Advanced Research Design
During the Fall semester, each student is expected to complete planning of the thesis research and write a structured description of that research in the form of a proposal. This course is designed to assist each student, working with his or her faculty thesis supervisor, to develop that proposal. Please note that the course will not replace the expertise and guidance of the faculty thesis supervisor. The course is designed to provide structure and added support to facilitate the development of the thesis project formalized in the thesis proposal.
The thesis proposal is not a mere formality. It serves an important purpose with respect to the Master’s thesis requirement. From the perspective of the faculty, the proposal assures that the student’s thesis research is fully thought out and will be of sufficient originality, quality, and scope to warrant approval as a Master’s thesis project. From the perspective of the student, approval of the proposal by the supervisor provides an assurance that, if the research as proposed is completed (even if the results are not as expected) and appropriately reported in the thesis document, the thesis project will be complete and ready for the final defense.
The thesis proposal should follow the format and guidelines described below (adapted from the instructions for grant proposals to the Swiss National Science Foundation). A schedule of course activities and due dates follows.
The goal of this class is to assist students in the Cognitive Psychology in Health Communications program to develop their Master’s thesis proposals. The thesis is one of the major components of the Master’s program and substantial work will be required to design and implement an original research project and then write the thesis for submission to the faculty. The thesis process will conclude with an oral defense. The thesis provides the student with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience planning and implementing an empirical examination of an original research question. A completed thesis represents a substantial accomplishment. It calls for the student to undertake in-depth study of the research question, then design, implement, analyze, and report an empirical study examining that question.
Aside from one introductory lecture, the course will consist of individual online meetings with the instructor. See the attached syllabus for more detail on timeline and expectations for the course.
The completed thesis proposal will form the basis for grading in this course.