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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

FOOD5333M Research Project: Masters Students

80 creditsClass Size: 170

Module manager: Dr Joanne Brown

Taught: 1 Oct to 30 Sep (12mth) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

Pre-requisite qualifications

A BSc degree in chemistry, biochemistry, biological sciences or related science, or chemical engineering.

Module replaces

FOOD5405M and FOOD5071M

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module trains students in essential research skills and enables them to carry out a research project within a subject specialism within the School. The module will firstly demonstrate the importance of the scientific method and research design for successful problem solving so that students will be confident in information retrieval, literature evaluation, data interpretation, statistical analysis and scientific writing. Focus on statistics and laboratory training will be related to the research specialism. Students will then utilise these skills in completing a research project.


The module aims to:
1) Foster students ability to be self-evaluative and to identify their training needs through completion a personal development plan;
2) develop research skills relevant to research and graduate employment in food science and nutrition, including information retrieval, literature evaluation, research design and hypothesis testing, generic laboratory skills, data interpretation, statistical analysis using the statistical software packages, scientific writing and oral presentation skills;
3) apply fundamental scientific principles to solve problems in food and nutrition research.

Learning outcomes
Learning outcomes
Upon completion of the module, students will be better able to:
1) evaluate their own competencies and skills and identify needs for further training as part of a personal development plan;
2) demonstrate information retrieval skills, including the use of literature databases and critically evaluate information in order to draw appropriate conclusions;
3) apply the scientific method of hypothesis-led research and select an appropriate research design to investigate a relevant issue/problem;
4) complete a laboratory, computer or survey based project;
5) demonstrate data analysis skills including methods in data manipulation;
6) perform advanced statistical analysis on data with the use of appropriate software;
7) demonstrate written communication and oral presentation skills in the context of scientific dissemination.

Skills outcomes
- Practical skills relevant to research/employment in food science and nutrition.
- Information retrieval and evaluation.
- Scientific writing.
- Qualitative and quantitative methods of data analysis.
- Use Microsoft Excel to perform statistical analysis and use appropriate graphical representations to correctly interpret statistical results.


Students will firstly identify their own needs for training but will need to demonstrate competency and skill in all areas of the syllabus. The first part of the module will be taught through a series of workshops that will include: literature retrieval and how to avoid plagiarism, literature evaluation, the scientific method and scientific design, hypothesis testing, practical experimentation, data interpretation, scientific writing and oral presentation skills. For statistical analysis, basic statistical procedures, graphical methods and tests e.g. F tests, T tests, ANOVA, correlation and linear modelling will be introduced using Microsoft Excel. The application of these fundamental scientific principles will then be used to solve problems in food or nutrition research. Students will be given a choice of research topics relevant to the research activity of the School and, in some cases, suggested by industrial companies.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours25.00
Private study hours731.00
Total Contact hours34.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)790.00

Private study

- Preparation of personal development plan, and end of module review: 8 hours
- Preparation for workshops: 15 hours
- Preparation for practical sessions: 3 hours
- Completion of literature skills workbook: 30 hours
- Completion of data analysis assessment: 30 hours
- Completion of Scientific paper: 40 hours.
- Preparation of slides and oral presentation: 20 hours
- Completion of Literature review/research proposal: 40 hours

- Individual experimental research project, including dissertation: 545 hours -

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided during training sessions and workshops, and written feedback will be provided for assignments, which will allow students to improve for their final research project.
There will a formative computer exercise looking at data handling and statistics.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written WorkLiterature skills10.00
ReportScientific paper10.00
In-course AssessmentContinuous assessment of performance (Research project)10.00
Essay or DissertationDissertation at end of study60.00
Oral PresentationOral presentation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00


Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/09/2021


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