Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

MMath Project

Course summary

Course code: MATH1158
Level: 7
Credits: 60
School: Architecture, Computing and Hums
Department: Mathematical Sciences
Course Coordinator(s): Erwin George

Specification

Pre and co requisites

Passing Level 6 of the MMath Mathematics or MMath Financial Mathematics degree programme

Aims

The aims of this course are to develop knowledge and skills necessary to effectively carry out a research project. Specific aims are:

• To develop a student's knowledge and skills required to undertake and report on a significant academic project working in a largely autonomous way but under the direction of a supervisor.
• To provide an opportunity for the student to integrate their knowledge of two or more of the taught courses (technologies, techniques, methods and tools) as well as extend such knowledge into new areas with independent yet planned learning.
• To develop time management skills in order to carry a research project with constraints identified at the onset of the project.
• To produce a written report detailing the work undertaken; if a model is developed, a demonstration will also form part of the assessment.
• To encourage a critical assessment of the results produced.
• To provide experience of developing student's personal development planning skill.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1. select a topic for a project suitable for their chosen field of study with a view to achieving the aims stated above and produce a well-written proposal;

2. identify potential ethical issues in the proposed project work as well as associated risks;

3. draw up a systematic plan for the management and execution of the project;

4. organise own learning, on a chosen theme, within a time limit and using resources available to ensure the feasibility of the project;

5. demonstrate know-how and self-direction in finding, selecting and critically evaluating literature published in learned and scientific journals as well as books and other sources;

6. log/keep records of all facets of the project development as a portfolio of their learning experience, references to literature and extracts thereof, problems faced, solutions considered and selected, skills learned and/or applied and their context within career and professional development planning;

7. critically analyse, interpret, integrate and synthesise accumulated knowledge;

8. select and evaluate appropriate methods, tools and techniques, apply these and follow methods through to ensure a quality end-product and be able to measure achievement against project objectives;

9. take an informed and critical approach towards what has been learned as well as being critical of own work;

10. communicate the results of the study in writing, and orally (in a well-planned, well-defined manner and organised structured way using grammatically correct text, tabular/graphical data, etc.) by producing an academic report of their project (explaining the problem, the aims and objectives, methods/approach and techniques used, their literature survey and critical evaluation of it, a body of their project work and their findings, conclusions together with references and citations) and doing a presentation about their work;

11. evaluate their personal strengths and weaknesses identified during the project work.

Indicative content

Students will be introduced to tasks ranging from choosing projects to proposal, presentation and report writing. Students will select a topic from either a published list suggested by lecturers or suggest one based on their interests. If the student suggests the topic, it must be agreed as suitable by the supervisor. The student must prepare a project proposal, in printed format, as outlined in lectures and published on the Web page for the course. An appropriate member of the academic staff will be assigned as a supervisor for the student.

This course incorporates the level 7 personal development planning element of the student's programme, which focuses on career and professional development planning.

Teaching and learning activity

The student will have regular contact and/or meetings with their supervisor. These will include the following:

1) meeting(s) to discuss and finalise project ideas;
2) feedback on the project proposal;
3) feedback on the Interim report.

The interim report should include a proposed table of contents and synopses of all chapters and sections as well as at least one sample section of a chapter of the final report. This would be used to provide feedback to the student concerning the final report content, layout, etc., enforcing the lecture material.

It is intended that the main medium of reporting progress and of feedback from the supervisor will be on the Faculty’s intranet. This should enable auditing and circulation of such reports to concerned parties. Students should keep a portfolio (journal/log) of their work and interactions/meetings. It will be a requirement to produce as evidence of own development work.

Students will be expected to attend a series of lectures at the start of the course describing the nature of projects, giving general advice on the organisation of their work, using references and preparing written reports, and explaining research methods and ethics. The course lecture material will be published on the course’s Web page. It is the students' responsibility to make sure that they access, use and apply the latest material and instructions (lectures, news, dates, etc). These lectures will be supplemented by a series of tutorial-type classes focussed on the more technical aspects of project writing, such as scientific writing and scientific word processing, and on other skills related to the course’s learning outcomes, such as preparing and delivering effective scientific presentations. All classes in this course will be held in Term 1.

It is expected that the MMath project course (including class time) will require approximately 600 hours of work. This is equivalent to the time a student is expected to spend learning two courses of 30-credit points each.

Learning Time (1 credit = 10 hours)


Assessment

Summative assessment:

Coursework 1 – Project Proposal - 10%
LO - 1, 2 ,3, 5, 6, 7
Project proposal incorporating initial literature review. Maximum four A4 pages.

Coursework 2 – Interim Report - 10%
LO - 1-9
Interim report containing a proposed table of contents and synopses of all chapters and sections as well as at least one sample section of a chapter of the final report.

Coursework 3 – Project Report - 70%
LO - 1-11
15000 words.
The completed project report.

Coursework 4 – Project Presentation - 10%
LO - 7, 9, 10, 11
A presentation of about 15 minutes duration in front of peers and mathematical sciences staff about one week after the project report
submission.

Formative assessment: Regular logbook uploads