This module is undertaken by learners over 2 academic semesters in Year 2 of the programme, with Semester 2 of Year 2 being devoted solely to the Dissertation.
At the end of Year 1 students complete a Dissertation proposal form, as they are encouraged to undertake research on a topic of interest to them (or their employer). A supervisor is then assigned to ensure that the research proposal is appropriate (and to advise the student to amend as necessary), and then to guide the student throughout the entire research process.
At the start of Year 2, a research methods workshop is provided, with presentations in the following key areas:
- Defining the research question;
- Sections/chapters of the dissertation;
- Literature review and library resources;
- Research methodologies; and
- Data interpretation and analysis.
Students will make three presentations during the year:
- The first presentation will focus on explaining the rationale for undertaking the project, identifying the problem to be solved or question to be answered (following direction from the assigned supervisor to ensure it is viable and achievable) and a detailed proposal on how the project will proceed. Relevant Literature should be reviewed by this stage.
- The second presentation will focus on the most relevant issues arising from the review of all of the relevant literature, an analysis of the issues that will be addressed by the data collection phase of the project and the methods to be used (methodology) to collect the new data required.
- The third presentation will focus on the appropriateness of the final methodology, presenting the resulting preliminary findings (results) of the study and putting this preliminary information into context with the existing literature. Feedback from this presentation will aid the student in formulating the Discussion and Conclusion/Recommendations Chapters.
The learners are required to demonstrate their ability in research, designing and executing experiments/ numerical analysis/ analytical analysis, concept development and reporting.
In undertaking this module learners will develop the skills required to manage and organise a major project. They will appraise and assess existing theories and present the findings and conclusions of their work in a formal report. The report will include a literature review on the current state of the art in the project area.
Each project will usually have a strong central core: laboratory testing, numerical modelling or analysis of field data or a combination of these methods as deemed appropriate.
The student will identify a potential peer-review conference/journal paper for the research work and indicate how this work may contribute to furthering knowledge in the specific EHS field.