NES8002 : Research Dissertation Project

Semester 2 Credit Value: 5
Semester 3 Credit Value: 55
ECTS Credits: 30.0


The aim of this module is for the student to complete an independent research project in an area directly related to their degree. The student will normally select a project from a list of titles provided by the School of Natural and environmental Sciences that will enable them 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 the students 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

Students will select a project title appropriate to their course and their interests from a list of projects provided by SNES academics. The students will select 3 potential projects before Christmas in order of preference and only one project per supervisor. The projects will then be allocated to the students based on their selections and the number of projects that can 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.
The students will write a Project Inception Report (PIR) that will be the design spec for their project.
In semester 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 journal appropriate for their research.
The student will then deliver a 10 minute presentation at the end of their research to an audience of students and academics the demonstrates their ability to explain their research and its conclusions to an audience and to answer questions based upon their research.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Oral presentation (including preparation)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1120:00120:00Dissertation writing
Guided Independent StudyProject work1260:00260:00Research leading to dissertation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision151:0015:00Meetings with Supervisory team
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1170:00170:00Includes background reading and reading notes for a full understanding of material.
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 Presentation153A1010 minute presentation on the dissertation followed by 5 minutes of questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation3M80Approx. 7000 words, to be written in the style of the most appropriate high quality journal for the subject
Report2M10Project plan and design, risk assessment, and COSHH, ethical assessment and timeline. Approx 2000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The aim of the assessment is to test the student’s ability to design a research project (Project Inception Report) 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 an oral presentation and a journal paper.

Reading Lists