The project - a key part of the training
Each student enters the programme with a training project which is discussed between him/her and member of the academic staff. The programme of lessons and seminars is not intended to be a pre-determined route, even though there are some compulsory points. The student’s individual project is a key part of the process and he/she has considerable latitude in how the training is actually made up and managed.
The project is centred on carrying out research and there are different ways of helping the student to acquire the necessary skills: both group and individual supervision as well as a research placement. The presentation of a dissertation is just the final stage in a process which begins on the first day of the first year, involving selection of a research topic, choice of a subject area, acquisition and application of methodologies, familiarity with previous research from the literature, formulation of hypotheses, collection and interpretation of data, theorisation of results, writing a report, oral presentation of the results and possibly even publication.
In the Research and Social Intervention focus, the relationship between the research topic, the placement and the dissertation is discussed between the host institution, the student and the academic placement supervisor. The research topic should be relevant not only to the host institution, but also for the student and the focuses available in the programme.
Carrying out research requires additional methodological skills and more detailed knowledge of the area of study. It also requires knowledge of cross-disciplinary issues. With the help of the teaching staff, these different perspectives are brought together.