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PHY8003 : Research Skills II: Project Proposal

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Thomas Billam
  • Owning School: Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


The overall aim of the Module is to furnish the student with the critical thinking and planning skills to prepare a technical, organised and high-level research proposal, directed towards their dissertation project. The students will carry out a literature review of their chosen project to help plan the overall objectives and build on the current level of knowledge in the area of research. They will then prepare a detailed project proposal, assessed via a presentation and a written proposal document. As part of this module they will also experience being part of a research community in joining the research group seminars and school research seminars, gaining exposure to both narrow and broad research topics.

Outline Of Syllabus

Research-project planning.
Literature search of the research area.
Designing a project proposal.
Timelines and Gantt charts.
Participate within a research group, including attending research group seminars.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Research seminars present-in-person
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Dissertation proposal presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion201:0020:00Dissertation proposal presentation prep,
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00PGRDP reseach roject workshop
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study681:0068:00Background reading / literature survey
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision101:0010:00Supervisor meetings- present in person
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminar attendance, guided self-study and research supervision will promote critical thinking and reflection as they undertake active learning on the construction of scientific reports and articles. This will promote a deep understanding and appreciation of scientific methods and communication.

Preparation for project work is the responsibility of the student, but is facilitated by interaction with peers, the project supervisor and other research group members. This module gives students the opportunity to learn and practise skills in preparing a research proposal. The students will attend the workshop offered by the PGRDP to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to work on a research project with a supervisor. Presenting the project plan to the research group will also provide further feedback before final preparation of the dissertation proposal document, and allow the student to gain experience in communicating science. Regular supervisor meetings will help to refine the project plan and focus it towards the dissertation research.

If necessary present-in-person activities and oral assessment may be moved to synchronous online (SO). Students should consult their individual timetable and Canvas 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
Written exercise1M67Dissertation proposal. 4-8 pages, with figures and time plan, ~1800 words
Prof skill assessmnt1M33Dissertation proposal presentation. 15 minutes + 5 minutes Q&A.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The dissertation proposal tests the student’s ability to assimilate scientific information, provide suitable references, motivate a problem, critically evaluate the state-of-the-art of the field, and plan a project. The dissertation presentation will assess the student’s ability to prepare and deliver a short summary of their proposed project in a clear and concise format to an audience of peers in a time-limited fashion. The dissertation proposal presentation has a secondary formative purpose for feedback ahead of the dissertation proposal, as well as its primary summative purpose.

Reading Lists