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Natural Sciences Research Project - NAT00002M

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  • Department: Natural Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Glenn Hurst
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

This module represents the climax of the entire MSci Natural Sciences programme. It brings together knowledge that has been accrued and skills that have been developed during the previous three years.

The project is an open-ended investigation that generates new knowledge. (The applied methodology may itself be either mature or less well established.)

Natural Sciences projects have interdisciplinary aspects that reflect the students’ individual pathways through the programme. Depending on the subject of the investigation, the project may be conducted in a group – for example constituted of Natural Scientists from different final subject areas. Even in the case of a group project, each student’s project will have distinct individual elements.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module represents the climax of the entire MSci Natural Sciences programme. It brings together knowledge that has been accrued and skills that have been developed during the previous three years.

The project is an open-ended investigation that generates new knowledge. (The applied methodology may itself be either mature or less well established.)

Natural Sciences projects have interdisciplinary aspects that reflect the students’ individual pathways through the programme. Depending on the subject of the investigation, the project may be conducted in a group – for example constituted of Natural Scientists from different final subject areas. Even in the case of a group project, each student’s project will have distinct individual elements.

The aim of this module is to develop and demonstrate the ability to design, plan, carry out and report on an open-ended investigation that generates new knowledge.

A list of projects on offer for each academic year is made available during the Summer Term of the preceding academic year. Students submit an ordered list of their preferred projects and the Project Module Coordinator then assigns students to projects. Projects are offered on a variety of topics to suit students from all Natural Sciences pathways.

Further details are given by the Project Module Coordinator in the briefing session at the beginning of the Autumn Term.

Module learning outcomes

On conclusion of this module, a successful student will be able to:

  • assess the risk and manage other safety-related aspects of the project
  • retrieve, analyse, synthesise and evaluate relevant literature and other information relating to the project topic (journal articles, websites, textbooks, research group seminars)
  • take a outline methodology from the project supervisor and develop it into a detailed project plan and timetable
  • investigate an area of the Natural Sciences in a systematic way using appropriate experimental, observational and/or theoretical techniques
  • work independently and organise effectively to achieve the project’s goals
  • work effectively in group situations
  • apply an agreed methodology to a new situation/scenario/regime in order to generate new knowledge
  • report the project outcome and evaluate its success in a substantial word-processed report 
  • communicate the project’s motivation, objectives and results to a general audience by oral presentation

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Oral Presentation to peer group & staff
N/A 10
Essay/coursework
Project report
N/A 70
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Project Plan
N/A 20

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

The oral presentation to the peer group and staff is not re-assessable given that the assessment requires students to communicate the project's motivation, objectives and results to a general audience comprised of peers. As such, if this component of the module is failed and attains a mark below 40, there is no opportunity for reassessment. There is however, no requirement for students to pass every component of the module (including any non-reassessable elements) but rather to attain a cumulative mark of above or equal to 50%. Where a student has been awarded a marginal fail mark of 40- 49 for the dissertation element they will have an opportunity to make amendments which would enable a passing threshold to be reached. Only the dissertation component can be reassessed.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Project report
N/A 70

Module feedback

All (re)assessments are provided with written feedback (on standard proformas) within two weeks of the submission deadline.

Indicative reading

This is dependent on the project and will be directed by the project supervisor(s).



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students