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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LUBS5954M Critically Assessing Research

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Stefania Romano

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The aim of this module is to develop the critical writing and evaluation skills which are essential for academic success in modern business schools, while also supporting PhD-related work and the conversion of that work to academic journal output. During the course of two workshops, you will explore the theory and practice of developing, structuring and writing a critical academic literature review and evaluation in the social sciences, which you will then apply to a key empirical and/ or theoretical debate in your own disciplinary subject area. You will also attend and participate in each of five separate 2-hour lectures, each hosted by a different Division of the Business School. Here an experienced senior researcher will discuss a controversy in their own field, in terms of its motivation, methods of resolution and types of evidence. You will reflect on this by comparing and contrasting with your own parallel review and evaluation of the controversy you have selected for your own field. Through this exposure to the wider research culture of the School, you will not only learn more about the larger research environment in which you are working, you will also learn to recognise what is specific and what more generic in your own field. This will further enhance your ability to write critical reviews and evaluations.


To equip postgraduate research students (PGRs) with critical writing skills for the skilled evaluation of academic papers and core contemporary debates in their own disciplinary field.
At the same time students will have exposure to the broader LUBS-wide research culture in order to facilitate reflection on what is specific and what is more generic about the issues at stake within their own disciplinary debates.
The module will help foster future academic success, as well as developing writing skills and sensitivities for high-quality PhD-related work and conversion for peer reviewed indexed journals.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students will:
- be able to explain the practice of developing, structuring and writing critical academic literature reviews in the social sciences
- demonstrate an ability to identify and comprehend key theoretical and/ or empirical debate within their chosen academic discipline
- recognise the value of a broader understanding of what is specific to a disciplinary debate, based on structured exposure to a wider research culture and an accompanying reflective commentary


The syllabus comprises two half-day workshops, five lectures and online seminars.The group as a whole will attend and participate in both the workshop and lectures.
Two half-day workshops: Explore the theory and practice of developing, structuring and writing a critical academic literature review and evaluation in the social sciences, to a professional academic standard. Based on these workshops each student will select a key debate from their own discipline for review and evaluation, to apply what they learn in the workshop to their thesis. (Guidance will be given on the number of papers to include, and the criteria for selection.)
Face to Face Lectures: Each participating division (economics, international business, management, marketing and WERD) will host a 2-hour lecture in which an experienced senior researcher from the division briefly introduces the kinds of research undertaken in the division in question, before discussing a controversy in their own field and how the issues there appear from the viewpoint of motivation / methods/ and evidence. Based on this each student will write a short reflective commentary exploring whether/ how this has influenced their views on what the key issues are in the particular controversy they select for critical review and evaluation in their own disciplinary area. This will be done after each lecture as part of the reflective log.
On-line Webinars: Online seminars will be held where students can interact and seek feedback on progress as well as participate in group learning and Q&A with the module leader.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours130.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

This could include a variety of activities, such as reading, watching videos, question practice and exam preparation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There will be opportunities for formative feedback throughout the module. Padlet pages and interactive activities are included as learning activities throughout the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Literature Review3,000 words80.00
Reflective log1,000 words20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Reflective Log: Alongside the literature review the student will submit a 1,000 word reflective piece with a reflective plan on 'how to navigate the literature review' process. Advice will be given during the two half-day workshops. The resit for the module is 100% by 3,000 word review.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:28:13


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