Module Provider: Agriculture
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Gillian Rose

Email: g.rose@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module builds on the skills, knowledge and experience that you’ve gained throughout your degree course. You will identify a suitable research topic, develop an hypothesis, plan and conduct a research project. Using your statistical skills you will analyse the results of your research project and rely on your critical analyses skills to interpret the data. Your research will be presented to your peers and the wider School of Agriculture, Policy and Development via a scientific poster presentation and you will produce a written dissertation.


This module develops independent research skills, culminating in a scientific poster presentation and a written dissertation. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

Intended learning outcomes:

  • To develop professional skills relevant to scientific research, including practical skills relevant to the research topic

  • To develop skills in gathering information from multiple sources and critically analysing peer reviewed literature

  • Collecting, analysing and presenting research data

  • Communicating the findings and implications of research

  • To develop independent study skills including time management

Assessable learning outcomes:

On completion of this module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Formulate a relevant research question and related hypotheses

  • Execute a collaborative research project

  • Accurately collect and record information, store, manipulate and analyse research data

  • Demonstrate the ability to write scientifically

  • Confidently present research findings and answer questions

  • Understand the importance of academic integrity

  • Show an awareness of ethical considerations, data protection procedures and relevant health and safety issues in planning research

  • Critically analyse, summarise and present information from a range of sources

  • Develop sound conclusions

  • Correctl y acknowledge sources using the Harvard reference system

  • Manage, evaluate and reflect on skills development, identify where more training/support is required and demonstrate a clear plan to develop skills

  • Produce a written dissertation that effectively communicates a research project and its findings

  • Follow editorial rules and conventions 

Additional outcomes:

This module develops a range of transferrable and employability skills including project management, communication, critical analysis, numeracy, leadership, decision making and time management.

Outline content:

Spring Term (Part 2)

Students will be introduced to the dissertation process and the skills required to undertake this through a series of taught sessions.  Students are encouraged to attend the Part 3 dissertation poster session and to engage the students in dissertation-related conversation.  Students must complete the Dissertation Survey on Blackboard to choose their topic, allowing a supervisor to be allocated.  The first assessment, Justification of Res earch, is due at the end of the summer term of Part 2.  Students may being their dissertation over the summer vacation.

Autumn Term

Students will start/continue with their independent research project, being responsible for managing their time effectively to produce a high quality research project.  Support is provided by their allocated supervisor.

Spring Term

Students will continue with their research pro ject, supported by their supervisor.  A poster presentation will encourage further dissemination and discussion with a range of staff and students.  The culmination of the module is a written dissertation.

Global context:

Students will research their allocated subject in the context of global research.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This module will be taught using a series of lectures to prepare and support students in the dissertation process.  Students will use the skills and knowledge developed during Parts 1 and 2 of their studies to support them.  Independent study is relied on in this module.  Contact hours below are indicative only and will vary from project to project.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 6 2 2
Project Supervision 1 4.5 4.5
Guided independent study: 75 175 130
Total hours by term 82 181.5 136.5
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 10
Dissertation 80
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

There are 3 summative components:

  1. Justification of (10%, submitted Week 11, Spring term Part 2)

  2. Scientific poster presentation (10%, Spring term Part 3)

  3. Written Dissertation (80%, Week 1 Summer term Part 3)

Formative assessment methods:

One chapter can be submitted for review and feedback, date to be agreed with supervisor

One draft of the scientific poster can be submitted for review and feedback, date to be agreed with supervisor

Penalties for late submission:

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment of the failed element.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: Poster printing £20 -30 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 24 July 2020


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