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MAR8085 : Research Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Yongchang Pu
  • Lecturer: Mr David McGeeney
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To introduce the underlying ideas and concepts associated with research methodologies, the ethics and philosophy of science. How research projects are to be managed. In parallel to provide basic information literary skills related to finding, assessing and presenting information, processing data and making judgements about data using basic statistical concepts and tools. Also using library and information services. In addition the module aims to equip students with a basic capability in understanding and using common statistical concepts and techniques.

Outline Of Syllabus

Research Skills:

Research objectives; the role of the funding bodies and research organisations; research ethics; the research proposal and planning; research monitoring; report and thesis preparation and writing.

Information literacy; library and information services; information search; retrieval, analysis and presentation; electronic communication systems & information technology tools.

Statistics; data summary and data presentation. Basic concepts of probability. The rationale behind sampling, randomisation and sampling strategies. Discrete distributions; binomial and Poisson.
Continuous distributions; normal and exponential. Estimation. The central limit theorem. Confidence intervals for means using the t-distribution. Approximate confidence intervals for proportions using a normal approximation. Hypothesis testing; basic ideas and concepts.
Interrelationships between testing and confidence intervals. Tests on means and proportions. X2 goodness of fit tests. Analysis of contingency tables. Correlation and regression. Practical classes will be based on the statistical package MINITAB. Multiple regression analysis (MRA) & principle component analysis (PCA) using PRIMER software. Modelling and simulation software; brief introduction to Labview.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Present-in-person lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion111:0011:00Open Book Assignment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Tutorial sessions, Present-in-person
Guided Independent StudySkills practice12:002:00MCQ online quiz, compulsory to pass.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study121:0012:00Online lectures
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study111:0011:00Examination revision
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study140:0040:00General revision, reviewing lecture notes, background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures are designed to assist students in the acquisition of a knowledge base that will facilitate understanding of concepts, methods tools and techniques.

Independent study involves:
1.       study following lectures and practicals
2.       study in preparation for the assessed coursework and exams, which provides an opportunity to bring together relevant knowledge and understanding and cognitive, research-related, and assessed key skills.

Should the public health situation require it, the present-in-person teaching activities will be replaced by synchronous online sessions.

Students should consult their individual timetable for up-to-date delivery information.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M100Open-book Report on statistics, taking approximately 11 hours.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MMCQ online quiz, it is compulsory to pass it.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The report on statistics (semester 2) provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and the possession of subject-specific, cognitive and key skills.

The research skills material covered in the module is assessed via the end of semester computer based MCQ examination.

Should the public health situation require it, the planned examination scheduled to be completed present-in-person will be replaced by an open book, online examination to be completed within a defined 24 hour period.

Reading Lists