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NES3505 : Research Project

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Guenther Uher
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr James Stach
  • Lecturer: Dr Sara Marsham
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Mixed Location

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module provides students with the opportunity to practice their use of the scientific method by completing either an analytical review or a research project. 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 Academic and Professional Skills for the Biosciences.

Students have the opportunity to develop their literature or research skills in a project that focuses on literature or a particular aspect of 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 refine a research project with their supervisor. Students will research the scientific literature relevant to their chosen subject area and for a research project will also identify or develop appropriate methodology and identify suitable analyses to be used in their research project. For research projects students will undertake independent research to test their hypotheses and record all their work in a project notebook. Students will produce a full write-up of their project and prepare and deliver an oral presentation on their literature or research project as part of a ‘Scientific Conference’.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Introduction to the module
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:304:30Preparation for lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Formative Conference abstract completion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion118:0018:00Research Project notebook completion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion172:0072:00Research Project Report preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture41:004:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials12:002:00Preparation for lecture
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion17:007:00Scientific Conference presentation preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading178:3078:30Research project dependent
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops28:0016:00Scientific conference, including oral presentation
Guided Independent StudyProject work1180:00180:00Research Project data/literature collection
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Project clinics
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision120:306:00Supervisor meetings
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 an analytical, field, laboratory, or desk-based research project will further increase their organisational, time management and planning skills through conducting an independent literature-based or scientific investigation. It will give students the opportunity to put into practice skills developed at previous stages of study, which may include 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 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, desk- or literature-based study.

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 Presentation152M20Scientific Conference presentation
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research paper2M80Project report (max. 5000 words for data-based research projects and max. 8000 words for narrative literature review projects)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Portfolio2MResearch Project notebook
Written exercise2M200 word Scientific Conference abstract
Essay1MProject introduction (max. 1500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

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

The project introduction allows the student to demonstrate their ability to research and synthesise information and receive feedback on their academic writing skills.

The final Research Project report is presented in the form of a 8000-word narrative literature review or a data-based 5000-word scientific paper which allows the student to demonstrate their scientific writing and critical thinking skills.

The abstract gives students an opportunity to receive feedback prior to their oral presentation, which allows the student to show that they can communicate effectively by summarising an in-depth investigation.

Reading Lists