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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5915M Scientific Quality and Discourse

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Prof Ken Carslaw

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module provides students with the skills they need to maximise the scientific significance and quality of their research, thereby enabling them to meet the high standards required by the best international peer reviewed journals and conferences. The module covers all the key elements of scientific communication in written, verbal and graphical forms. Students will learn how to define a potentially significant scientific research project and how to maximise scientific quality in reporting the results. Students will learn to define scientific quality as a measure of the thoroughness, reliability and appropriateness of the research design and methods, as well as the analysis and presentation of the results.


Understand the key elements of research quality and develop the ability to write high-quality scientific research articles, research funding proposals, and others forms of scientific writing for different audiences, as well as design and deliver high-quality oral and poster presentations.

Learning outcomes
1. Recognise and achieve high scientific quality in the reporting of research results
2. Write concisely and clearly in a form suitable for the principal peer-reviewed journals within the discipline of climate and atmospheric science.
3. Adapt writing style and level of detail for different audiences, including the public, government and policy maker.
4. Produce clear figures and tables for publications and presentations.
5. Write a scientific proposal for a major funding agency.
6. Present scientific results in different forms at a conference (posters, oral presentations).


1. Literature searching and reference management: Finding research articles, creating a personal database, and producing a bibliography for a publication
2. Scientific quality and significance: Defining these measures and learning to define projects with the potential to achieve significant results, and ensuring a project and its reporting are of high quality.
3. Climate and atmospheric science journals and article types: Understanding journal scope, article types, format, and word length
4. Article titles: Creating appropriate titles in different styles for a range of articles
5. Writing abstracts: Understanding the importance of abstracts and writing abstracts for different article types
6. Grant proposals: Understanding the main elements of a proposal and the appropriate style and information content
7. Writing clearly and concisely: Techniques to achieve readability, logic, flow and clarity in scientific writing.
8. Writing for general audiences: Writing for different non-specialist audiences
9. Producing clear figures: The importance of figures and ways to improve the information they convey
10. Presenting a poster: Learning the key elements of a good poster
11. Giving an oral presentation: Learning the key elements of a clear conference presentation.
12. How to build a website using WordPress to highlight your research

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours73.00
Private study hours50.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Journal searching, reading journal articles, rewriting journal titles and abstracts, rewriting journal text, creating a bibliography in a reference manager, designing figures and graphics from data, designing a poster, creating an oral presentation, writing scientific articles, writing grant proposals.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Approx 5 workshops in which student work analysing scientific writing will be discussed and reviewed.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3 pieces of scientific writing in different forms up to 2 pages27.00
Research Proposal5-page funding proposal60.00
Oral Presentation10 min presentation13.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:20:31


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