GVMRP-Research Project

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Jess Neumann

Email: j.l.neumann@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module provides training in the skills required to devise, carry out and report a natural/ social science-based project

The project, which may be in any appropriate area of Environmental Pollution or Environmental Management, is intended to provide a training in the skills required to devise, carry out and report a natural/ social science-based project.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module the student will be able to: -constructively criticise the research of others, -formulate research questions and hypotheses and design a research campaign and collect data to test those hypotheses, -maintain a logically organised record of research activities, -prepare a logically structured paper documenting their project.

Additional outcomes:
Students will develop time-management skills and experience at holding discussion meetings with project supervisors. Depending on their project topic, students will gain experience of good laboratory and field work practice in the form of risk assessments, COSSH forms, ethics forms, determining laboratory and analytical requirements, booking facilities and ordering reagents.

Outline content:
In the Spring term the ground work for the project is carried out in a series of introductory lecture / seminar sessions which cover:
- an overview of the scientific research being carried out in the department,
- examples of projects previously carried out by MSc students,
- a timetable for submission of outline project proposals, presentation and discussion of these proposals and final determination of the project,
- what to record in, and how to organise a project book.

Students will produce a critique of a previous MSc research project.

Individual help will be given to students in formulating projects and identifying supervisors.

In the summer term the students carry out their research project.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The lecture / seminar sessions are at the beginning of the Spring term. A critique of a previous MSc project is produced for week 3. In week 7 of the Spring term students submit a draft project plan to the module co-ordinator. Supervisors are formally identified. Feedback is provided on project ideas. By week 9 of the Spring term project plans are firmly established by submission of a project proposal to the module convenor stating the project title, aims of the project, project supervisor, methods to be used, estimated number of samples and a timetable for the work. This project plan is discussed first with the project supervisor in order to make sure it is realistic.

Early in the summer term a 2000 word literature review on the topic is produced. Projects will be submitted in August and a 15 minute presentation on the project given to the Department in September.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 3
Tutorials 3
Project Supervision 24
Guided independent study 570
Total hours by term 6.00 594.00
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 20
Dissertation 80

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The literature review is worth 20 % of the total, the research paper 80 % of the total.

Formative assessment methods:
Formative feedback is provided on a 2-page project proposal

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:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Failed projects may be resubmitted the following year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Depending on the project topic, there may be additional costs incurred by the student for travel, accommodation and subsistence in support of their project

Last updated: 29 January 2019


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