Module code: ENGM173

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

DOREY RA Prof (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 20

Laboratory Hours: 11

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment PRACTICAL WORK AS PART OF GROUP TASK 35%

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable.

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

All students on the MSc in Advanced Materials undertake this module.  It is presented in one week short course format.  The lectures and tutorials provide students with overviews of the key elements and associated skills required by postgraduates undertaking their first major piece of independent research. The practical, lab-based work has the students work in small teams to undertake a practical materials investigation.  At the end of the week the teams give oral presentations on their project work. 

Module aims

an appreciation of the reasons for undertaking research, the principal stages involved in a research project and the framework in which research is conducted, including ethics

a understanding of the ways in which research findings are reported, communicated, protected and exploited

a knowledge of the methods used to present data, including the quantification of errors and uncertainties

practical experience of the benefits and drawbacks of group work

practical experience of basic metallography, scanning electron microscopy and hardness testing techniques

an opportunity to present work in a variety of formats.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Describe and explain the context of research, including issues associated with ethics and academic integrity. KC
List the purposes of studying the literature and construct a scheme to enable a literature search to be undertaken effectively. KC
Set SMART objectives and plan experiments using the scientific method. KC
Undertake simple laboratory work in the context of the group project. P
Present data appropriately and deal with errors (in a simple manner). C
Select, use and adapt the appropriate format and style to convey information and ideas to an appropriate standard and in such a way as to enhance understanding. T
Appreciate the requirements and opportunities for protecting and exploiting research. P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content


The Framework for Research
Getting to Grips with the Literature
Plagiarism and How to Avoid It
Oral Presentations
Written Communications
Project Management
Errors and Uncertainties
Commercialisation of Research Results
Ethics for Engineers


Laboratory Work

Group work (typically involving 3-4 people per team) involving the metallographic investigation of a component or number of components from a small piece of equipment, such as a stapler.



Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to introduce students to various concepts and ideas via lectures then give them the opportunity to put these into practice, initially under supervision in via tutorial work and in the group practical exercise.  This is complemented by the opportunity to observe and reflect on the work of others via the viewing of posters and being part of the audience for the group presentations.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Tutorials with written exercises
Discussion groups
Observation of posters
Laboratory classes
Oral presentations by students
Consultancy as part of the group project

The teaching is delivered as a one-week intensive course.


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate all of the key competences associated with planning, performing and reporting on an individual piece of research work.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Practical Work as part of group task            [Learning Outcomes 3, 4, 5, 6]           {35%}

·         Individual Poster                                            [Learning Outcomes  5, 6]                  {15%}

·         Written communication Question                 [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7]   {25%}

·         Short Questions                                            [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7]   {25%}

Formative assessment and feedback

Students have opportunities to discuss their work and receive feedback during the tutorial sessions in the week and in the dedicated session in the week following the course.  They also have access to an academic ‘consultant’ during the practical work. Feedback is also provided following the presentations.

They are provided with written feedback on all elements of the summative assessment, with that on the mandatory and short answer questions being prior to the submission of the individual poster, to enable students to have feedback on many of the presentational issues that will need to be considered when producing the poster .

Reading list

Reading list for RESEARCH METHODS :

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.