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NES8012 : Research Dissertation Project

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Martin Edwards
  • Other Staff: Dr Maxim Kapralov, Dr Toni Carruthers
  • 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 2 Credit Value: 25
Semester 3 Credit Value: 55
ECTS Credits: 40.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aim of this module is for the student to complete an independent research project in an area directly related to their degree. These projects will enable students to undertake an in depth research project where the student can show their research, analytical, interpretive, critical and design skills. Some projects may be group project where a team of students will work together on different aspects a single problem. In these cases, the students will work together to gather information, but each report must be unique and be focused on an individual’s own data. Data from other students may be used to inform the wider aspects of the research but must not be central to the submitting student’s work.

Outline Of Syllabus

The student will either select a project from a list of titles provided by the Degree Programme Director (DPD) or they will work with their DPD or a nominated project coordinator during semester 1 to develop an appropriate project for their discipline. In each case the project will enable students to undertake an in depth research project where the student can show their research, analytical, interpretive, critical and design skills.
The students will write a Project Inception Report (PIR) that will be the design spec for their project. Based on this PIR, students will "pitch" their projects to staff and the student cohort at the beginning of the research phase. Students should be able to answer general and specific questions relating to their research topic and field.
In trimester 3 (and earlier if needed and student workload allows) the student will undertake an individual research project under the supervision of the project supervisor (or appropriate deputy). This project will answer a specific research question and test the student’s ability to advance their knowledge and research skills in this subject.
The student will produce a research paper based on their research in the format of a high quality peer reviewed journal appropriate for their research.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Literature review and preparation of project inception report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Oral presentation (including preparation)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1170:00170:00Dissertation writing
Guided Independent StudyProject work1362:00362:00Research leading to dissertation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops62:0012:00Project planning sessions. Student led discussion to promote completion of the PIR document.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision121:0012:00Synchronous PiP or online meetings with supervisory team and client student led/organised
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1208:00208:00Includes background reading and reading notes for a full understanding of material.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Synchronous online introduction to module/reminder
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 research 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 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 Presentation152A1010 minute presentation where students 'pitch' their project to academic staff and peers. Talks will be followed by 5 minutes of questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation3M90Approx. 7000 words, to be written in the style of the most appropriate high quality journal for the subject
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The aim of the assessment is to test the student’s ability to design a research project (Project Inception Report and the Pitch) to answer a specific research question, to undertake and report that investigation and to present the information both to an audience in the form of Project Pitch and a journal paper.

Reading Lists