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Unit information: Research Project (Distance Learning) in 2015/16

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Unit name Research Project (Distance Learning)
Unit code VETSM0033
Credit points 40
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Sheard
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

Mandatory units: Core Skills 1, Biochemistry and Meat Quality, Core Skills 2.

Four optional units from: Animal Production, Animal Welfare, Poultry Processing, Meat Hygiene and Public health, Meat Processing.

Co-requisites

None

School/department Bristol Veterinary School
Faculty Faculty of Health Sciences

Description

A research project is undertaken after the taught part of the programme has been completed. There are 3 options for the project.

  1. A traditional research project carried out using University facilities.
  2. A workplace-based research project.
  3. A mock research grant application.

The project is carried out under the supervision of a supervisor and co-supervisor (members of academic staff).

Intended learning outcomes

Students will:

  1. have a systematic knowledge and understanding at the forefront of the

subject area

  1. have a critical awareness of current issues associated with the subject area
  2. be able to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in

the subject area

  1. be able to evaluate methodologies (including experimental design and

statistical analysis of data) and develop critiques of them.

Teaching details

The research project forms an essential part of the Meat Science programme for which there are three options.

  1. A traditional research project carried out using University facilities.
  2. A workplace-based research project.
  3. A mock research grant application.

Before commencing their projects, all students (including those undertaking a mock research grant application) must write a brief research project proposal (1-2 sides of A4) identifying the type of project to be undertaken, summarising the background and rationale of the study and including relevant references. For project types 1 and 2 (above), the proposal should also include the methodology to be used, an estimate of the costs and how these are to be met. In all cases, the proposal should name the main supervisor (usually a senior member of staff), the co-supervisor and any University of Bristol technicians that will be involved. Usually, the proposal is written with the assistance of the project supervisor who must be satisfied that the project can be completed in the given time frame and within budget. For project types 1 and 2, the supervisor must be satisfied that the project will produce sufficient results for the student to present an acceptable thesis at M level before the proposal is submitted to the Meat Science Management Committee for formal approval. The aim is to produce a dissertation of publishable quality. Projects of a speculative nature (e.g. developing a new technique or new methodology) are avoided. There is a small sum of money available from the programme budget for each project.

Regular meetings are held with each student throughout the project, with agreed deadlines for the completion of specified tasks.

All students receive assistance with statistical analysis. This includes tuition on data handling and experimental design in the research methods unit and one-to-one help with analysis and data presentation from the supervisor. Specialist advice can be obtained, should this be required, from a statistical advisory service which provides support for academic members of staff and postgraduate students.

Assessment Details

Students are required to present their project in the form of a dissertation with a maximum word count of between 10,000 and 15,000 words (excluding references, contents pages, and appendices). For project types 1 and 2 (above), the work must be presented in the form of a scientific paper combined with a separate literature review, which carry 75% and 25% of the available marks, respectively. This format aids the publication process if the data is to be published. Students carrying out a mock research grant application must present the dissertation using the headings specified which will include a comprehensive review of the scientific literature and a detailed experimental plan with associated milestones for its completion.

A final mark is awarded based on the mean of the marks recommended by the supervisor and co-supervisor. The marks awarded to candidates are moderated by the Examination Board and take into account the views of the External Examiner who is a full and equal member of the Board.

Reading and References

The reading and required references will be different for each research project. Original research papers will be accessible from the library or electronically via e-journals.

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