■ provide practical experience of the process of research design, planning and implementation;
■ encourage independent decision-making and initiative in research;
■ provide experience of initiating contact with academics and/or researchers in external bodies and of developing research ideas and plans through discussion with those researchers;
■ familiarise students with the practicalities of applied research through the practice of writing a proposal, conducting a literature review, data collection and analysis, writing-up results, responding to feedback and meeting deadlines;
■ consolidate the research skills taught on the MSc SSR in the context of a substantial piece of independent research with a view to demonstrating competence in at least one advanced research technique (either quantitative or qualitative).