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NUT3002 : Research Project

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Suzanne Spence
  • Lecturer: Dr Daniel Henderson, Dr Kirsten Brandt, Dr Rachel Stocker
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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


- To provide experience of primary research on a current topic in food & human nutrition
- To give the opportunity to develop research skills
- To encourage students to develop strategies for problem solving
- To assist students to develop skills in the critical analysis of scientific evidence
- To assist students to develop skills in the presentation of results and conclusions in written format [poster, and extended project report], and orally [presentation of poster]

Outline Of Syllabus

This is the largest component of the final year's work worth 40 credits. Each student will undertake a novel piece of supervised research and prepare a project report, and a poster presentation summarising the results of the project. The following comments on the methods of assessment are intended to guide students in what is expected from them in this module. The student’s application and work during the project will be assessed by the supervisor (if there is joint supervision, the first named supervisor will take this responsibility) [20% of the module mark]. The project report [60% of the module mark] will be assessed by two independent markers appointed by the module leader. The poster [20% of the module mark] will be assessed by the module leader and other academic staff.

(a) Assessment
Performance in the following areas will be examined.
NB Not all of these areas will necessarily be relevant to all projects.

1. Literature searching and use of existing knowledge base
2. Ability to design experiments
3. Laboratory/ experimental skills
4. Ability to cope with experimental problems
5. Care in collection and recording of data
6. Ability to analyse data and interpret results
7. Preparation of the project report including:

- Relevance and depth of the Introduction
- Statement of hypothesis and experimental design
- Description of methodology
- Presentation and interpretation of results
- Critical discussion of results
- Overall presentation of project report

The independent markers will base their assessment on the project report as presented (Area 7) whilst the supervisor will take note of performance in all areas.

The supervisor will give feedback both verbally and written comments onto a printed version of the draft. For the introduction, experimental and results sections the feedback will relate to content, structure and organisation, presentation and use of English. For the discussion, which should demonstrate the student’s own interpretations of their own work, comment from supervisors will be limited to structure and organisation, presentation and use of English. It is the student’s responsibility to modify the draft based on the feedback from their supervisor.

About a week before final submission, on a date agreed with their supervisor, the student should submit, electronically, the second, and final, draft of all sections of their project report so that their supervisor can consider it in its entirety. Feedback from supervisors on the second draft will be limited to comments on structure, organisation and presentation. Students will then have a final opportunity to revise their project report before submission. [Note: students suffering from relevant disabilities will be permitted to submit more than two drafts of each section to their supervisors but comments on content will only be made with respect to the first draft].

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture62:0012:00PIP - Stats refresher, Approaches in qualitative research. Academic writing, Data presentation. Prep of e-poster
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1148:00148:00Writing of project report.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion25:0010:00Preparation of e- poster.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching14:004:00PIP - Poster presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00PIP (computer cluster). Literature searching and data; management refreshers.
Guided Independent StudyProject work1167:00167:00Experimental work, literature review and methodological development
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00PIP (computer cluster). Reference - management, and document - presentation.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision150:0050:00Supervision meetings and associated supervisor support. Method of engagement - PIP and / or sync online, to be determined between student and supervisor.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00PIP- introduction to module
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The honours project and project report provide a unique opportunity for assisted private study and research of a topic selected by the student. Students select a topic of choice from a range of projects provided by academic staff. The students complete plans for the practical element of their research project with their supervisor and her/his research team. In this way the student gains experience in project design and management. Where necessary the student may assist in the submission of material for ethical approval before commencing data collection.

The students receive instruction on writing styles, storing reference information in Endnote and formatting thesis in the lectures and practical (computer cluster) sessions which accompany the module. The students develop skills in preparation of a project report. They develop skills in preparation of this work to a high standard. The students also receive some guidance on how to prepare a poster which builds on their previously-gained experiences in Stage 1 and 2, delivering presentations.

The supervisor provides active guidance during the practical elements of the research and so the student gains relevant experience in data collection and recording. For the project report the student is required to search relevant literature using a range of resources after initial guidance from the supervisor. For the written project report the student gains experience and training in information retrieval, interpretation, report writing skills and, where relevant, with statistical analysis of data. The poster presentation develops verbal and visual presentation skills and the ability to discuss the scientific principles underlying the research project.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M20Supervisor's assessment
Report2M60Project report (5000 words)
Poster2M205-min poster presentation & 3 min Q&A - PIP
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment process includes the project supervisor who appraises the student's abilities in areas such as time management, problem solving and practical skills which may not be evident from the project report. The latter forms the basis for assessing the student's ability to undertake research, to test a hypothesis, to analyse and interpret results and to draw conclusions in the light of existing knowledge. The oral presentation/poster presentation assesses communication skills.

To meet accreditation requirements and to pass this module, BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition and BSc (Hons) Nutrition with Food Marketing students must obtain a mark of 40 or above for each summative assessment.

Reading Lists