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MST3205 : Marine Research Project

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Guenther Uher
  • Lecturer: Professor Pip Moore, Professor Clare Fitzsimmons, Dr Heather Sugden, Dr Sarah Coulthard, Dr Sara Marsham
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Mixed Location
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0


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 developing and recording research in Academic and Professional Skills for the Biosciences, Research and Employability Skills and Marine Practical Skills 1 and 2.

Students have the opportunity to develop their research skills in a research project that focuses on a particular aspect of Marine Science research that interests them. Students elect to undertake this project under the supervision of a member of academic staff. They have the opportunity to take responsibility for their own project and further develop their organisational and scientific writing skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

Working independently the students will revise their research project proposal, previously developed in Stage 2 module MST2204 Research and Employability Skills. Proposal sections, including the background to the research, methodology and approach, a GANTT chart to demonstrate the proposed programme of research and risk assessments will be refined in discussion with their Supervisor. They will research the scientific literature relevant to their chosen subject area and will prepare an extended critical essay. They will identify or develop appropriate methodology and identify suitable statistical analyses to be used in their research project study. They will undertake independent research, in partnership with an external organisation, 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’.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00Literature Review preparation
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials12:002:00Preparation for lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion17:007:00Scientific Conference presentation preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:304:30Preparation for lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Formative Conference abstract completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Introduction to the module.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion118:0018:00Research Project notebook completion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion172:0072:00Research Project Report preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:3030:30Research project dependent
Guided Independent StudyProject work1165:00165:00Research Project data collection
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops28:0016:00Two day scientific conference, including oral presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:303:00Literature Review Planning
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Research project clinics
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision120:306:00Supervisor meetings
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MST3206Marine Research Project - Overseas
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce the module, develop their critical evaluation skills and inform students of the format of their final project report and scientific conference presentation.

Research Project work will be supported by the drop-in clinics where students can receive additional advice and guidance on any aspect of their Research Project work.

Allowing students to conduct a field, laboratory, or desk-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 MST1204 Academic and Professional Skills for the Biosciences and the lectures and computer-based practical classes in MST2204 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, laboratory or desk-based study. The research project will also enable students to develop further the sampling methodologies learned in Marine Practical Skills 1 and 2 (MST1205 and MST2205).

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

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation152A10Scientific Conference presentation
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M605,000 word Research Project report
Essay1A302,500 word Literature Review
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Portfolio1MResearch Project notebook
Written exercise2M200 word Scientific Conference abstract
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Research Project notebook allows the students to demonstrate their organisational skills.

The literature review allows the student to demonstrate their ability to research and synthesise information from the published scientific literature.

The final Research Project 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 allows the student to show that they can communicate effectively by summarising an in-depth investigation.

Reading Lists