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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgrad Research Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Palaeontology and Geobiology Dissertation (MRes) (PRGE11020)

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 Credits130 ECTS Credits65
SummaryThrough close research supervision and training tailored to each student, the dissertation course aims to:
· expose students to a range of key debates concerning methodology and ideas
· provide students with tools for critical understanding
· offer training in appropriate research methods related to students¿ particular areas of research focus
Course description During the first semester, the research (dissertation) project will be developed and some preliminary work carried out. Most of the data collection, analysis and submission of the dissertation will take place between January and August.
A principal supervisor and a second supervisor are appointed to guide and monitor the work. Supervisors may be drawn both from within and without the University, allowing students to conduct research in a wide range of areas relevant to Palaeontology and Geobiology.
The dissertation constitutes the main work in which students demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved ability for independent study. The dissertation is a discrete piece of research. It is expected to include:

· An introduction setting the project in context
· Outline of hypotheses to be tested and research aims,
· A review of related literature
· A discussion of the research design, and methods of data collection and analysis,
· A report of findings/results
· Discussion and conclusions
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 Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 1300 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 26, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 1274 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Coursework«br /»
Research diary 5%«br /»
Poster presentation 5%«br /»
Oral presentation 5%«br /»
Popular science article (in Scientific American style) on the dissertation, which we will publish on our degree website/blog 5%«br /»
Manuscript preparation 10%«br /»
Dissertation 70%«br /»
Feedback Oral and/or written feedback will be given on formative and assessment components of the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand key debates appropraite to students' particular research interests and focus
  2. understand how theoretical concepts translate into methodological and hypothesis-testing frameworks
  3. how to apply interdisciplinary perspectives to their research interests and design original and critically robust research projects
  4. respond critically to how particular methods are applied in practice
  5. communicate ideas clearly to a range of audiences
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding
Students will know key concepts and methodological approaches concerning their chosen research topic

Research and Enquiry
Students will be able to apply interdisciplinary perspectives to their research interests, and design and pursue original and critically robust research projects

Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
Students will be able to articulate their own approach to theories and methodologies, and understand and be able to put into practice the principles of research design

Students will be able to communicate ideas clearly to a range of audiences, and have well-developed presentational skills efficiently use library and IT resources

Personal Effectiveness
Students will able to have well-developed group working skills, and work both independently and in teams.

Technical/practical skills
Students will be able to synthesize diverse source materials to construct convincing interdisciplinary and other scientific arguments
Course organiserDr Rachel Wood
Tel: (0131 6)50 6014
Course secretaryMiss Sophie Ramette
Tel: (0131 6)50 5854
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