Module Information

Module Identifier
EAM4660
Module Title
Environmental Change Dissertation
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 3 (Dissertation)
Pre-Requisite
All 1st and 2nd semester modules on the MSc in Environmental Change, Impact and Adaptation are pre-requisites
External Examiners
  • Dr Catherine Delaney (Senior Lecturer - Manchester Metropolitan University)
 

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral presentation  10%
Semester Assessment Thesis (15,000 to 20,000 words)  90%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation marks will be carried forward. Resubmission of thesis.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Independently formulate research design and hypotheses.
2. Demonstrate their knowledge of the theoretical principles of scientific research.
3. Place research in appropriate wider contexts.
4. Search relevant literature and databases.
5. Undertake independent fieldwork
6. Undertake appropriate laboratory analyses.
7. Demonstrate proficiency in field and laboratory techniques.
8. Present the results and conclusions of their research in a coherent manner in the form of a professionally produced dissertation.
9. Present the results and conclusions of their research in a coherent manner in the form of an oral presentation.
10. Work to a tight schedule.

Brief description

The research project is an independent study on a chosen research question relating to environmental change, impact and adaptation. Students will have the possibility to specialise in the use of specific technique(s) in order to solve particular research questions. These can be drawn from the social sciences or from the physical sciences and involved field and laboratory work. Projects will often be related to research interests of staff and may involve collaboration with external bodies such as Natural Resources Wales, The Centre for Alternative Technology or The National Botanical Gardens Wales.

Content

Students will be encouraged to meet with staff in to discuss their dissertation plans in terms 1 and 2. Thereafter, there is no formal contact time, but students will be assigned a supervisor to provide guidance and advice during the course of the research and the writing of the dissertation. The process is divided into several key stages:

  • Devise research enquiry.
  • Complete necessary background reading.
  • Complete necessary field and laboratory work (where appropriate)
  • Complete written thesis.
  • Prepare and deliver research presentation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The dissertation may involve the collection and analysis of primary data. In which case students will organise their data using databases, analyse data with appropriate statistical techniques and present sometimes complex quantitative datasets using graphs and tables.
Communication There is a summative oral presentation of their dissertation to staff and peers. Written communication is assessed through the submission of the dissertation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will undertake a significant amount of self-directed study, including extensive reading, field and laboratory work. In order to complete the research on time, students need to demonstrate good time management.
Information Technology Students will be expected to use a range of information technology in the generation of their dissertations and in the oral presentation of their work. Students will become familiar with the critical use of online source materials such as journals and policy documents. Some students may choose to use GIS software or freely available remote sensing data as part of their research. Others may wish to use Excel or statistical packages to interrogate databases, generate analyses and graphical outputs.
Personal Development and Career planning The dissertation will develop high level skills in synthesising, evaluating and presenting complex information. The presentation of information, orally and in the thesis are key components of the module. This is useful preparatory experience for PhD research, and positions in environmental consultancies, conservation groups, the Environment Agency and the newly formed Natural Resources Wales.
Problem solving Students are expected to define a research problem and to devise an appropriate strategy to solve the problem.
Research skills Research skills are integral to the dissertation as it is based on research enquiry. All students will develop a range of research skills, dependent on the nature of their topic.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work This is an independent project and teamwork is only anticipated if safety considerations in the field demand it.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7