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Unit information: Engineering Research Skills in 2021/22

Unit name Engineering Research Skills
Unit code EENGM0004
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Aaron Zhang
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is designed to introduce the fundamental skills that you will need to embark on your MSc project. Syllabus will include: Choosing a project: project styles and research methodologies; fitting a project to your own interests, ambitions and capabilities; some characteristics of excellent projects. Preparing a project synopsis: aims and objectives; deliverables; added value. Finding relevant literature: available resources and tools; primary and secondary sources; how to make the most of the University Library. Reading research papers: deciding which papers to read; levels of reading; taking notes, making summaries; collecting bibliographic metadata. Writing research papers: planning the structure of your paper; framing the question; writing styles; tools and resources; citing and referencing; avoiding plagiarism; proofreading and corrections. Evaluating project outcomes: critical analysis; scope and limitations; evaluation styles: experimental, analytical, unit-testing, user analysis. Planning your Summer project: workplan, tasks, milestones and deliverables; how to make a workplan specific to your project; risk analysis and contingency planning; how to leave enough time for writing your report.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Your Research Review will be marked as to whether it satisfies the following criteria: You should demonstrate that you understand the aims and objectives of your Individual Project.

You should show an ability to research and collate information.

You should show an ability to digest and critique existing literature.

You should clearly explain where or why your Individual Project will add value.

You should demonstrate an ability to structure and write a comprehensive scientific report.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures and group activities.

Although the majority of the time allocated for this unit is intended for independent study and for you to liaise with your project supervisor you must attend the sessions on researching and report writing. These are usually given as a set of lectures during the Spring term covering aspects such as:

  • Types and styles of projects.
  • What makes a good project?
  • How to write.
  • How to use references.
  • How your final thesis should be structured and presented.
  • How to avoid plagiarism.
  • Evaluation and metrics and how to measure performance

Assessment Information

Submission of a Research Review document (85%). This will contain a detailed literature survey, aims for the project and detailed project plan.

Interim report (15%). Here the student submit a short report and basic project plan to show that they have a basic understanding of the research project and have thought about the project plan and discussed it with their project supervisor.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EENGM0004).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.