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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BLGY5391M Masters Research Project

60 creditsClass Size: 90

Module manager: Dr Anna Riach

Taught: 1 Jan to 30 Sep View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

BLGY5331M Advanced Research Project, 60c, S3

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The research project will give students the opportunity to pursue their scientific interests in an academic or organisational context, giving real-world experience of the discipline. Students will be allocated to, or find their own, academic or external partner and complete a lab-, field- or work-based project in a subject relevant to their discipline. This will be taught mainly by one on one or group discussions with a supervisor.


This module comprises an approximately 3 month project on a specific topic in a subject relevant to the student’s MSc programme, interests and ambitions. The specific research area of the project will be negotiated with academic staff, relevant industrial partners or other outside agencies. Students will learn to design, plan, project manage, carry out and write up a significant project in a relevant field.

Learning outcomes
1. Examine, critically assess and interpret scientific literature to identify areas of interest in a relevant discipline.

2. Propose, plan and carry out a project which contributes to the broader subject knowledge.

3. Explain and illustrate complex scientific ideas to an academic audience

4. Collect and/or collate data relevant to the project and analyse it appropriately to draw conclusions.

5. Present research and analysis in an appropriate written format for publication.

6. Identify hazards, risks and ethical issues associated with carrying out laboratory, workplace and / or field-based research and choose appropriate mitigation to maintain personal safety.


On completion of this module, students should be able to conduct substantial pieces of independent research, data analysis and prepare both written and oral reports. The students will also gain skills in specific practical techniques of value in their proposed careers, including knowledge of time management and organisation, communication via different methods, and awareness of health and safety and ethical issues.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Class tests, exams and assessment82.0016.00
Private study hours566.00
Total Contact hours34.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Private study

This module will be majority self-led, with students planning and carrying out an independent or team-based project. Preparation of the assessments will also be done independently.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will have regular meetings with their academic or industrial supervisor to present ideas and receive feedback on their projects. They will gain written feedback on their proposal. They will be able to submit at least 50% of their final write up for feedback from their supervisor before submission.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Research ProposalProject proposal (1000 words)10.00
ReportFinal write up (7000 words)60.00
Presentation12 minute presentation with questions15.00
Tutorial PerformanceSupervisor assessed project performance15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/03/2023


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