Aims and Fit of Module
To provide individual experience in the planning, design and execution of a research project in a defined topic, that may be based on laboratory work, field work, or the use of comparative information and databases (CID).
A. Research Plan and Management
• Plan and execute realistic research goals and acquire good time management skills.
• Acquire an understanding of the background, appropriate theory and methods relating to the project.
• Recognise appropriate working hazards and follow safe and ethical working practices.
B. Development of Practical Skills
• Acquire the technical and procedural skills associated with the project.
• Generate reliable and reproducible data / information.
• Maintain an accurate and comprehensive record of methods, observations and data.
C. Intellect and Analysis
• Critically analyse/evaluate approaches, observations/data/ information and draw valid conclusions.
• Design and plan subsequent investigations to extend findings.
• Reflect on learning and react positively to constructive criticism.
D. Writing Communication
• Provide a written report of project outcomes in an appropriate style:
• Describe methodology used such that the work can be repeated by a third party.
• Produce a coherent and logical presentation of analyses and/or findings.
E. Oral Communication
• Design a talk with appropriate content, structure and visual aids using Powpoint. Make an oral report of project findings at a level appropriate for the audience.
• Respond professionally and succinctly to questions about the project.
Method of teaching and learning
A list of project areas proposed by members of staff is distributed in August and students may consult the supervisors of projects that interest them. In addition, students may suggest project ideas for themselves. Students submit their ranked choice of project areas and projects are allocated on the basis of this choice. Students are notified of the project allocated at the beginning of term.
Skills imparted through lecture, practical, and Key Skills are developed further in the project. This is done through close and regular contact with supervisors (with formal progress meetings being recorded) and relevant research staff and augmented by personal experience in the laboratory, or elsewhere.
It is expected that 2 to 2.5 days a week should be spent on the project during Semesters 1 and 2 and the supervisor is consulted regularly.