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Unit information: Research Project in 2021/22

Unit name Research Project
Unit code VETSM0040
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Rooney
Open unit status Not open




School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides an opportunity for students to gain experience of wildlife-related research. Students will develop their skills in topic selection, investigating the background context of their chosen project, research design and implementation, analysis and report writing. The project will culminate in the submission of (i) a literature review, and (ii) a scientific paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. Acceptance of students onto the research project unit is conditional upon them successfully passing the taught component of this MSc programme.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completing this unit students should have a deep understanding of their chosen project topic. They should also be familiar with the essential principles of research design in the context of wildlife health and conservation. It is expected that, as a minimum, students should be able to:

  • Critically analyse, synthesise and correctly reference the work of others.
  • Construct a coherent research question or hypothesis.
  • Plan and execute a field, laboratory or desk-based study of appropriate scope for a four-month research project.
  • Collect, record, analyse and critically interpret scientific data derived from their research project.
  • Write up their work in the form of a high-quality scientific paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

Teaching Information

Group and one-to-one tutorials, will support students to select a project topic, develop a central research question and select the best methodological approach. Workshops and online resources will cover aspects of literature reviewing, analysis and writing. The Programme Director will approve all research projects and will check that each student has appropriate supervision, health and safety and ethical approval. The supervisors will advise and support the students throughout their projects, via regular discussion meetings.

Assessment Information

The learning outcomes for this unit will be assessed using a combination of

  • A literature review (30%) and
  • A scientific paper suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal (70%). This should provide a concise introduction to the field of research, the aims of the study, the methods used, the data obtained and a critical evaluation of their conclusions and the contribution they make to scientific knowledge.


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. VETSM0040).

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.