Aims and Fit of Module
The Final Year Project module is designed to develop the skills necessary to undertake independent research. Students select from a variety of topics and plan, execute and report at the end of the project. Projects will be available in a wide range of topics including synthetic (organic or inorganic), physical (catalysis, electrochemistry, surface science, modeling, nanoparticles), nanotechnology, biochemistry or interdisciplinary theme, according to staff own interests and abilities. Other research based problems may also be possible. The topic does not necessary have to be research or laboratory based, although these would be expected to cover the majority of cases. The aims of the module will differ slightly according to topic, however, the general aims of the module are:
- To expose the student to a contemporary research in chemistry.
- To enable students to plan, execute and report on a project of their own design.
- To learn the use of appropriate characterization techniques for the topic taken.
- To acquire the ability to analyze experimental data and have some understanding of the experimental outcomes.
- To develop an ability to work independently and be self-critical in the evaluation of risks, experimental procedures and creative thinking skills.
- To learn the use of the library and other information resources as research tools or more generic tools for the appropriation of information.
- To enable student to apply skills in report writing and presentation to an extended project.
Depending on the precise emphasis of the individually tailored project, by the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Give a reasoned written exposition of experimental work and achievements
- Make valid deductions from acquired data
- Be capable of giving comprehensible written and oral accounts of experimental work
- Demonstrate an understanding of shortcomings, experimental errors or weakness in data
- Show that they understand the wider social and/or technological relevance of their work
Method of teaching and learning
This module consists of an extended project and conducts over two semesters. Students take the major responsibility for their learning in the module. The supervisor (s) gives guidance on practical work as necessary, whilst encouraging the student to be as independent as possible. The module coordinator gives health and safety training, general guidance on writing the preliminary report and dissertation, and giving poster or oral presentations with more specific guidance being provided by the supervisor (s). The Practical work will be conducted in either the designated inorganic or organic laboratory, or in an appropriate research laboratory, depending upon topic. After completion of the literature review, students are required to prepare a preliminary report (minimum 6 A4 pages in length, and include introduction, background with a critical literature review and project outline). At the beginning of semester 2, students will require to have a poster presentation to show the experimental results from semester 1. At the end of semester 2, students are required to prepare a final dissertation and give an oral presentation. The written report should be minimum 8000 words in length (minimum 15 A4 pages), and include a table of contents, introduction and background with a critical literature review, results and discussion, conclusions and suggestions for the future work. The report should cite relevant contemporary literature. Progress will be assessed by regular discussions of assigned supervisors with students, by evaluation of laboratory practical skills and where appropriate the quality and quantity of their data and samples, by their results as reported in the written report, and by their ability to work independently.