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Module

ACE3905 : Research Project and Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ankush Prashar
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 15.0

Aims

This module aims to develop the student’s ability to conduct research on plant and crop science topics and report the research outcome as a scientific dissertation. This will be carried out by:

1. Integrating and extending knowledge and skills gained throughout the undergraduate programme; and
2. Encouraging students to work on their own initiative whilst being supported by the assessment processes and
their respective supervisors.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Introduction to the Module
•An introduction to the module and an in-depth look at “the dissertation”.

2. Choosing a Dissertation Topic
•An overview of factors to consider when choosing a dissertation topic and a discussion of the research work involved.

3. Project Design and Management and Literature Review Considerations
•Planning and management of the project. An overview of the factors to consider when undertaking a literature review.

4. Methodological and Ethical Considerations
•An overview of data collection resources, techniques involved and potential requirements for ethical approval.

5. Presentation of Topic Proposal Teaching
•Each Student will be required to give a brief (5 minute presentation) of their project ideas. This is compulsory.

6. Requirements for the Progress Report
• Review of the assessment requirements for the progress report.

7. Requirements for the Final Dissertation
• Review of the formatting requirements for the final dissertation.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion113:0013:00Preparation of Oral presentation and its presentation.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Preparation of Research Proposal
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Module briefing
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1120:00120:00Preparation of Dissertation or Dissertation Writing
Guided Independent StudySkills practice301:0030:00Statistical and other skills needed for Project
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities41:004:00Discussion on project
Guided Independent StudyProject work1114:00114:00Supported project work - study design, literature review, data collection and analysis
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision81:008:00Contact with supervisor.
Total300:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The dissertation provides a unique opportunity for assisted private study of a topic selected by the student. Students are allocated a supervisor with whom they are encouraged to interact at all stages of the work. They should discuss aspects of the work with their supervisor. The opportunity exists to receive individual assistance with information retrieval, interpretation, report writing skills, verbal presentation skills and occasionally with statistical analysis of data.

The majority of the project work is done individually with the support of a member of academic staff as supervisor. Interpersonal skills will be developed during this phase and the students will take responsibility for the development and running of their own project, with support from the supervisor.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2M75Maximum 10,000 words
Poster1M10Poster summarising project topic, background and aims and objectives
Report1M10Literature review and project progress report (draft, up to 1500 words)
Research proposal1M5Oral presentation and discussion. 10-15 minutes
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

There are 4 pieces of continuous assessment:
1) project outline and aims presented a poster 10%;
2) 1500 word progress report 10%;
3) Research proposal in the form of an oral presentation 5%;
4) 10,000 word final dissertation 75%.

The project plan and progress report provide feedback from supervisors during the project development process. 2) feeds directly into 4) as the literature review forms a chapter of 4) the final dissertation. Each piece of assessment supports students in the development of their scholarly research skills (KO 1), enables students to develop a critical approach to the evaluation of evidence (KO 2), demonstrate the analysis of data (KO 3) and the ability to present a scholarly research project (KO 4).

Reading Lists

Timetable