APME81-Individual Capstone Project

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Mr Edward Collins

Email: edward.collins@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module replaces the traditional dissertation module. The Capstone Project is an opportunity for students to actively integrate and apply all they have learned to the development, implementation, and analysis of a practical, hands-on project that has and consumer behaviour focus. The broad goal of the project is to bring improvement to the student’s current professional and academic sphere of influence, for example, by addressing a problem or issue that an external organisation will set for them or an issue that a student may have encountered within the student’s profession, institution, or organization – something that needs an innovative and creative solution.

The project will have 2 elements. The first element will be a project proposal of 1500 words where the student will identify a consumer behaviour problem which may be occurring within any organisation that the student has had a relationship with over the course of their profession or academic career. This element will be 15 % of the total mark.

The second element is the project itself and this will provide a narrative about the project with sufficient detail to allow a reader to be able to accurately describe the goals of the project, position the project within the existing body of peer reviewed literature, apply the suggested methodology of the project, and explain how your goals for the project relate to the methodology you chose and to the project outcome and conclusions. An innovative but realistic solution will be presented in the conclusions element of the project. The project element will be 85% of the total mark.


  • conduct an independent investigation of an issue relevant to the content of the MSc programme of which it forms a component, under the guidance of an academic member of staff. 

  • Effectively apply theories and concepts learned on the programme to real life consumer behaviour issues

  • provide an opportunity to study a particular consumer behaviour related topic in depth;

  • combine relevant theories and suggest alternatives in order to solve real consumer behaviour issues;

  • enable the student to show evidence of their ability to plan and manage a project within deadlines

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate acquisition of detailed knowledge and understanding on a specialist subject

  • present a succinct synthesis and review of theoretical and empirical literature relating to their chosen topic

  • collect appropriate data 

  • present a systematic and carefully structured analysis of information collected 

  • apply cognitive skills, including analysis and argument, to draw relevant and defensible conclusions and show how these are related to the existing literature

  • write a substantial and well structured report to defined standards of presentation including comprehensive and accurate referencing.?

Additional outcomes:

  • development of time management skills •development of skills in using computer software for production, editing and presentation of documents.

Outline content:

Students will be required, in consultation with and the approval of their supervisor, to produce an original report. Students will be required to produce an acceptable proposal of their ideas and subsequently to produce written work of sufficient quality to demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge appropriate to their topic or question.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

An initial lecture will be delivered at the very beginning of the Spring Semester to prepare the students for this project and a series of 5 2 hours lecture will be given early in the Summer semester to prepare the student for the project proposal and the final capstone project document. A blog group will be created early on via BlackBoard so students can share ideas and for tutors to help these ideas develop, This is an independent study module. The student will be the project manager. A project facilitator (similar to a dissertation tutor) will be assigned to each student at the beginning of the summer semester. 

The contact hours below are indicative only.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 2 10
Seminars 10
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study: 60 508
Total hours by term 0 82 518
Total hours for module 600

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 15
Project output other than dissertation 85

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will write a report  of 10-12000 words, covering an introduction, a review of the relevant literature, the research questions, an explanation and justification of the design, a description of the conduct and analysis of the research, and a discussion of the findings in relating to the literature and methodological issues, drawing insights and/or conclusions.

It is mandatory that the student takes note of and fully complies with the university’s guidelines on Research Ethics, and the School procedures for ethical clearance for research: information on these is given in programme handbooks and is available from the SAPD Student Offices. Failure to do so may lead to deductions of marks and data collected without prior authorisation following the specified procedures may be considered ineligible for use as part of the research. 

Formative assessment methods:

There will be an opportunity for the students to receive formative feedback through the regular meetings that have with their project facilitator throughout the Spring and Summer semester.

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:

An overall mark of 50% is required for a pass

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment of this module will take the form of a  resubmission of coursework

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 10 April 2019


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