The Research Journey: Through the Lens of the Adult Learner

Angela Wright


This research provides an opportunity to reflect, evaluate and to implement better procedures for practice, specifically, the research supervision of post graduate students at the taught Masters Level. In this context, empirical data were gathered from recently graduated ‘taught masters’ students in the business arena in an Irish Third Level Institution. The main objective was to understand their specific research and learning needs better. This current research is novel, as an examination of the academic literature in relation to this area is scant. It is envisaged that this research will provide a ‘voice’ for the students in this field. A quantitative approach was applied and data were gathered from 62 adult graduates.

The main finding of this study concerns the alignment of the programme as a whole, where it has become apparent and recommended that a taught module on the programme, ‘research methods’(a mandatory module) will need to be delivered just prior to the commencement of the research thesis module that this research paper appraises. Currently, it is delivered over a year before commencement of the research thesis proper to the students. Overall, the findings are positive and are discussed in detail in this research.

The main aim of this evaluation of current practices is to establish where improvements can be made as a direct result of the recommendations from the recent graduates in this study. These recommendations will be considered, and relevant resultant changes will be made to improve future practice. It is envisaged that the findings of this research will better inform the author, the Department, and the Faculty of Business & Humanities for future programmatic reviews. The objective is that more effective methods will be established for future students to achieve their own learning and research objectives more effectively.

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