Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Advanced Research Skills
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Other 30 Hours. Ten x 3 hour classroom sessions, with follow-up project work to total 200 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1. Communication exercise (20%). 2. Computer-based numerical skills (40%). Tender document exercise (40%).  100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed elements of coursework. 

Learning Outcomes

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

*Seek, locate, abstract, synthesise and handle existing scientific information.

*Manipulate numerical data and apply relevant statistical techniques.

*Operate relevant computer-based methods.

*Identify and evaluate the hazards associated with working in field and laboratory environments.

*Critically analyse and evaluate previous work.

*Focus on new research that is needed, to meet commercial needs or to set agendas in work; plan and execute new programmes of research and testing.

*Communicate effectively the research and its results via various relevant media.

Brief description

Introduction and practice in a range of generic skills appropriate to conducting postgraduate research and professional activities in physical earth and environmental sciences.


PART ONE: Science Communication

1) Introduction to Advanced Research Skills

2) Communicating Science I:
Effective oral and visual communication
Communicating Science II: Writing effectively
Understanding communication: discourse and policy analysis

PART TWO: Numerical Skills

Computer-based skills: Presentation Packages, Visual Basic

Numerical data handling I:
Presentation and analysis
Numerical data handling II:
Analysis (including statistical techniques) and interpretation

PART THREE: Research Design and Implementation

Research design, planning and execution
(in commercial and academic contexts - including tender documents, grant applications)
Evaluating research
(including commercial tender presentations)

Health & Safety: Hazard and Risk Assessment. Fieldwork and Laboratory (introduction to COSHH and DSEAR)
Preparing for your dissertation

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will obtain, present and interpret numerical data where appropriate through the module, and specifically as part of the 'Numerical data handling' and 'Computer-based skills' sessions and exercise.
Communication Communication skills, and the importance of effective communication in science, are developed specifically through the 'Communicating science' sessions, whilst oral presentation skills are practiced in the 'Evaluating research' session. Written communication skills are assessed as part of the various module assignments.
Improving own Learning and Performance A large amount of independent study is required for this module. A considerable degree of self-motivation is required from the students in order to meet deadlines for continuous assessment. The development of learning and self management strategies is necessary in order to meet both the long- and short-term goals set by this course.
Information Technology Students will refine and develop their IT skills through use of both commonly available software packages for the presentation and analysis of in-course work, and also more specialist packages as appropriate to the specific M.Sc. courses being pursued.
Personal Development and Career planning This module develops student research skills, which are transferable in nature. Students receive an insight into a range of potential career opportunities, both within and outside academia, through the various sessions of this module and their associated exercises.
Problem solving Problem solving skills are developed throughout the programme, but specifically in the 'Research design and project management' and 'numerical data handling' sessions and their associated exercises.
Research skills This module specifically addresses the development of advanced research skills throughout the sessions and exercises.
Subject Specific Skills Wherever possible, project work will utilise material drawn from topics relevant to whichever of the M.Sc. schemes is being pursued by the individual student, gaining subject-specific skills relevant to that particular M.Sc. Scheme.
Team work Students will develop their team work skills through role play in the tender document oral presentations ('Evaluating research' session), and the 'Communicating science - Ethics and the media' session.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Coombes, H. (2001) Research using IT Palgrave Press Primo search Croft, A. and Davison, R. (2003) Foundation Maths Prentice Hall Primo search Jefferies, J (2001) Beginning statistics. Sage Press Primo search Johnson, R.J (1980) Multivariate Statistical Analysis in Geography. Longman Primo search Peck, J. & Coyle, M. (1999) The Student's Guide to Writing Macmillan Primo search Rowntree, D. (2000) Statistics without tears: an introduction for non-mathematicians. Penguin Books Primo search Townend, J. (2002) Practical Statistics for Environmental and Biological Scientists. John Wiley and Sons, Ltd. Primo search Van Emden (2001) Effective communication for Science and Technology Palgrave Press Primo search Van Emden, J. (2001) Effective communication for Science and Technology. Palgrave Press Primo search White, S., Evans, P., Mihill, C. & Tysoe (1993) Hitting the Headlines: a practical guide to science in the media. BPS Books. Primo search Wisker, G., (2001) The Postgraduate Research Handbook Palgrave Press. Primo search
Recommended Consultation


This module is at CQFW Level 7