Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Independent Project for Environmental Earth Science
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
Mutually Exclusive
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Dissertation  written dissertation of 10000 words.  75%
Semester Assessment 15 Minute Presentation  Oral presentation  15%
Semester Assessment Field based notebook and/or laboratory notebooks  Field and/or laboratory notebooks recording the data collection for the project.  10%
Supplementary Assessment Dissertation  written dissertation of 10000 words.  75%
Supplementary Assessment 15 minute presentation  Oral presentation  15%
Supplementary Assessment Field based notebook and/or laboratory notebooks  Field and/or laboratory notebooks recording the data collection for the project.  10%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate in depth knowledge of their chosen subject area.

Demonstrate critical thought.

Demonstrate the ablility to conduct indepentent research.

Demonstrate the ability to synthesise conflicting/ complementary arguments.

Present, where appropriate, data in numerical numerate form.

Brief description

This module is based on the final year independent research conducted by all EES students. This dissertation module is designed during the second year of the degree and then field-sampling/data collection is completed, typically, during the vacation between the second and third year of the degree. Students have access to a wide range of support and equipment in DGES during the summer and early part of the first semester of their final year to conduct laboratory tests. The students prepare and deliver an assessed presentation on their work in semester 1 and produce a written dissertation (complete with field and laboratory notebooks) in semester 2.


This 40-credit module consists of a piece of independent research work in any area of Environmental Earth Studies, involving field and/or laboratory and/or library study, together with appropriate follow-up work and consolidation, leading to the production of a written dissertation.

A list of suitable projects and their respective supervisors will be posted, normally by the beginning of semester 2 year 2, but students are not confined to these possiblities. Enterprise and initiative are encouraged, but students should bear in mind that a suitable project:

1. Must involve the collection of primary data;

2. Must fall within the Institute's saftey guidelines;

3. Must be academically suitable, in particular having the potential of allowing a first-class dissertation to be produced from it;

4. Must be logistically feasible (e.g. accommodation, transport);

5. Must be agreed with a supervisor. If the project involves fieldwork, the supervisor will probably not be able to pay a field visit, and may not know the area closely.

After confirming the choice of project with the supervisor, the student arranged and executes the project, and prepares the disseration, independently, but under the guidance of the supervisor. The completed dissertation should fall within a standard prescribed length and be submitted before a specified time. Each student also presents a verbal report on their project, to an open audience which includes their peer students. Normally the presentations are given in early December, with each taking 15 minutes including a 3-minute discussion period.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Where dissertations involve numerical data or chemical analyses this will be assessed through the field and laboratory notebooks.
Communication Written skills that are assessed in this module as well as the oral presentation skills.
Improving own Learning and Performance The project supervisor will provide feedback and support throught the writing stages of dissertation but this is an independent project so the students will be encouraged to reflect on their performance and improve their own skills and learning.
Information Technology Students will need to prepare a 15-minute presentation about their research and present this using standard software. Data analysis through statistical packages will be appropriate for some of the project work.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to train students as independent researchers. The dissertation is one of the most important pieces of work that the students take to employers.
Problem solving This module includes a wide range of problem solving exercises. It will require students to plan a piece of independent research and conduct the data collection element as independent researchers using safe practices.
Research skills Students will be required to research their topic conducting in-depth literature searches and incorporating these sources into a written dissertation form.
Subject Specific Skills This module is aimed at developing the subject specific skills that an Environmental Earth Scientist will have been trained in over the preceeding two years.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 6