Dissertation/Research Project

Module titleDissertation/Research Project
Module codeJBIM001
Academic year2019/0
Credits60
Module staff

Description - summary of the module content

Module description

The MSc Dissertation/Research Project is the final step of the MSc in which you have to prepare a dissertation using the knowledge and skills acquired in the MSc about a material or research line of your personal convenience. Possible topics for the MSc Dissertation/Research Project include scientific research in any of the subjects being taught on the MSc, ongoing or de novo Island Biodiversity Conservation Projects, Island Biodiversity data collection and analysis or comprehensive literature reviews.

The election of the MSc Dissertation/Research Project topic and supervisor(s) should be the result of an agreement between student and supervisor. The MSc Dissertation/Research Project will be defended through a non-public viva examination. The criteria for the MSc Dissertation/Research Project evaluation will be clearly stated in the MSc handbook, and they will include at least the following items:

  • The originality of the research
  • The degree of difficulty of the field-work and lab-work carried out
  • The robustness of the methodological approach
  • The quality of the written dissertation
  • The quality of the oral presentation
  • The arguments used in its defence.

Once you have passed your viva examination, the MSc Academic Committee will organise a public one-day symposium where all students will carry out an oral presentation of their MSc dissertations. This event will be broadcasted by live streamed online, so that your families and friends can follow from home. These videos will be uploaded and stored in the MSc webpage to make them available for consultation of future MSc student candidates.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Collect and analyse data, and use scientific information in addressing conservation problems
  • 2. Describe in detail the fundamental principles underlying the Conservation of Island Biodiversity, both from the human and the biological perspectives
  • 3. Apply these principles and skills to solve real-world conservation problems

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Carry out research projects in biogeography, ecology, evolution and conservation biology of islands and archipelagos
  • 5. Carry out quantitative techniques for evaluating the impact of human activities on populations, species, communities and ecosystems

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Apply statistical and modelling skills to understand and interpret quantitative analyses
  • 7. Demonstrate management skills, such as decision-making, problem definition, project design and evaluation, risk management, teamwork and coordination
  • 8. Transfer techniques and solutions from one discipline to another

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The election of the MSc thesis topic and supervisor(s) should be the result of an agreement between you and your supervisor. The MSc thesis will be defended through a non-public viva examination. The criteria for the MSc Thesis evaluation will be clearly stated in the MSc handbook, and they will include at least the following items:

  • The originality of the research
  • The degree of difficulty of the field-work and lab-work carried out
  • The robustness of the methodological approach
  • The quality of the written dissertation
  • The quality of the oral presentation
  • The arguments used in its defence.

Once you have passed your viva examination, the MSc Academic Committee will organise a public one-day symposium where all the students will carry out an oral presentation of their MSc dissertations.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
205800

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching20Meetings with the project supervisor
Guided Independent Study580Additional reading, research and preparation of a literature review. Experimental design, data collection, data analysis and preparation for the final paper assessment

Assessment

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Viva presentation 20-30 minutes2,6-7Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
80020

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Literature Review202000 words1-3,5,8-12Written
Project Report808000 wordsAllWritten

Re-assessment

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Literature ReviewLiterature Review1-816 weeks from the date feedback was given
Project ReportProject ReportAll16 weeks from the date feedback was given

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake within the period specified above from the date that feedback was provided.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Resources

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Key texts

  • Ruxton, G.D. and Colegrave, N. (2006) Experimental Design for the Life Sciences. OUP. ISBN 01992 52327
  • Barass, R (2002) Scientists Must Write: A Guide to Better Writing for Scientists, Engineers and Students

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Islands, biodiversity, conservation, ecology, biogeography, extinction, evasive evolution, climate change

Credit value60
Module ECTS

30

Module pre-requisites

None

Module co-requisites

None

NQF level (module)

7

Available as distance learning?

Yes

Origin date

03/08/2018

Last revision date

26/03/2019