Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Work-based Thesis (A)
Academic Year
Distance Learning
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Short thesis  (approx. 20,000 word)  100%
Supplementary Assessment Corrections to Thesis re-submission  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Carry out their research proposal competently and efficiently, undertake an in-depth literature review; and develop and test a hypothesis

2. Present results obtained and evaluate them using an appropriate statistical analysis, discuss in depth their chosen subject area

3. Work to a planned timetable

4. Produce a learned report of the investigation in the form of a thesis

Brief description

The main focus of the work should be the review and analysis of existing data from the student's workplace.


The short thesis (20,000 words) is intended to provide both meaningful research for the industry, and for DAg candidates, a solid foundation for the longer Part II thesis and this should be considered in terms of the ultimate aim of embedding research within the place of work and providing direct and effective knowledge exchange of benefit to the company.


Supervisors should discuss with the student the anticipated timeframe for completion of this module so that milestones can be adjusted accordingly. We would anticipate most students taking two years to complete their Short thesis, but it is possible to complete in one year where the research is well integrated into the students work role. The outline below assumes a two year timeframe:

Literature Review (by 6 months)
Students, with the support and guidance of their supervisor(s), will provide a typed literature review (or similar piece of written work) of 10-15 pages (around 5000 words) to the Assessor. This review can form the basis of the introductory sections of the short thesis. It should and provide documentable evidence of students' writing ability. Feedback to the student will be given during an informal telephone interview with the Assessor or Supervisor.

Review and Analysis of Data (12 months)
Students will outline their methodologies and collate relevant data existing in their workplace and beyond. Data will be analysed and examined using appropriate statistical methods. Results should be discussed in the context of current literature and of practices within their business. Initial conclusions, gaps and fallibilities will be identified. (around 15,000 words)

Presentation of Findings (by 20 months)
Students will present a live seminar (e.g. at an ATP workshop) or to one of the IBERS postgraduate conferences or failing that, recorded presentation for discussion by the Postgraduate Committee. In these exercises, students will need to demonstrate a broad understanding of the subject matter and the relevant literature as well as interpreting their findings. The seminar will be marked by a member of the supervisory team and a second academic and the student will subsequently receive written feedback. If a seminar presentation is not possible within the time-frame, a poster presentation and oral defense will be required. Where live attendance is not possible, this could be Skyped into an IBERS research meeting.

Submit Short Thesis (24 months)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The thesis will require the interpretation of scientific publications and the manipulation and statistical analysis of raw data sets. Assessed in the thesis.
Communication The literature review will provide documentable evidence of students' writing ability. The presentation will provide evidence of verbal communication skills. Written skills will be assessed within the thesis.
Improving own Learning and Performance Through developing skills in the reading and interpretation of scientific publications, preparation of written work and working to deadlines. Assessed in the thesis and; feedback from the presentation.
Information Technology The thesis will require the use of internet based academic journal search engines and the retrieval of academic journal papers. Data must be analysed using appropriate statistical software.
Personal Development and Career planning Student on this module will already be in employment. However the applied nature of the module should enhance career development.
Problem solving The short thesis centers on addressing research problems arising from the workplace. Thus problem solving is an essential attribute.
Research skills This module will build on skills developed in the Research Methodologies module. This will be assessed within the thesis.
Subject Specific Skills Subject specific concepts relating to ruminant based production systems will be developed and assessed as part of the thesis.


This module is at CQFW Level 7