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Course Information Undergraduate prospectus

Independent Research Project (NRI)

Course summary

Course code: AGRI1048
Level: 7
Credits: 60
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Natural Resources Institute
Course Coordinator(s): Christopher Atkinson

Specification

Pre and co requisites

None

Aims

This course aims to allow students to:

• focus on a particular aspect relevant to their chosen MSc programme to produce a critical evaluation of the technologies or management systems relevant to that aspect;
• relate the techniques taught on other components of the MSc programme to a particular research problem;
• apply the scientific method accurately to a particular investigation, and,
• present the results of such an investigation accurately and coherently.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student 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 natural resource matters - orally and in written presentations;
4. critically organise their investigations and analytical skills in a logical and independent manner, appropriate to their discipline;
5. apply their knowledge of natural resource management to issues that are likely to arise in their home country or elsewhere.

Indicative content

The project involves several phases:

• discussion with tutors during the first two/three weeks to decide upon a relevant topic;
• 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, and,
• 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 Programme 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.

Assessment

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Preparation of project material in format of peer -reviewed literature
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Interaction with project supervisor and teaching teams
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting 60%
Pass Mark 50%
Word Length: Up to 10,000 words, plus supplementary material

Methods of SUMMATIVE Assessment: Oral presentation on project topic and outcomes
Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning: Interaction with project supervisor and teaching teams
Outcome(s) assessed by summative assessment: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Grading Mode: Numeric
Weighting 40%
Pass Mark 50%
Outline Details: One 30 min seminar with questions