module specification

MA6P52 - Academic Independent Study (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Academic Independent Study
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
4 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
146 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 80% 40 Written Report (3000 words max.)
Practical Examination 20% 40 Viva
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module serves as a core module for all maths students (and optional for Data Science students) to do a one-semester project in the broader sense. The feature of the module is summarised as follows.
1. Students will follow their own interest to pursue an individualised study independently under staff supervision.
2. Students taking this module with the same supervisor may study the same subject but the assessments should be individualised.
3. The allocation of supervisors to students should be done at the end of year two. Students can take this module in either autumn or spring period.
The programme of study is very much individualised and there is a variety of format. The following are just two typical examples: (a) Pursue an investigative study on a particular topic, with an assessment of written report plus viva, and (b) A self-negotiated study in any subject area following a printed textbook or online material, assessed by a coursework consisting of a mixture of solutions to exercise questions, a written report, and a viva (oral presentation). In the later case, there must be an “investigative and independent factor” in the study. Any other innovative format is encouraged. 

The module aims to
1. Provide students with an opportunity to pursue an academic area of interest independently, subject to the availability of an appropriate supervisor, where a taught module is not available.
2. Develop students’ ability to search the internet and library for useful information.
3. Enrich students’ experience of self-negotiated study.
4. Improve students’ employability by enhancing their skills through report writing and reflection on independent learning.

Prior learning requirements

Completion of level 5 modules


Specification of study programme.
Within the first two weeks, an agreed programme of study must be produced jointly by the student and the supervisor. This includes (1) the proposed syllabus, (2) learning schedules (such as weekly topics), (3) resources needed (such as books, software and/or online material) without extra cost, (4) assessment, and (5) the way of achieving the module aims and learning objectives.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Very little scheduled teaching. Just as the module title indicated, students will do their study independently under supervisors’ guidance

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to
LO1   Plan and execute a plan of work to achieve set targets.
LO2   Investigate/learn an unfamiliar topic using a variety of sources of information.
LO3   Demonstrate that they have acquired, understood and been able to apply  
          knowledge to solve appropriate problems.
LO4   Understand the concepts, theorems, methods and techniques by a clear and
          logical, presentation in the assignments, the short talk and/or the written report.
LO5    Produce a structured scientific report using appropriate software.