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MST8025 : Marine Ecosystems Research

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Pip Moore
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 50
Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 60.0


To give students a comprehensive and detailed understanding of the research environment; To develop the research skills, practices and knowledge required to address specific research objectives; To prepare for more effective participation in professional programmes involving research, including higher research degrees.

Outline Of Syllabus

Research supervision

The form of supervision will be determined by student and supervisor, but may be in approximately the following form: focusing on topic of study; writing a proposal; completing contingent requirements including agreement of any research partner, compliance with any statutory issues (health, safety, risk assessments, permissions, COSHH, diving rules, ethical issues, insurance); literature review of selected subject; project initiation; project supervision; project management; processing and analysis of data; interpretation of information derived; draft review; completion of review; writing a scientific paper; draft paper; completion of paper; submission of paper for publication.

Research project

The work undertaken by the student will depend on the topic they decide under supervision to address, and may involve solely laboratory or field-based work, solely desk-based work, or some combination of these. The student will be encouraged in the second semester to attend relevant teaching in existing modules to help develop knowledge and skills (e.g. GIS, statistical modelling) as appropriate to the topic selected, Oral presentation: The student will orally present the results of their research.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00Module introduction
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion103:3035:00Proposal preparation: writing and reading
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion443:30154:00Scheduled seminar - Oral presentations and research papers
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading103:3035:00Topic selection and focusing: reading
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading501:0050:00Detailed project planning, initiation
Guided Independent StudyProject work2003:30700:00Conduct and completion of project
Guided Independent StudyProject work603:30210:00Processing, analysing data, and writing up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision151:0015:00Scheduled supervisions across module
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

As a preparation for research and higher research degrees, the learning offers a well-structured balance between scheduled teaching, directed reading, preparation for assessment and actual project work (desk and/or lab and/or field). The teaching and learning structure reflects the main stages of project formulation and proposal, through planning, to initiation, data gathering, to data analysis and interpretation, and presentation of the results in oral and written forms, the latter to publication standard; both outputs essential to the delivery of research outcomes and impacts.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation153M15Oral Presentation 15 minutes
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M10Word limit 5000 (excluding risk assessment, ethical forms etc)
Research paper3M50Word limit 8000 including abstract and references (excluding title page, figures, tables and supplements).
Essay3M25Word limit 8000 including abstract and references (excluding title page, figures, tables and supplements).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Research proposal will be assessed within the supervisory team. Students’ ability to extract and synthesise information from the global literature will be tested primarily in the subject review and their literature contextualisation of findings especially in the research paper. The research paper will be independently marked by an External and Internal Examiner, with the supervisor reporting only on the student’s ‘practical ability, initiative and commitment to the project’. In-depth knowledge will be developed across all of the assessments. Objective evaluation of different methodologies will be tested at the proposal stage, in the review and in the main research paper via reflection on the methodologies ultimately employed. Knowledge of the research environment will contribute to all of the assessments, including logistics and budgeting, funding and ethics, and publication. A student’s ability to successfully plan and conduct original research work and generate results to an international standard will be assessed across the proposal, main research paper and oral presentation.

Reading Lists