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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MECH5845M Professional Project

60 creditsClass Size: 230

Module manager: Dr Farnaz Motamen Salehi

Taught: Sep to Aug View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

MECH 5825M Professional Project

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The Professional Project gives MSc students the opportunity to choose a project from offered project area within the School in which they can carry out research and develop new skills aligned with core engineering science and design.Students will conduct a significant project that will require them to make use of professional skills, including project planning, risks and management. Delivery of a final project report and a presentation will give students the opportunity to apply critical analysis and detailed research in addition to developing their communication skills.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:

- undertake a thorough review of the literature on which they can plan a suitable project and provide context in which this new body of knowledge sits;
- apply an appropriate blend of theoretical, computational and experimental skills to the solution of an engineering problem of direct relevance to the programme of study;
- define clear objectives, plan and execute a schedule of work;
- assimilate and critically assess complex and contradictory knowledge from the literature;
- independently evaluate and analyse results leading to conclusions relevant to the project aims and objectives.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, the student will be able to:
1. apply engineering reasoning and problem solving;
2. perform systems thinking;
3. demonstrate professional skills and attitudes;
4. utilise project and risk management;
5. employ detailed research skills
Upon successful completion of this module the following UK-SPEC learning outcome descriptors are satisfied:
A comprehensive understanding of the relevant scientific principles of the specialisation (SM7M)
A critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights most of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the specialisation (SM8M)
Understanding of concepts relevant to the discipline, some from outside engineering, and the ability to evaluate them critically and to apply them effectively, including in engineering projects (SM9M)
Ability both to apply appropriate engineering analysis methods for solving complex problems in engineering and to assess their limitations (EA6M)
Ability to use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies (EA5M)
Ability to collect and analyse research data and to use appropriate engineering analysis tools in tackling unfamiliar problems, such as those with uncertain or incomplete data or specifications, by the appropriate innovation, use or adaptation of engineering analytical methods (EA7M)
Knowledge, understanding and skills to work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain, quantify the effect of this on the design and, where appropriate, use theory or experimental research to mitigate deficiencies (D9M)
Knowledge and comprehensive understanding of design processes and methodologies and the ability to apply and adapt them in unfamiliar situations (D10M)
Ability to generate an innovative design for products, systems, components or processes to fulfil new needs (D11M)
Awareness of the need for a high level of professional and ethical conduct in engineering (EL8M)
Knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, their limitations, and how these may be applied in the context of the particular specialisation (EL10M)
Awareness of and ability to make general evaluations of risk issues in the context of the particular specialisation, including health & safety, environmental and commercial risk (EL13M)
Advanced level knowledge and understanding of a wide range of engineering materials and components (P12M)
A thorough understanding of current practice and its limitations, and some appreciation of likely new developments (P9m)
Ability to apply engineering techniques, taking account of a range of commercial and industrial constraints (P10m)
Apply their skills in problem solving, communication, information retrieval, working with others, and the effective use of general IT facilities (G1)
Plan self-learning and improve performance, as the foundation for lifelong learning/CPD (G2)
Monitor and adjust a personal programme of work on an on-going basis (G3m)
Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, which may be as a team member or leader (G4)


Covering two terms, the professional project comprises some or all of the following elements: analysis, design, experimentation or computation.
Each student carries out a professional project, although two or more projects usually have a common theme identified by a project area and may be part of a major investigation, under the supervision of an individual member of the academic staff.
At the beginning of the second term, students are required to present a scope and plan document, which is to clearly identify the scope of their engineering project based on a literature search and project planning. The subject of the project will be drawn from the field of engineering implicit in the student's chosen programme of study. It will reflect an area of current interest and may be linked to industry.
As part of this activity the students have the opportunity to learn a number of transferable skills which, in part, are key to the delivery of good outcomes. These include critical evaluation of the literature, including literature search and retrieval, project planning, and communication skills. These transferable tasks will be largely completed by the end of Semester 2. The principal deliverables are an oral presentation and full report on completion of the project.
Lectures include aspects of health and safety, risk management, project management, engineering and research ethics, literature searching and reviewing, critical thinking. There are optional lectures that include how to make use of high performance computing for projects that are simulation based.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours575.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Private study

Students will use all of their private study time to employ the skills that are required to undertake an engineering project, including research the literature, learning how to use new software and/or experimental equipment, to execute the engineering project. A presentation is required for assessment, which requires preparation of a 10 minutes talk with slide support. A final individual report is required for assessment, which informs an oral examination at the end of the second semester. Students are expected to use 70 hours of private study to complete the written report.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through meetings with Project Supervisor and Interim assessment tasks.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportEngineering Project Report45.00
Oral PresentationIndividual Presentation20.00
ReportProject Scope and Plan Report15.00
In-course AssessmentResearch Ethics Assessment10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Any student who fails this module will be offered a resit during the next academic session. A new project will be selected and students must re-attend all classes. The resit for the Research Ethics Assessment will be an additional individual piece of coursework to be completed in August. Students must satisfy certain threshold conditions of competence in order to be awarded the credits for this module. These additional competences are specified in the project module handbook, and typically relate to; - Participation in any activities deemed necessary by the university or the project supervisor to undertake work to ethical standards, safely, and competently using workshop or research laboratory facilities - Certain UK-SPEC Engineering Council learning outcomes required for accreditation that are uniquely assessed in this module - Technical writing meeting a minimum standard expected by the Office for Students (OfS)

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 08/02/2024


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