The aim of the Project is to provide the student with an opportunity to bring the skills and knowledge which he/she has gained on the programme, to focus on a real scientific problem with a view to progressing the state of knowledge or finding a solution to the problem. The student will apply the professional skills required for the planning and implementation of a research project. Finally, the student will communicate the overall findings both in written and verbal formats.
The student will carry out an individual research topic relevant to their course of study.
The practical element of the project extends over five weeks with an average of
approximately 28 hours per week spent in the laboratory. The project will be scheduled in Semester 2. Before commencing the laboratory work, the student will spend a brief period doing a literature search and preparing a project plan, in consultation with their supervisor. The project plan will indicate the aims and objectives of the project, the research methodology and the timescale for each component of the proposed work.
Laboratory work will, in the majority of cases, take place within the School, except when there is a definite clear advantage in using external resources, or when necessary resources are not available within the School. External projects must be agreed between the year co-ordinator and the organisation. A written communication outlining the scope of the project must be provided and agreed in Semester 1. Regular consultations between student and supervisor occur during the course of the project and at all times a safety protocol is maintained in accordance with the School Safety Statement (available for viewing).
a) Students are supported to achieve the learning outcomes. They will communicate with their supervisor and receive regular feedback and guidance. In addition, formal classes in Project Skills are provided and students are required to attend. Support and guidance is provided in the following key areas:
Laboratory Notebook and Overall Project Assessment
Literature review and thesis style.
Thesis Results and Discussion.
Poster and poster assessment.
(b) Practical performance is assessed by the project supervisor. Where external sites are involved, the on-site supervisor will be provided with a form to complete regarding practical performance.
(c) The presentations (e.g. using a poster) is assessed by at least three members of the programme team. Normally the presentation is of 10-15 minutes duration with additional time allowed for questions.
(d) A draft of the project report is assessed/corrected by the internal supervisor and returned to the student for amendment. The final dissertation in typed and bound form is assessed by two internal readers/examiners (one of whom is the supervisor). All the dissertations are moderated by the External Examiners to ensure that they meet the required standard and that the marks allotted are fair and appropriate.
(e) When feasible, a lunchtime research seminar will be run each semester at which attendance is compulsory. A short report on each of the 2 seminars will be submitted by each student and these activities will contribute 3% to the overall project module mark.
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