Module Information

Module Identifier
BR32300
Module Title
Dissertation
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
External Examiners
  • Dr Anita Diaz (Senior Lecturer - Bournemouth University)
  • Mrs Caroline Rymer (Senior Research Fellow - University of Reading)
  • Dr Helen E Moreton (Senior Lecturer - Royal Agricultural University (RAU))
  • Mr Henry J S Finch (Principal Lecturer - Royal Agricultural University (RAU))
  • Professor John Williams (Professor - University of Chester)
  • Dr Martin Genner (Senior Lecturer - University of Bristol)
  • Dr Mark Paget (Reader - University of Sussex)
  • Mr Paul Courtney (Professor - University of Gloucestershire)
  • Professor Pat Heslop-Harrison (Professor - University of Leicester)
  • Professor Richard J Murphy (Professor - University of Surrey)
  • Dr Robert Baxter (Senior Lecturer - University of Durham)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Lecture 1 x 1 Hour Lecture
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Logbook  10%
Semester Assessment Dissertation  80%
Semester Assessment Oral Presentation  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. Present the context, data, results and conclusions in an appropriate manner.

8. 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.

Aims

The module aims to increase students' skills of independent research, building on current knowledge, putting into practice the knowledge and skills obtained throughout their degree programme to make a novel contribution to our knowledge.

Content

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.
An Introductory lecture in the 1st semester will provide guidance on how to approach the Dissertation research. In the 2nd semester, optional weekly drop-in clinics will be held to provide advice on specific aspects of the preparation of the Dissertation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number This module may require students to develop general mathematical awareness and its application in practical contexts (e.g. measuring, weighing and applying formulae) according to the nature of the project. Students may 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 appropriate to their project.
Personal Development and Career planning Not a specific element of this module.
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, questionnaire design, behavioural observation, etc.
Team work Not a specific element of this module although some students will be required to work with other members of a laboratory or research group, including other Dissertation students.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6