Module OSX-4406:
MOcean Research Project

Module Facts

Run by School of Ocean Sciences

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Dei Huws

Overall aims and purpose

The module will provide students with training and practice in the acquisition of information and data from experimental, observational and computational research and the effective communication of their results in oral and poster presentations. Where possible, students will be embedded in research teams and will benefit from contact with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, while under the overall supervision of a staff member. The students will prepare an oral presentation of their literature review (10 minutes) and project plan (5 minutes) at the mid-point of Semester 1. This will require them to concentrate on the organisation and preparation for their project. Further presentational and discussion skills will be acquired via two supervisory committee meetings, where a short, informal presentation is followed by discussion with the supervisory team about progress and future work. Project results are presented in the form of a poster in the 2nd semester. Submission of a scientific report (up to 8,000 words) is in the format of a scientific journal paper.

If the work is of sufficient quality and the opportunity arises, the student may present the work in a scientific conference, but this is not a formal part of the module. It is not compulsory and will only occur with the permission of the supervisor.

Course content

The bulk of the module will be self-study and the activities undertaken by the student will vary depending on the type of research project taken to include laboratory, ship-based and/or field work studies.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

Be able to keep excellent record of experimental work. Provide a structured report at a high level of presentation. Show a comprehensive understanding of the methodology and its limitations. Draw unambiguous conclusions from analysis of research results and effectively discuss the conclusions with a complete overview of the topic. Effectively communicate the detail and the importance of the project orally with effective visual aids.

threshold

Be able to keep adequate record of experimental work. Provide a structured report at an adequate level of presentation. Show an adequate understanding of the methodology and its limitations. Draw unambiguous conclusions from analysis of research results and discuss the conclusions at a rudimentary level. Communicate the basics of the project orally using visual aids.

good

Be able to keep good record of experimental work. Provide a structured report at a good level of presentation. Show a detailed understanding of the methodology and its limitations. Draw unambiguous conclusions from analysis of research results and discuss the conclusions in context. Communicate the detail of the project orally with effective visual aids.

Learning outcomes

  1. Plan, organise and complete a series of experiments to test specific hypotheses relating to their project commensurate with Masters level work.

  2. Research and critically evaluate relevant literature to be able to plan and execute research project.

  3. Keep accurate and informative records of experimental data.

  4. Efficiently organise the time spent planning and in the laboratory/field.

  5. Present information about the research using written, oral communication and IT skills according to specific guidelines.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Lit rev & proj plan presentation                 20
Progress meeting 1              5
Progress meeting 2 5
Poster session 20
Journal-style paper 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

The balance of taught activities will vary depending on the type of research project taken by a student. For some students, ship-based and field work teaching and supervision may involve more practical supervision time than laboratory based research projects.

  1. Lectures on project preparation, planning and safety talk (including risk assessment preparation (2 hours)

  2. Ship time

  3. Laboratory based activities

  4. Intertidal field work activities

  5. Supervisory meetings

The total hours involved in supervising activities 2, 3, and 4 will be variable but would normally amount to ~15 hrs per staff member over a period of 10 weeks (i.e. 2 hrs week-1). The student should expect a minimum of 5 hours of supervisory meetings during that time. Further contact time takes the form of an oral presentation conference day.

2
Tutorial

Supervisor meetings - two formally arranged as progress meetings. 12 hours is representative only, but 5 hours per semester should be a minimum to be expected. Much more might ensue if staff assist in field or lab work.

12
Seminar

This figure includes the day of seminars during the First Semester (lit review and project plan) and the poster session in the Second Semester.

8
Individual Project

This figure will typically include the data acquisition, processing and interpretation, as well as the literature review and project planning phases, preparation for supervisory meetings etc. as well as the other summative assessments.

378

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: