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NES8001 : Consultancy Dissertation Project (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Clare Fitzsimmons
  • Lecturer: Professor John Bythell
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this module is for the student to complete an investigative consultancy project for a client identified by the project supervisor and students. The student will develop their project from a list of project areas and potential clients provided by the School of Natural and environmental Sciences that will enable them to undertake a consultancy-style project where the student can show their research, analytical, interpretive, critical analysis and design skills in solving a specific problem or question of interest to the client. Some projects may be a group project whereby a team of students will work together on different aspects of a single problem. In these cases the students will work together to gather information but each report must be unique and be focused on the students’ own data. Information from other students may be used to inform the wider aspects of the study but must not be central to the student’s own work.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will develop their project appropriate to their degree programme and their interests from a list of project areas provided by SNES academics. The students will select 3 potential project areas before Christmas, in order of preference, and only one project area per supervisor. Academic supervisors will then be allocated to the students based on their project area selections and the number of projects that can be managed by the individual supervisors. Any students who are unable to receive one of their 3 choices will meet with the Module Leader (or deputy) to identify a suitable project and supervisor.

The students will produce either a Project Inception Report (PIR) as part of the prerequisite
Consultancy Project Planning module (NES8003) or an agreed project plan (PP) as part of the
prerequisite marine project planning module (NES8502) during semester 2 that will be the design
specification for their project. In semester 3 (and earlier if needed and student workload allows) the
student will undertake their planned consultancy project under the supervision of the project
supervisor (or appropriate deputy). This project will provide the project outcomes and deliverables
identified in the PIR/PP and test the student’s ability to advance their knowledge and research skills
in this subject.

The student will produce a consultancy project report in the format of a concise, high quality professional report appropriate for their degree programme and according to the specifications of the PIR/PP.

The student will then deliver a 10 minute presentation at the end of their project to an audience of students and academics that demonstrates their ability to explain their project, its outcomes and conclusions and to answer questions based upon the scientific and technical rigour of their approach.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1120:00120:00Dissertation writing
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Literature review/ESM components
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Oral presentation (including preparation)
Guided Independent StudyProject work1261:00261:00Research leading to dissertation
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1170:00170:00Includes background reading and reading notes for a full understanding of material.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision121:0012:00Synchronous online meetings with supervisory team and client, student led/organised
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00Synchronous online introduction to module (sem 1) and reminder (sem 2)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The students practise and develop their discipline-related skills and knowledge, and their generic skills, through independent study of an individual consultancy project. They gain the skills and knowledge delivered by the module by “learning through doing” as they undertake the project. They are supported by one or more academic supervisors who advise on experimental approach, methodology and result interpretation.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation153M1010 minute presentation on the dissertation followed by 5 minutes of questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report3M90Approx. 5000 words, to be written in a professional report style or an equivalent piece of work that best meets the clients need
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The aim of the assessment is to test the student’s ability to implement a substantial independent consultancy project according to the Project Inception Report or agreed Project Plan to answer a specific question or questions of interest to the client, to report that investigation and to present the information both to an audience in the form of an oral presentation and as a substantial written report in a style that meets the needs of the client

Reading Lists