Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Michael Peters

Email: m.d.peters@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
To conduct all parts of a research project and to deliver a dissertation that includes aims and objectives, argument, literature review, data collection, data analysis, conclusions and recommendations

To produce a dissertation thesis including all parts of a research project.

Assessable learning outcomes:
•To define achievable and relevant aims and objectives.
•To conduct individual research on a clear theme and making best use of the available evidence to develop and test an argument.
•To conduct a literature review, taking maximum advantage of the literature through a structured literature searches, to critically review literatures and refine the research questions and to adequately record and acknowledge sources.
•To collect (secondary or primary) data relevant to the research question, whether through library research, observation and photographs, lab work, interviews or surveys.
•To take appropriate steps to ensure data collection is ethical and to adequately recorded and acknowledge sources.
•To use appropriate data analysis techniques, whether statistical, quantitative or qualitative.
•To display data and results in tables, figures, drawings and graphs.
•To develop conclusions and recommendations that follow from the work and provide a useful starting point for future work.
•To present the study well, using language that is well considered, grammatically correct, fluent or succinct; with the work structured, with headings, sub-headings and paragraphs and a clear summary.

Additional outcomes:
•To develop skills in self-organized study, creative and analytical thinking and communication;
•To conduct in-depth study of one topic to beyond degree level;
•To develop connections to the research base within the School and elsewhere; and
•To understand the value of research to industry.

Outline content:
•The course is supportive of student-led hands on learning through research. The taught element covers research skills; advanced library skills and guidance and trouble-shooting on the dissertation process.
•Dissertation clinics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Dissertation work is student-led and the student’s individual study is central to the learning and teaching on this module. Hence the main teaching and learning methods include:

• Hands-on learning through individual study.
• Supervision by dissertation supervisor either individually or in a small group to check progress on and guide individual study.

Generic help for hands-on learning is also made available through the course, with:

• Handbook to guide students and their supervisors in preparation of the dissertation: this includes details of supervisor research interests, templates for data collection and details of dissertation binding etc.
• Two revision seminars at the start of the Autumn term – to cover reminder of research skills, project-managing a research project and structuring a dissertation;
• One small group advanced library skills seminar. Led by a member of the library, this covers advanced literature search techniques (optional, max 20 students per seminar - students use sign-up sheet to join);
• A ‘rolling’ dissertation surgery where students can book a half hour appointment with the module convenor at any point during the Autumn and Spring term to discuss particular aspects of their own dissertation.

Blackboard notes on research skills and dissertation preparation are available to students. Further library and statistical support is also available to individual students as required.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 4 2 2
Project Supervision 5.5 4.5 5
Guided independent study 377
Total hours by term 386.50 6.50 7.00
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:
One dissertation of 10,000 - 15,000 words, to be submitted .Thesis will be marked by two independent markers and then moderated.

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
• where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
• where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40%

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-submission of dissertation

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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