CEM100-Dissertation and research skills

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: CEM108 Engineering Research and Dissertation CEM109 Research Project and dissertation
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Shu-Ling Lu

Email: s.lu@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
Students are provided with research skills classes and academic supervision to support their dissertation research and writing on a topic of their choice.

The aim is equip students with the necessary understanding, knowledge and skills to formulate research problems, develop and apply appropriate investigative approaches, interpret data and present findings. The knowledge and skills developed will provide broad-based support for students to engage in reflexive scholarship in all of their taught modules. This module has a specific emphasis on preparing students for the dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that the student will be able to demonstrate ability in the following areas:
• Identify a suitable topic for academic research and formulate appropriate and rigorous research questions, aims and objectives for that topic.
• Plan and conduct a search for literature relevant to the research question; evaluate and critically review that literature; cite references correctly.
• Avoid plagiarism in their writing.
• Develop a research strategy, using an appropriate sample set, source of data and analysis approach for investigating their research question.
• Acquire the relevant knowledge, awareness and appreciation of ethical issues and ensure their own research is ethical.
• Develop a dissertation proposal.
• Undertake relevant statistical analysis and evaluation of data.
• Plan a project.
• Assemble a body of information on a particular topic.
• Develop editorial skills in the organisation and synthesis relevant material.
• Critically review published work, highlighting strengths and weaknesses of research in the chosen area.
• Design and develop appropriate data collection and analysis strategies.
• Use relevant software packages.
• Develop clear and concise dissertation writing and organisation of written material.

Additional outcomes:
On completion of this module students will have had the opportunity to develop:
• Transferable skills in interpersonal communication, written communication, critical thinking, problem solving and time management.
• Competence in written and verbal communication through the preparation of assignments.
• Practical training in time management and independent learning.

Outline content:
The module is designed to develop understanding and knowledge through a structured and developmental series of topics.
• Library skills
• Research philosophy
• Research design and research ethics
• Critical literature review and research positioning
• Specific research methods
• Dissertation

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures, seminars, self-directed learning and supervised dissertation work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 24
Seminars 6
Project Supervision 5 5
Guided independent study 70 245 245
Total hours by term 100.00 250.00 250.00
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 10
Report 5
Dissertation 80
Set exercise 5

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
One dissertation research proposal (approximately 1,500 words), one group project report (approximately 2,000 words), two on-line tests and one dissertation (12,000-15,000 words). The dissertation should be prepared in accordance with the current School "CEM100 Postgraduate Dissertation Handbook".

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

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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