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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Engineering : Postgrad (School of Engineering)

Postgraduate Course: Leading Major Programmes Dissertation (MSc) (PGEE11209)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Engineering CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryAll students will undertake a 15,000 words dissertation on a topic they have identified and agreed with the supervisor/s, to be submitted by a date specified in the University Regulations.
The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship in which a student is expected to formulate and sustain a substantive piece of research within the discipline. The dissertation is expected to engage critically and analytically with the literature in the field, building upon relevant concepts and theory covered in the taught element of the degree and deploying a range of primary and secondary sources as well as appropriate data-analytic and bibliographic skills.
Course description The formal instruction and preparation for the Dissertation is provided within the Research Methods course which students will have taken and completed by the time they commence the Dissertation course.

The Research Methods course requires students to identify a subject relevant to the aims of the LMP programme, that aligns with their own interests and ideally strategically contributes to their employment needs and experiences. Students will have framed their research subject and provided a research proposal that includes:

- An encapsulation of their problem area that allows a problem identification and definition
- A clear identification of the need for investigation
- A research aim or aims together with accompanying research objectives
- A clear identification of both the beneficiaries of their proposed work and what the benefit will potentially be
- A brief understanding of the academic and industrial context of their proposed work
- A broad but feasible programme or work for their investigation.

This research proposal will then be used to commence and guide the students' research investigation, which is expected to last approximately 6 months under the supervision of a supervisor appropriate for their subject.

The research methods course will also have provided the students with appropriate instruction in literature discovery, research philosophy and methodology, research methods, analysis tools and academic writing to enable them to effectively undertake their research and write it up.

The report write up of their investigation, the dissertation itself, is subject to assessment by both supervisor and a 'second reader', together with an oral defence, or viva, scheduled between students and both assessors.

Supervisors for the dissertation will be one of academic staff from either School of Engineering or the Business School. From time to time a supervisor from outside the university may be appointed who is either an academic or industrialist with experience and expert knowledge of the subject area.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Design and manage a piece of original research work;
  2. Synthesise knowledge and skills previously gained and applied by the expert community, and identify a corresponding gap in knowledge;
  3. Select from different methodologies, methods and forms of analysis to produce a suitable research design, and justify their design;
  4. Consider the ethical dimensions of their research, and obtain appropriate ethical approval, if needed;
  5. Present the findings of their project in a written report that effectively synthesises the work conducted and the key conclusions reached.
Reading List
The Dissertation course draws from similar literature used in the Research Methods course, which suggests the following texts as starters:

- Leong, E. C., Heah, C. L. H., & Ong, K. K. W. (2015). Guide to research projects for engineering students: planning, writing and presenting. CRC Press.
- Fellows, R. F., & Liu, A. M. (2015). Research methods for construction, 4th edition. John Wiley & Sons.
- Diggle, P. & Chetwynd, A., (2011). Statistics and scientific method: an introduction for students and researchers, Oxford: Oxford University Press. (UoE Online Access)
- Atkinson, P & Delamont, S (2011). SAGE Qualitative Research Methods, Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications, Inc. (UoE Online Access)
- Tracy, S.J., (2013). Qualitative research methods: collecting evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact, Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. (UoE Online Access)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsDissertation,MSc,Engineering,Business,Research Methods,Writing,Dissemination
Course organiserDr Frederic Bosche
Tel: (0131 6)51 3525
Course secretaryMr Ruben Gutierrez Martin
Tel: (0131 6)50 5690
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