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The University of Southampton

CHEM6086 MSc Research Project

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of the work being undertaken and to appreciate the commercial and / or intellectual motivation of taking on the work
  • Adapt to working in a new professional / academic environment
  • Carry out the practical element of the project work with a high degree of independence and with regular self-evaluation of performance leading to the development of personal objectives and strategies of how to meet
  • Maintain a laboratory/ work record to a professional standard
  • Critically evaluate the quality and reliability of your acquired data
  • Collect, organise and analyse data and to identify the level of reliability of the results obtained
  • To propose future work which is clearly justified by the results of the project work
  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding in the practical application of techniques relevant to the project
  • Demonstrate an in depth knowledge of the theoretical background and literature precedent related to your project area
  • Communicate project results with clarity, both verbally and in writing, and by using appropriate scientific terminology
  • Verbally propose solutions and strategies for problems identified during the project and to be able to discuss these with colleagues, recognising when to promote an idea and when to concede that it is flawed
  • Apply knowledge and experience in the use of databases and other paper and electronic resources to interrogate the scientific literature
  • In writing, analyse and evaluate the work carried out and the prior art on which it is based to a standard that could form the basis of a scientific publication
  • Evaluate the risks associated with practical work and to identify control measures to keep them to an acceptable minimum
  • Apply past experiences in the laboratory environment to new and unseen practical situations with an appreciation of the fitness for purpose of each activity in the successful achievement of the project objectives


Each student will choose a research topic and a research supervisor when applying for the degree programme. The research project will then be discussed and finalised on the occasion of the first meetings with the project supervisor. The research project will start at the beginning of the academic year and run for twelve months. The student will be part of the research group and will be expected to take part in the group activities, including group meetings, group presentations, etc… Progress will be monitored through regular meetings with the supervisor, and via submission of regular reports. The module will be assessed by submission of progress reports and a research dissertation at the end of the twelve months. The latter will be examined by two independent examiners, one internal and one external. If required a viva voce may be requested by the external examiner. The module assessment will also include a contribution towards diligence and initiative from the project supervisor.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

• Provision of information on the project process with the programme coordinator • Establishment of project objectives with academic supervisor (often before project starts) • Day to day supervision by nominated day to day supervisor • Regular informal meetings with academic supervisor to monitor progress and share ideas • Feedback on performance will be a part of day to day discussions throughout the entire term of the project. In most instances this will be provided through informal discussions but on occasion might result in particular objectives being set. • Submission of progress reports assessed by the primary supervisor and another academic staff.

Independent Study600
Total study time600



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 15%
Dissertation 75%
Supervisor's evaluation 10%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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