Research Work-Experience


What do we mean by research work-experience?

Unlike a final year project or dissertation, which is more ‘product-based,’ and the outcome is an assessed piece of work, research work-experience is ‘role-based’ as the outcomes may not emerge until some point in the future. Undergraduate research can be thought of as supporting and ‘encouraging, intellectual partnership between students and other researchers […] through which students apply knowledge gained […] to new questions and problems’ (Merkel, 2003). Students thus become producers and co-producers of knowledge (Healey et al., 2013) rather than passive recipients of research.

The development of a research work-experience module is thus part of a wider aspiration to strengthen existing opportunities for undergraduate research throughout the University, and encourage and support all staff to participate in a culture which ‘thinks creatively about how to bring students into the scholarly community’ (Merkel, 2003).


What did we do in 2016-2017?

In 2016-2017, a series of pilot projects with students and academics were developed in the three Faculties at QMUL. The premise was that a research work-experience module can be created in any discipline. The underlying idea is that this module should provide undergraduate students with research work-experience, by being part of an authentic academic research team. The project on which the student will be working should demonstrate the development of learning outcomes, skills and knowledge that are aligned with research processes and outcomes specific to their disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary settings. 


Do you want to know more?

Research work-experience webpages provide a framework and resources that could help you or your School design: research work-experience for your students; a credit bearing module; a QMUL model module.

We answer questions such as:

  • What kind of project could you do?
  • What would a research work-experience module look like?
  • How could you assess students taking this kind of module?
  • How could you assess the students?


Where can you find out more?

Visit Thinking Writing website:

Contact Dr Ana Baptista, Learning and Teaching Advisor – Learning Development within Academic Development: