Unit A4: Researching a Topic

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Unit A4: Researching a Topic 

Level: 1
Unit type: Core
Guided learning hours: 30

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Unit in brief
Learners will develop the skills needed to carry out some outline research into an agreed topic. They will keep a record of their investigation and then present a summary of their findings.

Unit introduction
In this unit, you will have the opportunity to research a topic that interests you. It could be linked to something you have enjoyed in your sector, something that is happening in your local community or perhaps linked to what you would like to do in the future.
Before starting on your research you will need to decide on the focus for your topic. You will set up a research log to record the research tasks you carry out and the sources that you use.

When you have completed your research, you will summarise and present your findings.
You will use many of the skills you have developed already, such as planning, time management, research and presenting, as well as any sector skills and knowledge that you have learned.
All these skills are important for progressing to further qualifications.

Learning aims
In this unit you will:
A. Carry out research into an agreed topic
B. Present a summary of research findings into an agreed topic.

Unit summary

Learning aim

Key teaching areas

Summary of suggested assessment evidence

A Carry out research into an agreed topic

  • Selecting a suitable topic
  • Collecting information on topic
  • Keeping a research log
  • Presenting findings of research
  • Research log.
  • A summary of research findings.

B Present a summary of research findings into an agreed topic

Key teaching areas include:

Sector skills


Transferable skills

  • The research topic can be in a sector context.
  • Ways to plan successfully
  • Identifying sources of information
  • How to research
  • Presentation methods
  • Planning
  • Finding out
  • Managing information
  • Communication

There are opportunities to develop functional skills in this unit:

Functional skills


  • Present information/points of view clearly and in appropriate language.
  • Present information in a logical sequence.
  • Use correct grammar, including correct and consistent use of tense.
  • Ensure written work includes generally accurate punctuation and spelling, and that meaning is clear.

Unit content
Knowledge and sector skills

Selecting a suitable topic

  • Investigation could focus on the local community or area, linked to a sector, hobby or an extra-curricular activity.
  • Agreeing investigation title and the scope of the research with tutor.
  • Agreeing deadline.
  • Ensuring topic is focused and manageable in the timescales.
  • Identifying key actions and milestones for the investigation such as setting up a log, organising visits, deadline for completion.

Collecting information on topic

Sources of information:

  • electronic media, e.g. blogs, podcasts, downloads, websites
  • printed media, e.g. newspapers/magazines/books
  • interviews
  • visits.
  • Identifying and selecting the key points from research.

Keeping a research log

  • Ongoing record of information researched.

  • Information on research sources, methods and key findings.
  • Ongoing record of information found out through a chosen medium such as a folder, blog, vlog (video blog).

Presenting findings of research

  • Summarising key findings.

  • Choosing presentation method, e.g. through a PowerPoint®, vlog, written handouts, oral questioning.

  • Explaining findings in a clear and concise way.

Transferable skills

  • Planning: identifying key tasks to complete.

  • Finding out: information from research sources.
  • Managing information: selecting the relevant information, choosing appropriate sources of information.
  • Communication: through presentation of findings.

Assessment criteria




Learning aim A: Carry out research into an agreed topic

A.P1 Search for information on an agreed topic using given research sources.

A.M1 Search for information on an agreed topic using own and given sources.

A.D1 Carry out a focused and detailed search into an agreed topic.

A.P2 Select simple information from given sources on the agreed topic.

A.M2 Select mostly relevant information from sources on the agreed topic.

A.D2 Select relevant information from sources that link clearly to the agreed topic.

Learning aim B: Present a summary of research findings into an agreed topic

B.P3 Present an outline summary of research findings on an agreed topic.

B.M3 Present a clear summary of research findings on an agreed topic, with reference to some of the research sources used.

B.D3 Present a focused summary of research findings, with clear referencing to the research sources used.

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