CY6P01 - Research Project (2023/24)
|Module approved to run in 2023/24
|Credit rating for module
|School of Human Sciences
|Total study hours
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
This module will enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research. It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature or field work, or meta-analysis of databases. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report and a Powerpoint presentation of results. This module aims to encourage the student to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by means of a specific investigation requiring significant research; develop the skills necessary to plan, carry out, analyse and report upon the results of an experimental or analytical programme on a scientific topic; allow the student to demonstrate that s/he has achieved a high level of personal development through working independently with the minimum necessary supervision; allow the student to demonstrate their understanding and application of safe and considerate working practices, particularly within the laboratory.
Prior learning requirements
Students will reflect upon their scientific background and intended academic outcome in choosing the subject for their project. Students carry out an experimental project, preceded by an appropriate directed literature survey, within an area of staff expertise in the School of Human Sciences. Although students are expected to work independently throughout most of the project, the initial stage will be under direct supervision as they attain sufficient skills and knowledge to succeed in the later stages.
Practical work: Application of scientific knowledge and experimental skills to the design and execution of a subject-based practical project.
Literature or database analysis: Application of scientific knowledge and research skills to the design and execution of a subject-based dissertation or meta-analysis. Analysis, appraisal and presentation of the results. Work will be communicated both as a log book, fully documented scientific reports and in an oral examination.
The research programme will be carried out in consultation with a supervisor who will normally be an academic staff member of the School of Human Sciences.
This 30 credit module will provide students with the opportunity to develop employability skills and key competencies whilst working on an independent laboratory or literature based research project. Students will spend at least 70 hours working in the laboratory. Activities are based on recommendations from the RSC and employers making them relevant to current industry standards (including: safety and good lab practice, standard techniques, current technologies, data handling and data mining). Work related learning skills will be demonstrated and assessed in two ways: completion of an employer ratified competency portfolio together with a formal dissertation based on an independent lab-based or literature based research project which has to be a meta- analysis (i.e. real analysis of published data) and oral defence of their project.
A WRL Project Board, comprising of the accrediting body, employers, academic and technical staff will evaluate and ratify the project scopes and the students’ technical skills competency portfolio to ensure these are relevant to current industry requirements and standards. Project board members will be invited to the students’ oral defence and prize giving. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5,LO6,LO7
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Students will be guided in the use of directed reading and other learning resources in order to seek, handle and interpret information. In the written report, they will be required to produce a synthesis of their own and published findings.
Students will be guided through a period where they select and gain the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake their research topic. Then, students will work as individuals on the design and execution of their projects. They will be encouraged to think critically about their findings and, where appropriate, to provide solutions through the design of related experiments or alternative approaches to research.
Students will be given the opportunity to develop their presentational and professional skills.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Analyse appropriate background information on a particular scientific topic and use this to plan a programme of work directed to a specific aim.
2. Establish a plan of work, then evaluate and modify it as necessary in response to analysis of results.
3. Reflect upon the outcomes of the work and, using scientific creativity, propose additional research desirable to further clarify the area.
4. Present a written report of the project in an appropriate scientific form that analyses and evaluates the research output.
5. Defend the work undertaken and its written presentation.
6. Work safely with due regard to the Department's Codes of Practice (practical work only)
7. Summarise their skills development through recording these in the topic and literature review, updating their personal statement, keeping a logbook that records the developmental aspects and results of their project and presenting themselves professionally during the oral defence.
The students are assessed by their supervisor on a continual basis by means of the literature review and project proposal (10%) and logbook (20%), taking into account the student’s ability as an experimentalist/researcher, the ability to plan and reflect upon his/her work, and the general level of industry and initiative. This course work component will be used to provide formative feedback and summative assessment. The final report (50%) is assessed independently by at least two members of staff, excluding the project supervisor. In awarding a mark the examiner takes into account the achievement of the student in terms of the results obtained, the clarity of presentation and layout, and the standard of the discussion including the students’ consideration of the wider context of the investigation. If the two marks differ significantly, the final report is reassessed by a third examiner. An oral defence (20%) assesses the students’ ability to give a verbal account of his/her work, to think and reflect critically on the work, and to communicate effectively.
The PDP element of the project will be assessed within the logbook in terms of the day-to-day entries (where the development of specific technical skills is recorded) and through the graduation statement. The viva will also allow the student to demonstrate appropriate professional standards.
To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%. There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.
Core Text: Barras, R (2002). Scientists Must Write. A Guide to Better Writing for Scientists, Engineers and Students. 2nd Edition. Routledge Ltd.
Other Texts: Van Emden (2001) Effective Communication for Science and Technology. Palgrave.
Davis, M. (2005). Scientific Papers and Presentations. 2nd Edition. Academic Press.
Journals: RSC Advances (RSC), Dalton Transactions (RSC), Inorganic Chemistry (ACS), Journal of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Science Direct, Pubmed, Google scholar and Research gate.
Websites: www.rsc.org, www.acs.org, www.khanacademy.org
Social Media Sources @ChemistryWorld, @RoyalSocChem