CEM10A-Research skills

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: CEM18A Engineering Research and Dissertation CEM19A Energy Research Skills
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 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 to prepare a research proposal for their 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.

  • Plan a project.

  • Assemble a body of information on a particular topic.

  • Develop editorial skills in the organisation and synthesis relevant material.

  • Design and develop appropriate data collection and analysis strategies.

  • Undertake analysis and evaluation of data.

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, practical exercises and group work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 24
Practicals classes and workshops 6
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Project output other than dissertation 15
Set exercise 15

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One on-line test - submission date: TT Wk 7

One group project report - approximately 2,000 words; submission date: TT Wk 10

One dissertation research proposal - approximately 1,500 words; submission date: - TT Wk 20 (Full time) & TT Wk42 (Flexible modular)

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

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Re- submission of failed elements. Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 11 June 2018


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