Course code VidZ5033

Credit points 3

Research Methodology

Total Hours in Course81

Number of hours for lectures12

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes12

Independent study hours57

Date of course confirmation16.03.2022

Responsible UnitInstutute of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Engineering

Course developers

author Ainavu arhitektūras un vides inženierijas institūts

Kristīne Valujeva


author lect.

Jovita Pilecka-Uļčugačeva

Mg. sc. ing.

Course abstract

The purpose of the study course is to acquire theoretical and practical knowledge necessary for the development of research work and the acquisition of a scientific degree. In the study course, the master students learn the basic principles of scientific work, the basic conditions for the development and organisation of research, the use of scientific literature, data processing, data representation and interpretation, the design and presentation of scientific work. Students get acquainted with the conditions for the development of a master's thesis, literature review, materials and methods, results and discussions, conclusions, ways of presenting the results of research work.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

The master student will acquire knowledge: 1) about the principles of the structure of research work (1st, 2nd work); 2) on the significance and subordination of separate sections of the study of scientific literature and work (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th work).
The master student will acquire skills to: 1) use academic research databases (4th, 5th work); 2) to distinguish scientific literature from popular scientific literature and textbooks (4th, 5th work); 3) to describe materials and methods, results and discussion, to create tables, figures in accordance with the requirements (7th, 8th work); 4) to form a scientific discussion and define conclusions (analysis of examples); 5) to compile a list of references in accordance with the requirements (5th work); 6) to present the research results (9th work).
The Master's student will be competent: to create a structured research work in the form of text, tables and figures, using scientific literature for both the research of the theoretical part and argumentative discussion (practical works).

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Introduction to the content of the study course. The structure of the master's thesis, function of chapters and content of the thesis (1h);
2. Creating a study title. Introduction, study aim and tasks (1h);
3. Literature review and its arrangement. Use of various publications in the master's thesis. Creating references to literature sources (4h);
4. LLU subscribed academic research databases and literature search (2h);
5. Creating a list of references, using Mendeley or other programs to create a list of references (2h);
6. Description and sequence of methods used in the study. SI unit system and unit documentation used in scientific works (2h);
7. Results and their assessment - the main section of the master's thesis. Necessity of tables and figures, preparation and presentation regulations (2h);
8. Discussion: interpretation of research results. Conclusions and their compliance with the specific research - answer to the questions raised in the study aim, tasks and hypothesis (2h);
9. Plagiarism and self-plagiarism: how to avoid it (1h);
10. Sections that could be added (acknowledgment, annex), submission of the work, review, answers to the reviewer, preparation regulations of the master's thesis or other scientific research work (1h);
11. Preparation of a structured summary of the research for the “Students on their Way to Science” collection of abstracts (1h);
12. The essence of the presentation, its structure, preparation of illustrative materials. Relationship between speaker and audience; questions and answers (2h);
13. Practical oral presentation of a master's thesis or other research (3h).

Requirements for awarding credit points

The assessment of the study course is formed cumulatively, if all the following tasks have been successfully completed: received “pass” or at least grade 4, if the independent work is assessed with a mark.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

1. Practical work. Analysis of the other student master’s thesis introduction, in accordance with the criteria set out in the first lecture. Rating – pass/fail.
2. Independent work. Preparing a master’s thesis literature review or the table of content. The table of contents must be confirmed with supervisor of the master’s thesis. The approval shall be confirmed by the signature or electronic confirmation. To be submitted in the 3rd lesson. Until the table of content is submitted, no further independent work will be evaluated. Rating – pass/fail.
3. Independent work. Write an introduction to your master's work. Volume 1-1.5 pages. To be submitted in the 3rd lesson. Rating - a mark on a 10-point scale
4. Practical work – getting acquainted with the academic research databases subscribed by the LLU Fundamental Library, searching for scientific articles on the topic of the master's thesis. 20 scientific articles must be found, preferably in English. A successful search should include keywords to be discussed in advance with the master's thesis supervisor. Rating – pass/fail.
5. Own-initiative work. Drawing up a list of references used. The list consists of 20 scientific articles selected in the 4th practical work. The design of list of references complies with the regulations for the development and design of master's theses in the study program "Environmental, Water and Earth Engineering". Rating - a mark on a 10-point scale.
6. Independent work. Preparation of fragment from the literature review of the master's thesis, maximum 2 pages. At least part of the 20 scientific articles found must be used. Rating - a mark on a 10-point scale.
7. Independent work. Preparation of a fragment of the description of the materials and methods used in master's thesis. Volume 1.5 pages. Rating - a mark on a 10-point scale.
8. Practical work during the lecture. Analysis of tables and figures prepared by another author. The analysis and evaluation of illustrations are presented to all course students. Rating – pass/fail.
9. Independent work. Preparation of an oral report and presentation during the lecture. Evaluation of other student reports in accordance to the set criteria. This part of the practical report can only take place during the lectures, as there must be listeners who will evaluate the report. Rating - a mark on a 10-point scale.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Works rated pass/fail: the work must be done in accordance with the requirements set out in the previous paragraph; in some cases, the results of the work must be presented to the study group.
Works rated a mark:
1. Correspondence of the work in essence: compliance with the topic, compliance with the submitted table of the content of the master's thesis, the amount of scientific literature use (in the literature review fragment).
2. Compliance of the design with the regulations for the development and design of the master's theses of the study program "Environmental, Water and Earth Engineering".
3. Language relevance: terminology, spelling, grammar.
4. Presentation evaluations (evaluated by the whole study group for each speaker):
• style of introduction of the author;
• content structure and development;
• the way the content is presented;
• quality of visual materials;
• compliance with time regulations;
• answers to questions.

Compulsory reading

1. Valujeva K., Metodiskie norādījumi maģistra darbu izstrāšanai un aizstāvēšanai LLU Vides un būvzinātņu fakultātes akadēmiskās maģistra studiju programmas “Vides, ūdens un zemes inženierzinātnes” studentiem. Jelgava: LLU, 2021.
2. Zinātniskā rakstīšana un pētījumu rezultātu izplatīšana . Red. K. Martinsone un A. Pipere. Rīga: Rīgas Stradiņa universitāte, 2019. 311 lpp.
3. Zinātniskās darbības metodoloģija: starpdisciplināra perspektīva . Red. K. Martinsone un A. Pipere. Rīga: Rīgas Stradiņa universitāte, 2021. 607 lpp.

Further reading

1. Cargill M., O'Conor P. Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps. Chichester, UK ; Hoboken, NJ : Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
2. Gustavii B. How to Write and Illustrate a Scientific Paper. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. 141 p.
3. Mērvienību noteikumi: LR MK noteikumi Nr. 1186. Stājas spēkā ar 29.10.2013. [tiešsaiste] [skatīts 18.06.2019.]. [skatīts 31.03.2022.] Pieejams:

Periodicals and other sources

1. Templates for abstracts. In: LLU “Students on their Way to Science” (for undergraduate/post-graduate/doctoral students” [tiešsaiste] [skatīts 01.03.2022.]. Pieejams:


The course of study is mandatory for the LLU VBF Masters Programme Environment, Water and Land Engineering full-time students.