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ACE8197 : MRes Dissertation Project (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Julia Cooper
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 40.0


In this module we aim to provide the student with an opportunity to carry out an independent piece of research work which involves; the identification of an appropriate topic; project and experimental design; defining the scope of the study; assessment of resource requirements; analysis and interpretation of data; preparation of a thesis giving a comprehensive report of the study and a critical evaluation of the findings. This module will benefit students who are wishing to go on to undertake a PhD, as it will build their independent learning skills to complete a more research intensive project using multi-disciplines.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will represent the major element of the MRes Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security. The student project is based on an original scientific investigation.
The objective of this module is to give the student exposure to independent research. The student will develop a research project that will involves;
Identification of research topic
Review of literature (at the outset and continuing until completion of the thesis)
Formulation of hypothesis
Timetabling of activities and achieving set milestones
Experimental design; data collection; data analysis and interpretation

The research project introduces the student to research work under the close supervision of a member of staff and requires that the student learns to think and work independently. Their critical analysis and interpretation and discussion of the results will be the student’s individual responsibility.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1365:00365:00Practical work– set up & design experiment; project inception report; data collection; data analysis
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion165:0065:00Preparation for final dissertation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Preparation for assessed oral presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision251:0025:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1325:00325:00Self-directed research/reading on project topic (methodologies, analyses etc.)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Independent execution of project is achieved through directed work, via regular meetings with the supervisor in order to promote learning outcomes. They will have the time and resources to explore their chosen topic and acquire considerable expertise through individual study and through the project supervisor’s guidance. The hands-on experience they will gain through conducting their own research is the most effective way for students to acquire skills in practical and applied research.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation203M1015 minute presentation on the dissertation followed by 5 minutes of questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation3M80Final dissertation (10,000 words)
Report2M10Project plan and design, risk assessment and COSHH, ethical assessment and timeline (approx. 2,000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment is based on thesis only and will demonstrate the student’s ability to organise and conduct an original scientific investigation, collect and evaluate relevant literature, as well as their written communication skills.

Reading Lists