CEM109-Research Project and dissertation

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: CEM100 Dissertation and research skills and CEM108 Engineering Research and Dissertation
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Maria Vahdati

Email: m.m.vahdati@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
In this module, students are expected to undertake a major piece of independent research in an energy related topic at MSc level. Topics are selected from a list provided by the school, and supervision is provided by a member of staff. Students present their findings both orally and as a formal dissertation.
In preparation for this work, the students will receive lectures on research methods. This will involve looking at the composition of a research question, formulating a research proposal, the development of a plan for the proposed research and preparation of a critical literature review. Tools of research, different types of research and oral presentation of findings will also be covered.

To provide students with:
• An understanding of research methods including project risks and their management as well as an assessment, evaluation and understanding of ethical issues.
• Experience of undertaking a major, professional quality, research project in an energy related topic at MSc level;
• Experience of presenting their work to a professional audience in a formal setting;
• Specialist training in an area of Renewable Energy which interests them and for which expertise exists within the University.

Assessable learning outcomes:
On successful completion of this module, students will have:-
• Understanding of some key research issues in their area of specialism.
• Understanding of the research process.
• Experience in planning and organising a substantial research project, including writing a project proposal and defining clear aims and objectives and the tasks and resources required, formulating a time plan and gathering the resources required.
• Experience in writing a critical review of literature.
• Experience in collecting and processing data for research in energy
• Experience in developing computer models and equipment for research in energy
• Experience in presenting their research formally
• Experience in writing a substantial dissertation.

Additional outcomes:
Formulation of a full project proposal and experience in critically evaluating current research in their topic.
Research skills, report writing, presentation skills.
Production of a project time-chart, defining timescales for each task and deadlines for each intermediate objective.

Outline content:
This is the main MSc project which must be carried out individually and contain an element of original work. Students are expected to submit a full project proposal in April and a review of literature at the end of June.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The research methods component of this module will be taught through lectures in the Spring term. Supervision methods will vary with project topic and supervisor. As a rough guide, students can expect a total of 20 hours of direct guidance from their supervisor and other staff over the duration of the project. This includes time spent reading and commenting on draft chapters. This will vary with project topic and supervisor commitments. Students are expected to work independently for the vast majority of the learning hours of the project module. Students are also expected to actively maintain contact with their supervisor. For more information please see the Dissertation handbook.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Tutorials 20
Guided independent study 560
Total hours by term 10.00 10.00 580.00
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 6
Dissertation 80
Oral assessment and presentation 14

Other information on summative assessment:
Coursework: a dissertation; oral project presentation and project poster.

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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

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: 21 December 2016

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