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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geosciences

Undergraduate Course: Project Design and Literature Analysis (GESC11001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will allow students to reflect on a subject area of their choice, become familiar with the important and current literature on the subject, and design a research project on the topic of their choice. This course will run alongside ┐Research Methods and Transferable Skills┐ to provide a complementary introduction to research skills required to plan and execute novel scientific research. Students will be introduced to on-line scientific databases used for researching scientific literature and the skills required to identify potential areas for research. Students will use these skills in tandem with training in the use of various analytical and experiment techniques to formulate their independent research project. Students will present their research project proposals to each other (and other members of the School) at a one-day workshop, as well as write a detailed project proposal, in the form of a NERC research proposal.
Course description The planned topics to be covered and staff member responsible are listed below, although because this is a group tutorial type class, and individual projects and needs vary substantially, the schedule may vary somewhat.

25 Sep - Introduction to Masters year ┐ Eliza Calder
2 Oct - Reading scientific papers ┐ Eliza Calder
9 Oct - Web of Science ┐ Massimo Bollasina
16 Oct - How to write a proposal I ┐ Eliza Calder
23 Oct - How to write a proposal II - Eliza Calder
30 Oct - How to write a proposal III - Massimo Bollasina
6 Nov - The importance of an abstract - Massimo Bollasina
13 Nov - Developing your own abstracts - Massimo Bollasina
20 Nov - Preparing a poster - Massimo Bollasina
27 Nov - Preparing a talk ┐ Eliza Calder
4 Dec - Final Presentation Day ┐ Eliza Calder, Massimo Bollasina and Project Supervisors.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements While there are no pre-requisites for this course, only students who are accepted onto the MEarthSci programme can enrol in it.
Additional Costs None.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 100, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 84 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

1. Literature Review (30% of the PDLA = 6 credits): Due Week 5, 23rd Oct 2015, 1pm.
2. Proposal Presentation (20% of the PDLA = 4 credits): Week 11 (30th Nov-4 December).
3. Research Project Proposal (50% of the PDLA = 10 credits): Due 11 December 2015, 1pm.

Literature Review: An outline of the proposed area of research, which describes the main debates and controversies, and contains a reference list of approximately 30 to 40 recent relevant publications. The literature review does not have to include a detailed description of methods that will be used in the project, but should explain briefly how your work will fit into the context of previous work. Maximum 9 x A4-pages of text (including references, but excluding figures and tables).

Project Proposal and Presentation: The project proposal will describe the background to the student┐s independent research project, work to be conducted as part of the project, and how this work will be performed (scientific methodology). Students will be given guidance on how to plan their individual research projects, structure their proposals and will present their research plans (including research background and available scientific literature) to each other and their supervisors at a planned event. This will provide students with an opportunity to critically assess each other┐s research topics, as well as gain some appreciation for the breadth of scientific research conducted in the Earth Sciences. Maximum 8 x A4-pages of text (including references, figures and tables).

Assessment deadlines

1. Literature Review: Due Week 5, 23rd Oct 2015, 1pm.
2. Proposal Presentation: Week 11 (30th Nov-4 December).
3. Research Project Proposal: Due 11 December 2015, 1pm.

Feedback This course comprises small group meetings that will be hosted around the discussion of research-related topics. There will be the opportunity for feedback throughout the semester through direct discussion with course organiser. Formal written feedback will be provided on the research proposals and on the proposal presentation.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will be able to design a research project with testable hypotheses and achievable goals.
  2. Students will be able to interrogate and critically assess existing scientific literature for work still to be done.
  3. Students will be able to set their research in the broader context of work in their field of interest.
  4. Students will have a detailed, thorough and up-to-date understanding of one particular area of research in the geosciences, as well as an appreciation of the range of research conducted in modern geoscience.
Reading List
Students are expected to read widely on their selected topic area. Additional generic papers in how to conduct research or write proposals etc will be provided throughout the semester.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Eliza Calder
Tel: (0131 6)50 4910
Course secretaryMs Casey Hollway
Tel: (0131 6)50 8510
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