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Module

MST3105 : Research Project: Marine Zoology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Guenther Uher
  • Lecturer: Professor Per Berggren, Dr Clare Fitzsimmons, Dr Sara Marsham, Dr Miguel Morales Maqueda, Dr Benjamin Wigham, Miss Emily Dott, Dr Heather Sugden
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
Semester 2 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 30.0

Aims

The module provides students with the opportunity to practice their use of the scientific method by formulating hypotheses and testing them. To encourage students to consolidate their organisational skills by giving them the responsibility for designing and running their own project through the preparation of an initial project proposal, carrying out laboratory, field or desk-based investigations and writing up their findings as a substantive report. To apply and consolidate skills learnt in a number of other modules, in particular the procedures for recording research in Marine Study Skills, Marine Research and Employability Skills and Marine Practical Skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

For their independent Research Project:
Working independently the students will prepare a two page project proposal (along the lines of a research grant proposal). This will include the background to the research, methodology and approach, a GANTT chart to demonstrate the proposed programme of research and a costing for the resources required (in discussion with their Supervisor). They will research the scientific literature relevant to their chosen subject area and will prepare an extended literature review. They will identify or develop appropriate methodology and identify suitable statistical analyses to be used in the study. They will undertake independent research to test their hypotheses and record all their work in a Research Project notebook. They will produce a full write-up of their project using the form of a scientific paper. They will prepare and deliver an oral presentation on their Research Project as part of a ‘Scientific Conference’.

To further support them in their research, students will undertake training via a series of lectures and workshops on multivariate statistics and GIS.

In addition, all students will complete a full day session on-board the research vessel to further develop their subject-specific practical survey skills.

Seminar Series:
Invited speakers from the UK and overseas, will share their research experiences, and illuminate global marine science issues. Students will be encouraged to use these seminars as a starting point for extended reading on current topical areas of global marine science research.

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
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:301:30Module content
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials71:007:00External Guest Speakers and module content
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion118:0018:00Research Project Notebook
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials12:002:00Introduction to the module
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Scientific Conference Presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00Online synchronous - External Guest Speakers
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Scientific Conference Abstract
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1100:00100:00Research Project Report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1100:00100:00Literature Review
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Project Proposal
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities13:003:00Online boat practical
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities31:304:30Skills development sessions
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities12:002:00ArcGIS session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00PiP - Multivariate statistics PC workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00PiP - ArcGIS PC workshop
Guided Independent StudyProject work1200:00200:00Data collection
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery231:0023:00Optional project clinics - 8 sessions online via Teams and 15 sessions PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study173:0073:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision181:0018:00Project supervision - 9 hrs PiP and 9 hrs online synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk28:0016:00PiP - Scientific Conference including 15 minute oral presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Online synchronous - Boat practical briefing
Total600:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MST3104Research Project: Marine Biology
MST3106Research Project: Marine Biology and Oceanography
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will present background to new data analysis techniques and inform students of the format of their final project report.

Workshops, academic skills activities and module talks will introduce students to more advanced data analysis software such as PRIMER and ArcGIS to provide them with training in using these tools, which may be appropriate for them to apply to their independent research project data.

Project clinics will be offered throughout the module to allow students to drop in and receive further support with their independent research project, in addition to the support received by their Project Supervisor.

The seminar series and independent study encourages the students to consider the integration of their study and to draw on a range of information sources.

Allowing students to conduct a field or laboratory-based research project will further increase their organisational, time management and planning skills through conducting an independent scientific investigation. It will give students the opportunity to put into practice skills developed at Levels 4 and 5 in relation to planning and costing an investigation; devising a suitable methodology and approach; collecting, analysing and interpreting data and presenting their work in a concise format. The practical and tutorial sessions in Marine Study Skills and the lectures and computer-based practical classes in Marine Research and Employability Skills that students will have all received prior to undertaking this module will have provided them with a thorough theoretical and classroom-based preparation for independent field or laboratory study. The research project will also enable students to develop further the sampling methodologies learned in Marine Practical Skills.

Assessment preparation and completion will allow students to fully prepare for their formative and summative assessments. They will have the opportunity to consolidate and build upon knowledge gained throughout their degree programmes.

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation152M15Scientific Conference - 15 Minute oral presentation
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M255000 word literature review
Research paper2M605000 word research project report
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal1MResearch Project Proposal - maximum two pages in length
Portfolio2MResearch Project notebook
Written exercise2MScientific conference abstract - 250 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative project proposal allows the student to demonstrate their planning and organisational skills (including a GANTT chart to make clearly the programme of research). The literature review allows the student to demonstrate their ability to research and synthesise information from the published scientific literature. The research project notebook allows the students to demonstrate their organisational skills. The final report is presented in the form of a scientific paper which allows the student to demonstrate their scientific writing and critical thinking skills. The oral presentation and associated abstract allows the student to show that they can communicate effectively by summarising an in-depth investigation in both written and spoken formats.

Reading Lists

Timetable