The University of Southampton

ELEC6211 Project Preparation

Module Overview

The Project Preparation Module will prepare students for the summer Masters Project. It will give students a grounding in the research methods and techniques they will need in order for them to plan and successfully execute and complete their project.

 

Part of the Module involves identifying potential areas of research, negotiating with the Programme Leader and potential supervisors.  This will involve general research and the review of literature and the identification of a research question or questions.  They will then develop a research plan which will be presented in summary form via a submitted coursework and a Poster presentation.  This will be presented via the Module Poster Exhibition at the end of the semester.

 

It is expected that as part of this module the students will undertake appropriate preparatory study for their summer project, e.g. learning specific new analytical, simulation or other technical skills where necessary.  The module also teaches students what it is to be a professional practitioner, examining ethical and legal issues around professional practice.

The aim of this module is for students to demonstrate appropriate mastery of research methods, including an understanding of how to perform critical evaluation of a review of the literature, leading to the creation of a project plan to explore identified research question(s).

Aims & Objectives

Aims

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The general background to the subject of your summer project topic.
  • Demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of professional codes of practice, legal, social, cultural and ethical issues and an awareness of societal and environmental impact;
  • The general background to the subject of your summer project topic.
  • The concepts of project planning and risk management

Subject Specific Intellectual

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative research methods;

Transferable and Generic

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Identify and describe appropriate research questions, and devise the means to address those questions through subsequent research/project work;
  • Carry out a critical review of literature, including current developments, analysing them and identifying limitations and avenues for further research and development;
  • Be able to present a project plan to a public audience;
  • • Understand where necessary how to assess and obtain ethical approval for a project.

Syllabus

The syllabus will develop skills required for students to be able to undertake research in the area of their identified summer project.  It will also introduce them to specific tools, the appropriate research and data collection methods, as well as the quantitative or qualitative analytical methods required.  It will also cover the planning and development methods necessary to deliver a viable Project Outline for the work over the summer term.

Development of the project research topic:

1. Literature review:

  • Reading and summarising relevant articles
  • Critical analysis and evaluation of research
  • Identification of themes and comparators
  • Writing review documents

2. Scientific method and nature of evidence

  • Experimental methods
  • Design methods
  • Simulation techniques
  • Data collection and management for quantitative data
  • Human participants: expert reviews, focus groups, questionnaires and interviews
  • Analytical techniques and tools
  • Statistical techniques for analysing data

3. Ethical issues

  • Ethical and societal challenges
  • Positions and model of ethics
  • Business ethics and corporate responsibility
  • Personal and workplace ethics.

4. Legal and professional issues

  • Ownership, copyright and patent
  • workplace legislation
  • data protection
  • privacy and security
  • environmental responsibility.
  • Health and Safety: Good practise and policy

5. Professional Issues

  • Professional societies.
  • Codes of conduct and practice;

6. Project management and report writing

  • Project planning and management
  • Risk analysis
  • Report structure and style
  • Report writing

Learning & Teaching

Learning & teaching methods

ActivityDescriptionHours
LectureLectures on a range of topics, some general in nature, some specific to the cohorts.10
Project supervisionWeekly meetings with supervisors after project allocation has been performed.4
TutorialProgramme specific discussion sessions related to the general nature of each area, as well as the allocation of project supervisors.3

Assessment

Assessment methods

This assessment will require the use of a second examiner and moderation, on an individual case-by-case basis, as for other projects.

MethodHoursPercentage contribution
Literature Review-40%
Project Plan and methodology-30%
Poster Presentation -30%

Referral Method: By set coursework assignment(s)

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