Standing Ethics Panel

Consists of number of senior academic staff with research experience. RDI have three independent people not involved with project (not supervisor or tutor on project) review project. Three people appointed by Chair of Research Degrees Committee. One nominated as Chair of Panel – decision notified to student and supervisor. Proposal may rejected by panel who will provide reasons, student can […]

The Approval Process

Final year project considered by due process – including ethics committee reviewing projects ensuring they operate within acceptable boundaries. Student agrees objectives & methodology with supervisor. Then submit Dissertation Approval Form (including ethical evaluation) to module leader. Risk then assessed. Most projects fall into minimal or low risk category – module leader approves outline & advises student and supervisor. If […]

Local Aspects of Ethics

Some things are perfectly acceptable in some countries yet disapproved of, or are illegal, in other countries. Example: internet gambling – need to consider ethic and legal aspects.

Group interviews

One-to-one interviews useful but group meetings can be more productive. Main advantage – collective views used to explain group reactions to new product, interface or application prior to releasing to market.

Literature Review

Rhetorical Functions Illustrates importance and need for project Justifies methodical (methodological?) choices Demonstrates familiarity with subject Should Flesh out background of study Critical assessment of area of study Establish need for current and future research projects Tips Categorise literature into topic clusters Find relevant positions regarding project Build on conclusions leading to project Demonstrate where literature is lacking Literature Review […]


Overall approach What approaches are there? How does the approach fit the research design? Methods of data collection Methods of analysis and interpretation What data will be collected and how? Qualitative or quantitative, or mixture or both Triangulation of results Techniques: questionnaires, interviews; support both with academic reasoning Weaknesses with planned approach – how to overcome them Demonstrate one knows […]


One of most important ways to obtain information. Important to note: Interviewing is a skill. Interviewers will have varying degrees of ability. Interviewing skills can be learnt & developed. Respondents differ in motivation and knowledge. Interviews differ in complexity. Subjective process, to be effective must involve people who communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally. Can be categorised as both: Informal […]

Focus groups

One-to-one interviews useful in gaining information but group meetings can be more productive. Main advantage – collective views used to explain group reactions to particular situation/event. Difficulty in ensuring information gathered is not just from smaller, more vocal minority of group which is not representative of whole group. Limitations of focus groups Less control over data produced compared to quantitative […]

Evaluating Software Usability – Think it out loud

“Think it out loud” methodology – user verbalises their through processes. Useful, for example, when user is navigating a complex UI and they have some familiarity with it and are perhaps performing one than more operation at the same time. This HCI (Human-Computer Interface) evaluation process evolved from design based approaches to producing qualitative data as part of observational process. […]