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Unit information: Research Project (Advanced Composites) in 2021/22

Unit name Research Project (Advanced Composites)
Unit code AENGM0007
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Hamerton
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

The aim of the Research Project is to provide the student with the necessary skills to perform a critical and in-depth literature review, a research plan, and conduct novel research; these skills will be employed in the PhD phase (years 2-4). The report should present the state-of-the-art in the student’s chosen project field; comparing and contrasting results and methodology used in the referenced technical papers. The student should prepare a short plan incorporating recommendations for the full PhD project stage, to demonstrate the student’s ability to plan effectively. Each project is carried out under the supervision of at least two members of staff. Importance is given to the planning of the work programme, the setting and achievement of objectives, the presentation of the results of the work, and a work plan for the PhD phase. N.B. If the student opts for a new project then they will still be obliged to complete a project plan for the original short project topic.

Projects will be selected and allocated towards the beginning of Teaching Block 2; students are asked to specify two research themes (with one indicated as the main) and supply key words for the research topics of interest. Projects represent both academic and industrial collaborations and are supervised by at least two academic supervisors (at least one must be a core member of Bristol Composites Institute staff). The precise content of a project will vary between individual students and supervisors. However, the work to be performed will, in general, not be repeating known work or techniques, other than for comparing and contrasting different methods. In this way the student will be encountering new challenges and is encouraged to seek and propose his or her own solutions to these challenges and hence demonstrate individual research ability.

Students will complete a literature review in the field on their proposed research topic, which will be assessed formatively in the unit by the project supervisor. The empirical project commences directly after the summer exams in June and the final submission of the report will take place in August/September. Following the successful completion of this unit, the student may opt to continue with topic to the PhD phase or has the opportunity to change their project path at the end of the short project.

Aims of the unit:

  • To provide the opportunity for an original piece of research work of engineering relevance at Master’s level.
  • To develop project management skills.
  • To develop communication skills, reasoning skills, originality and creativity in problem solving.
  • Students are also expected to maintain a high standard of record keeping and management of information through an individual logbook.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

  1. undertake an original research activity;
  2. plan and prepare a concise, written technical report in the format of a journal paper;
  3. deliver an oral presentation on the technical subject, including responding to questions and tailoring technical and specialist knowledge and information to a broader audience;
  4. adopt a high standard of record keeping and management of information.

Teaching Information

Ongoing project supervision provided by project supervisor(s).

Assessment Information

Formative Assessments:

  • Literature review
  • Draft report
  • Logbook: submitted as evidence of student working practices and information management - best practice feedback reviewed by supervisor throughout project and CDT staff after project completion (ILO 1 and 4).

Summative Assessments:

  • 60% - Report: in the format of an appropriate journal paper and comprising the literature review (ILO 1, ILO 2, ILO 4).
  • 40% - Presentation: delivered to mixed audience of academics and the CDT cohort (ILO1, ILO 3).


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. AENGM0007).

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.