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Unit information: Earth Science Research Project in 2015/16

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Unit name Earth Science Research Project
Unit code EASCM0010
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Whitaker
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

In this unit students will work closely with established researchers in the School in order to design and plan an individual experimental project executable in the available time. The project may be largely field- or specimen-based or of a theoretical character. Projects will provide an insight to the research approach and allow students to place their results in the context of existing work and to present and discuss the results of their findings so they cross the gap between merely reading what others have said to contributing their own observations and ideas to the scientific world.

The projects will occupy students for part of the summer between years 3 and 4, partially in year 4 teaching block 1 and full-time in teaching block 2.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit you will be able to:

  • determine a theme to research through analysis of the current state of knowledge in a subject field
  • identify, access and assess appropriate library- or archive-based information relevant to the project
  • design and plan a research project that it is feasible within the available time
  • maintain high professional standards (use adequate sample size, eliminate bias, consider errors in data, limitations to models etc).
  • critically appraise the strengths and weaknesses of the research project, evaluating the findings against those of others
  • adapt and react if the project diverts from the original plan
  • demonstrate practical and analytical skills relevant to the project
  • collect, record and manage information and/or findings, and decide when it is sufficient to meet the aims of the project
  • work diligently and independently, and develop your own interpretations of data
  • communicate the outcomes of the project to different audiences in an appropriate manner
  • produce a final project report presented to the standard expected for submission of a manuscript to a leading international journal.

Teaching Information

Independent work.

1:1 tuition

Assessment Information

This unit constitutes 60 credit points. The project will be examined on the basis of the presented coursework. Assessment criteria are given in the School guidelines for individual project work and oral presentations. All written work submitted for this project must be word processed and adhere strictly to guidelines provided on Blackboard.

  • Literature review [10% of the project mark]
  • Final report [75% of the final project mark]
  • Seminar presentation [15% of project mark = 12.5% talk & 2.5% abstract]

Reading and References

Background papers will be identified in discussion with supervisor.