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CMB3001 : Research Design Project

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Catherine Meplan
  • Lecturer: Dr Debra Bevitt, Dr Damian Parry, Dr SarahJayne Boulton, Dr Vanessa Armstrong, Dr Jeremy Brown, Dr Michele Sweeney, Dr Carys Watts, Dr Lindsey Ferrie, Dr Alison Howard
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 40
ECTS Credits: 20.0


This module aims to;
•       provide students with experience of research work (including planning and data management) on an original topic relevant to their degree under the supervision of an experienced team.
•       allow students to pull together and apply the body of knowledge and skills acquired from earlier stages of their degree into a capstone experience.
•       provide opportunities to develop their skills of critical analysis.
•       develop expertise in a particular area of science relevant to their degree and competence in analytical techniques relevant to to the project.
•       explore the provisional nature of knowledge.
•       provide an opportunity for students to present and communicate complex data and ideas in written and oral forms

Outline Of Syllabus

Due to the individual nature of the project there is no formal syllabus.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion43:0012:00Presentation preparation and delivery
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Report write-up
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion31:003:00Group presentation, maths test, oral presentation.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:006 shared with CMB3000
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching80:304:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyProject work1227:00227:00Experimental Design and data analysis
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision244:0096:00Concentrated lab practical, data generation
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Project work develops all knowledge and skills LOs defined above Lab practical time is consistent with ‘damp’ projects in CMB3000, with students using independent study time for non-lab project work.
Tutorials (Supervisor meetings) encourage increased understanding by application of knowledge and discussion with peers and teachers. Focused maths tutorials support specific numeracy skills and deficiencies identified in the maths test.
As independent learners students are required to utilise the time available in private study to extend and reinforce their knowledge and understanding through reading the scientific literature and use of other recommended resources (eg., on-line).
The lectures provide an introduction to the project, health and safety training, guidance on how to produce a scientific report and give an oral presentation suitable for a non-subject specialist audience.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M5Group presentation
Prob solv exercises2M5Scientific calculations tests
Dissertation2M60Written report - Maximum of 5000 words, not including figure legends, text on figures, tables and references
Prof skill assessmnt2M15Individual oral presentation - 10 minute oral presentation on project and answer questions, held in the first week of summer term
Prof skill assessmnt2M15Professionalism and competence
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
PC ExaminationMStudents must achieve 75% or above to progress to practical work.
Reflective logMStudents must provide a reflective statement on the project experience.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay2MExtended essay (draft intro section)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The extended essay will require the student to perform a comprehensive literature search and write a draft introduction section by a given deadline early in the module. The ability to meet the deadline and the quality of this initial piece of work will be considered in determining the professionalism mark. Those students who engage and are able to provide a quality draft have demonstrated good independence. Students who struggle with the initial draft can still obtain a good professionalism mark by responding to the feedback and improving the introduction section. This will then be comparable to the CMB3000 project experience in which students are encouraged to start their draft intro section and present this to the research group.
The initial teamwork and group presentation is again intended to provide a structured learning experience that would naturally occur for students on CMB3000/CMB3002 as they become part of the research team, learn to work with others and develop their project ideas and design a research strategy to address their hypotheses.
The maths test gives the students an early opportunity to identify where they need to develop their maths skills.
The written report (dissertation) is used to assess information literacy, problem solving, data evaluation and written communication of scientific data.
The individual oral presentation assess the student’s presentation skills and ability to communicate and defend the scientific investigation orally.
The competence and professionalism assessment is used to assess the student’s technical competence, time management, ability to work both independently and as part of a team and ability to reflect on the research experience.

Reading Lists