Foundation degrees

Course Information

Independent Research Project (NRI)

Module summary

Module code: AGRI1048
Level: 7
Credits: 60
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Module Coordinator(s): Christopher Atkinson / Conor Walsh / Jonne Rodenburg


Pre and co requisites



This course aims to:
• Focus on a particular aspect relevant to the chosen MSc programme to produce a critical report /research project relevant to that aspect;
• To develop and be responsible for the delivery of an extended piece of research through lab, field or desk study;
• Apply the scientific method accurately to a particular investigation;
• Present the results of such an investigation accurately, coherently, concisely and critically;
• To produce a project report in the form of a research paper.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

1 Undertake independent research at a level appropriate to their programme of studies.
2 Transfer conceptual information into project proposals which address specific problems.
3 Communicate effectively on project outcomes - orally and in written presentations.
4 Critically organise their investigations and analytical skills in a logical and independent manner, appropriate to their discipline.

Indicative content

The project involves several phases:
• Discussion with tutors during the first two/three weeks to decide upon a relevant and appropriate topic and the identification of supervisors.
• Survey of information available - literature and resource persons, academic and commercial.
• Analysis and prioritisation of the literature and information obtained, including students’ own knowledge.
• Analysis of problems, management systems and technologies in relation to the study objectives.
• Formulation of draft suggestions and proposals for future work.
• Preparation of a report and an oral presentation of the study and its conclusions.

Each student is allocated a tutor/project supervisor to provide technical and organisational support throughout the project assignment. Full details are provided in the Student Handbook and through the supporting Research Methods course (ENVI 1096).

Teaching and learning activity

The project is an independent piece of research, supported by structured discussion with supervisor/tutor as necessary. Throughout the supporting courses on the MSc, lectures and practical classes will be given in the appropriate principles of the subjects selected, plus experimental and survey design and statistical methods. The NRI library, on-line search system and computer network will be used to demonstrate how to search for literature. Instruction will be provided in the use of computer software for storage and retrieval of data, statistical analysis and GIS. There will be a period when students work on their own with the equipment and a suitable research topic.


Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment:Presentation
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment: 1, 2, 3, 4,
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting 30%
Pass Mark 50%
Word Length: n/a
Outline Details: Students are asked to prepare and deliver a seminar which presence the activities and outcomes of their research project.The seminar will last for 15 minutes followed by questions

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment:Research project report in the form of a ‘paper’
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment: 1, 2, 3, 4,
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting 60%
Pass Mark 50%
Word Length: 10,000 words (plus some optional appendices)
Outline Details:Report in the form of a ‘paper’

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Discussions with Programme leader, Course Leader and Project Supervisors throughout and feedback on development of written work

Feedback on project development and reporting will be given throughout the project. Much of this will be on a 1 to 1 basis with the project supervisor