Research Skills



In the MSc Research phase you must be able to execute scientific research and present it in a
Thesis and defence. Your success in this phase depends, apart from skills and conceptual
background in your scientific discipline, on the ability to adequately structure your MSc
Research Proposal and Thesis. This module develops a set of research skills that you need for
successful MSc Research. You will learn why research is structured as it is and to develop your
ability to critically review scientific work, both of yourself and that of others. You learn how to
analyze the structure, logic and quality of research with examples from your own scientific field.
Also you will develop skills to structure scientific research and to write proper structured
English. The module finally aims to create common understanding of what is expected of an
MSc Research Proposal and how it will be assessed, to allow you to comply with these
The module is structured as a series of common lectures, with per-specialisation breakout
sessions through which the topics are examined in the light of domain-specific requirements. The
common lectures are given mostly by the overall coordinator, with some topics covered by other
faculty members and library staff. Specialisation coordinators will organize and teach the perspecialisation breakout sessions.




Learning outcomes


Upon completion of the module, students will be able to:
  • Identify the main characteristics of the scientific method and scientific argumentation;
  • Position their research project in the wider research context: UT/ITC, national, regional and
  • global agendas;
  • Find, evaluate, and summarise relevant and up-to-date scientific literature to support
  • research;
  • Store, manage and use bibliographic data in scientific writing;
  • Describe the type of framework used in a research paper;
  • Recognize and critically assess research quality in published work;
  • Recognize and follow ethical standards in research;
  • Write a well-structured and logically-argued essay explaining the importance of their
  • research topic in accordance with scientific writing principles;





  • The scientific enterprise and the Faculty ITC Master student's place in it;
  • Logic and structure of scientific research;
  • Inference in various scientific disciplines;
  • Literature search, citation and bibliography;
  • Conceptual and research frameworks;
  • Abstracting and reviewing scientific research;
  • Structured scientific writing and argumentation;
  • How to structure a MSc Research Proposal;
  • Ethics and professionalism in research.



Follow-up lectures given in the MSc Research phase (not part of this module) continue with
related themes:
  • Preparing for the midterm and MSc Research exam;
  • Research quality and thesis assessment;
  • Structuring results, discussion and conclusions;
  • Graphic presentation in a Thesis.





Before entering module 11 students should have identified their intended line of research based
on topics that are provided during the MSc fair held in February. Proposed topics contain basic
information on: the intended topic and rationale, available datasets, (optional) fieldwork planning
and possible MSc supervisors. Before the start of module 11, students will have to select a MSc
research theme and topic. In connection with this selection, students also select advanced MSc
research topics (i.e. modules 12 and
13) through the Faculty ITC webpage.
At the start of module 11 students must be able to:
Present and discuss research relevant to their field of interest in public (orally, supported by
presentation slides);
Communicate about technical subjects in written English.
Besides students are expected to have:
  • A background in at least one relevant scientific field (e.g. one of ITC's specialisations);
  • A critical/creative attitude. 



Allocated time per teaching and learning method


Teaching / learning method

Allocated Hours



Supervised practicals


Unsupervised practicals


Individual assignment


Group assignment














The module marks will be based upon three assignments:
1. Literature review (20%), marking 1-10
2. Critical reading (40%), marking 1-10
3. Argumentation (40%), marking 1-1





  •  Rossiter, D. G. (2018). MSc research concepts and skills: Vol. 1. Concepts: text with self - t
    est: lecture note (p. 180). Enschede: ITC.
  •  Rossiter, D. G. (2018). MSc research concepts and skills: Vol. 2. Skills: text with self - test 
    questions: lecture note (p. 212). Enschede: ITC.
  •  Rossiter, D. G. (2018). MSc research concepts and skills: Vol. 3. The ITC thesis process: 
    text with self-test questions: lecture note (p. 39). Enschede: ITC.


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