Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Environmental Science Dissertation
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Oral Presentation and abstract  10 minute oral presentation and abstract  10%
Semester Assessment Dissertation  12,000 words  90%
Supplementary Assessment Dissertation  12,000 words  90%
Supplementary Assessment Script for an Oral Presentation and abstract  Script (which equates to a 10 minute oral presentation) and abstract  10%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate in depth knowledge and critical thought in their chosen subject area

Demonstrate the ablility to conduct independent research

Demonstrate the ability to synthesise conflicting/complementary arguments

Present, where appropriate, data in numerical form

Present the context of the study, the experimental design, preliminary findings and interpretation in an oral presentation.

Brief description

The disseration forms a core component of the BSc in Environmental Science. It is designed to enable students to put into practice the skills and techniques they have developed in prior modules by undertaking an independent research project of their choice. Each student will be assigned a dissertation tutor, who will provide guidance on the topic selesction, research design and methods.

The project is an independent piece of research involving the collection and analysis of primary and/or secondary data. It is normally based on fieldwork and/or laboratory work undertaken during the summer vacation and before Semester 1 of year 3.


Semester 2 of Year 2 is designed to lay the foundations for the independent research study. All students will complete a Dissertation Title and Supervisor Form by mid-April and this information will be used to allocate a dedicated Dissertation Tutor. The Disseration Tutor will then regularly meet with the students to help them through the key stages:

· Complete necessary background reading and devising a sbitable research topic and question.
· Complete necessary field and laboratory work (where appropriate)
· Complete written dissertation

These activities will be supplemented by two large group lectures delivered by the Module Coordinator. These lectures will be given to all dissertation cohorts on dissertation production (early in the third year) and final submission and binding instructions in February (prior to the deadline).

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number If appropriate to the selected research topic, students may develop numerical skills through the collection, analysis and presentation of quantitative data.
Communication Written communication skills are developed through the production of a written report. Oral communication skills are developed through: - the oral presentation - discussion with research staff - though emperical research where verbal research methods are employed (e.g. interviews and questionnaires).
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be encouraged to reflect on their experience of planning and undertaking research in the discussion with their tutor, in the oral presentation and in the written draft report.
Information Technology Students will be expected to employ appropriate IT resources in indentifying data sources and collecting data (e.g. internet, electronic information resources), in data analysis (e.g. statistical packages), in preparing for the oral presentation (e.g. PowerPoint) and in producing the project report (e.g. word processing, GIS and mapping packages).
Personal Development and Career planning Personal development and career planning will be developed as part of the large group of lectures and tutor meetings that are a part of this module. In addition, the generic skills developed through the research project will have significant transferability to a wide range of career contexts.
Problem solving Problem solving skills are developed through the identification of research questions, appropriate methodology and research plan, and through responses to difficultes experiences during data collection.
Research skills Research skills are developed through the collection and analysis of data appropriate for investigation of the research questions.
Subject Specific Skills Developed in the context of the topic chosen.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 6