Master Associate Certificate Understanding Research Processes and Contexts

University of East London

Tuition fee:
  • € 5,490 / Year (EEA)
  • € 5,490 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014, January  2015
  • English
Delivery mode: Blended
Educational variant: Full-time

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This programme will make you explicitly aware of the perspectives and assumptions associated with your academic discipline in contrast to those of other disciplines. You will learn how to evaluate the context of your research and approach your research project in a creative way. By broadening your understanding of research you will be able to expand your conception of knowledge, how knowledge is created, and, therefore, how research is done.

Career opportunities
If you are registered as a MPHIL or PHD student with UEL this programme, together with Research Preparation and Planning, will provide you with the required research training. These programmes will also provide you with relevant training if you wish to undertake research as part of your professional development.


Typical duration
We expect that you will take around three months to complete this programme. However, it is likely that many students will vary from this, to accommodate any external factors such as work or domestic commitments.

If you are registered on a UEL research degree you should complete this programme in the first two years of study.

The maximum duration for this programme is 3 years. Our Distance Learning Student Advisors can help you to decide on and plan for an amount of study that suits you.

Understanding Research Process and Practices is a core module for all students registered on research degrees at UEL and fulfils the requirement for research skills training.

Understanding Research Process and Practices is also offered as a stand-alone Level M module of 30 credits. It leads to the award of Postgraduate Associate Certificate, or contributes to the award of Postgraduate Certificate for students also studying other modules.

Learning environment
The programme is delivered exclusively through distance learning. Learning will be principally supported through a UEL Plus web-based interface, together with a study guide and a reading pack.

The main purpose of the study guide is to help learners to make the most effective use of the reading pack and other resources. It provides clear structuring and signposting, to establish a context for learning. It highlights key concepts, models and frameworks and it clearly indicates the chapters or articles from the reading pack which they must study. In some areas, the study guide adds extra content, or integrates additional resources (such as journal articles), which are included in the reading pack.

The study guide encourages deep learning through the use of activities, self-assessment questions and other formative assessments. The activities help learners understand or master a new topic or skill. They generally require students to engage with the topic in some way. Feedback will be provided for all activities.

Students will be expected to participate in discussion forums within UEL Plus. The tutor will monitor the discussion topics, and students will be expected to respond to the tutor, and to each others responses. Students will also be able to initiate their own discussion threads.

The student will also be expected to do additional reading and research appropriate for their research project. They will also be expected to keep a research journal which will feed into their extended essay.

Assessment is by three items of coursework:
A research review of two research papers/articles. (1,500 words) 30%
A presentation handout. 20%
An extended essay on a key theme from the module. (3,000 words) 50%


We aim to make the programmes as accessible to students as possible while ensuring that students who enter are likely to succeed. In keeping with the Universitys commitment to widening access, consideration will be given to students applying from non-traditional backgrounds and to mature students.

To enter the programmes, students should normally have an undergraduate degree. We would, however, consider people with equivalent relevant practical or professional experience.
All applications without formal qualifications will be considered individually by the Programme Leader. This may involve a telephone interview and provision of suitable references.

Technical requirements
To participate in the programme you need at least:
1. Access to a PC or Mac with CD drive.
2. 56K modem with Internet access. (A broadband connection is strongly recommended.)
3. A supported Internet browser - see UELPluss tune-up page at
4. Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or equivalent, and graphics software capable of viewing j-peg files.

The PC should be capable of running the standard MS Office suite (or equivalent) for producing word-processed documents, spreadsheets and presentations. You will be expected to spend approximately 5 hours online per week, participating in discussions and accessing additional resources. (You may find it beneficial to spend more time online to investigate more fully any areas that are of particular interest to you.)

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
CAE score: 60 (Grade C)

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