance your capacity for independent study and self-directed inquiry and research;
  • identify and pursue appropriate, subject-specific questions;
  • reflect on appropriate research methodologies;
  • write a piece of work which develops original ideas;
  • acquire transferable skills in research, critical analysis, argumentation, creative thinking, and written communication

How to apply

Students planning on undertaking the Independent Research Project should make preliminary contact with a relevant supervisor and the LN400 module coordinator in the spring term of their third year. You should complete the online form by 17 May 2024. You will need to have completed these steps before the deadline in order to be accepted onto the module.

For the online form, you will need:

  1. to check your module results for your intermediate year have a 62%+ average
  2. to have drafted an indication of topic
  3. to have made contact with the module convenor
  4. to have made contact with your preferred supervisor/s to confirm they are able to act in this capacity and to solicit their advice on your topic