module specification

MA6P52 - Academic Independent Study (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
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
2 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
148 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 80% 40 Written Report (3000 words max.)
Coursework 20% 40 Viva
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance at semesterly Learning Manager Meeting
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module serves as a core module for all maths students to do a one-semester project in the broader sense and as an alternative to the Faculty’s 30 credit Project module. 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. Although students can take this module in either autumn or spring period, the majority are expected to take this in spring.
  4. The starting date of the module should be flexible; students may start the work during summer or winter vacation on mutual agreement with their supervisors though majority may start in January. 

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, just like our traditional one-semester project, 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.

Module aims

The module aims to

  1. Provide students with an opportunity to pursue an academic area of interest independently within FOC, 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.


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.

Learning and teaching

See Syllabus

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.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is to reflect all the learning outcomes by one coursework (80%), which may consists of a mixture of various parts (see sections 10 and 13) and is individualised for each individual programme of study(LO1,LO2,LO5). However, a written report (80%) must be produced with an attachment of PDP. An oral presentation or viva (20%) is required (LO3-4). Both components must be passed in order to pass this module.

Learning Manager Meetings: in order to pass this module, students must attend at least two meetings with their Learning Manager (one in Autumn and one in Spring) in order to reflect upon, discuss and plan their approach to learning and organisation of their study.


See Syllabus