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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation in Soils and Sustainability (PGGE11182)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences 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
SummaryThe dissertation for the Soils and Sustainability course allows students to focus on an aspect relevant to the Soils and Sustainability degree programme that is of interest to them and involves the student completing a piece of original research over the Summer semester and then presenting it in dissertation form to enhance their knowledge and skills to a professional level in the discipline. A number of different dissertation forms are acceptable and this may include a scientific field study, a meta-analysis of previous work, or a modelling approach for instance. The dissertation is a self driven study based with academic supervision and research skills training will be included over the academic year by the University to support the production of the dissertation in Soils and Sustainability.
Course description Each student will conduct an individual project on a subject chosen in conjunction with the Course Organiser an a prospective supervisor. It may take the form of a scientific experiment, a literature review, a management plan or any other exercise approved by the Programme Director and examination board to ensure learning outcomes have been met.

The course provides an opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate their investigative and analytical abilities with in the field of sustainable soil and environmental management, project work.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Block 5 (sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 588 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Completion of a 10,000 dissertation as outlined in the Programme Handbook.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. Analysis: students will conduct critical analysis and synthesis of information to support research themes. Reviewing existing knowledge based on reports from previous studies.
  2. 2. Execution: generating new knowledge to through experimentation or interpretation of previous studies. This will involve planning, completion and reporting on investigations together with data collection, recording and analysis.
  3. 3. Communication: production of scientific report (dissertation) including appropriate referencing. Improved experience in written and verbal communication skills.
  4. 4. Professional competencies: using the library and internet as sources of information. Additionally, enabling enhanced computer and numeracy skills together with improving your time management and organisation skills.
Reading List
Additional Readings:

Barrass, R (2006). Students Must Write: a guide to better writing for scientists, engineers and students (3rd Edn). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. [808.066 Bar]

BREACH, M. (2009). Dissertation Writing for Engineers and Scientists. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Ltd. [808.0665 Bre]

BRISCOE, M.H. (1996). Preparing scientific illustration. 2nd Edn. Springer-Verlag, New York. [808.0665 Bri]

BUZANT, T. & BUZANT, B. (2010). The Mind Map Book: unlock your creativity, boost your memory, change your life. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education Ltd 217pp.

CREME, P & Lea, M.R (2008). Writing at University a guide for students (3rd Edn). Maidenhead, Berks: Open University Press. [808.042 Cre]

KATZ, M.J. (2006). From Research to Manuscript: a guide to scientific writing. Dordrecht, NL: Springer: [808.0665 Kat]

KIRKMAN, J (2005). Good Style for Science and Technology. New York:Routledge. [808.0666 Kir]

LEVIN, P. (2005) Excellent Dissertations! Student-Friendly Guides. Maindenhead, Berks.: The Open University Press. 122pp [808.066378 Lev]

MATTHEWS, J.R., BOWEN, J.M. and MATTHEWS, R.W. (1996) Successful scientific writing: a step-by-step guide for the biological and medical sciences. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge [808.0665 Mat]

McMILLIAN, K., & WEYERS, J. (2010). How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports. Harlow, Essex: Pearson education Ltd. [808.066378 McM]

MURRAY, R. (2006) How to Write a Thesis. 2nd Edn. Maidenhead, Berks: The Open University Press. 301pp. [808.066 Mur]

PEARS, R. & SHIELDS, G. (2005). Cite Them Right: the essential referencing guide. Durham: Pear Tree Books. 102pp [808.02 Pea]

Scientific Units

JERRARD, H.G. & McNEIL, D.B. (1980). A dictionary of Scientific Units. 4th Edition, New York: Chapman and Hall. 212pp. [503 Jer. Reference Section]

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Evaluation and critical appraisal of data and other scientific information.

Synthesis of information from a variety of sources.

Numerical skills and competence with data analysis and interpretation.

Scientific communication skills, including writing and data presentation.

Time management and organisational skills.
Study Abroad Postgraduate Assessment (Taught) Regulations apply.
Course organiserDr Jennifer Carfrae
Tel: 0131 535 4417
Course secretaryMs Jennifer Gumbrell
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