Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 1 hour progress meetings with supervisor (10 hours) - across semester 1 & 2
Lecture 1 x 1 hour introductory session (1 hour) - semester 1


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Student conduct  15%
Semester Assessment Dissertation  75%
Semester Assessment Research seminar  10%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Assess and evaluate information from a range of sources.

2. Identify and apply appropriate techniques of data analysis.

3. Draw out conclusions and discuss these in relation to existing knowledge in the field.

4. Highlight unanswered questions and areas of controversy in their research area.

5. Formulate suggestions for future research.

6. Display appropriate scientific-writing and IT skills.

7. Demonstrate a significant degree of independence in their work.

Brief description

The module will provide students with the opportunity to perform in-depth research on a topic that is relevant to their degree. Many projects will be based on laboratory experiments or fieldwork exercises; others will comprise a computer modelling exercise based on secondary data sources or the development of a detailed business plan. Others again will involve a critical review of published literature. All projects, regardless of their mode, will require students to work independently under the guidance of a supervisor, to perform a review of literature, conduct investigative work and analysis, develop suitable conclusions and recommendations, and present this in the form of a dissertation (maximum 8,000 words).

Students will be assessed on their conduct (15% awarded by supervisor), their submitted dissertation (75% awarded by supervisor/second assessor), and a presentation of their project in the form of a research seminar (10% awarded by supervisor/second assessor).


By the end of year 2, students will have been allocated a project, assigned a supervisor, and submitted a detailed research plan as part of their Research Methods module. This module provides an opportunity for students to put their plans into practice.
The nature of the dissertation will reflect the interests of individual students and while there will be variation in the emphasis of the work all projects are governed by the same regulations and must aim to achieve the same learning objectives. Students are expected to maintain regular contact with their supervisor (at least once every two weeks during the semesters) to discuss progress.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This module will require students to develop general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing and applying formulae). Students will also obtain and interpret mathematical and statistical information.
Communication Students will be required to give a research seminar on their project, testing their ability to produce clearly structured written work and oral literacy. Students undertaking an experimental research project will also develop effective listening skills during instruction and training. Written literacy will also be developed through production of the research dissertation.
Improving own Learning and Performance This module will help students develop and apply realistic learning and self management strategies. Students will devise personal action plans to include short- and long-term goals, and to review and monitor progress, revising action plans as appropriate to improve overall performance. These will be submitted to assist supervisors in determining an appropriate mark for student conduct.
Information Technology A range of IT skills are used during this module. Students will be expected to develop skills in preparing and inputting data, spreadsheets, word processing and research-specific analysis programs to analyse results.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving This skill is a key component of the module, students will be encouraged to critically analyse primary and/or secondary data, identify factors that might influence potential solutions, and apply creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions.
Research skills This is a research-based module that requires students to understand and evaluate a range of research methods and procedures, plan and carry out research, and produce an academic report (dissertation).
Subject Specific Skills Subject-specific skills developed will depend on the research project being undertaken e.g. training in DNA sequencing and analysis.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 6