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The University of Southampton

ENVS6009 Advanced Research Project

Module Overview

This module is the delivery vehicle for the FHEQ Level 7 research project that must be carried out by each student with guidance from a supervisor.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The need for both a multi-disciplinary and an interdisciplinary approach in advancing knowledge and understanding of Earth systems, drawing, as appropriate, from the natural and the social sciences
  • The processes which shape the natural world at different temporal and spatial scales and their influence on and by human activities
  • The terminology, nomenclature and classification systems used in environmental science
  • Methods of acquiring, interpreting and analysing environmental science information with a critical understanding of the appropriate contexts for their use
  • Issues concerning the availability and sustainability of resources, for example, the different value sets relating to the Earth's resources as commodities and/or heritage
  • The contribution of environmental science to debate on environmental issues and how knowledge of these forms the basis for informed concern about the Earth and its people
  • The contribution of environmental science to the development of knowledge of the world we live in
  • The applicability of environmental science to the world of work
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Recognising and using subject-specific theories, paradigms, concepts and principles
  • Analysing, synthesising and summarising information critically, including prior research
  • Collecting and integrating several lines of evidence to formulate and test hypotheses
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to complex and multidimensional problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts
  • Recognising the moral and ethical issues of investigations and appreciating the need for professional codes of conduct
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Receiving and responding to a variety of information sources (e.g. textual, numerical, verbal, graphical)
  • Communicating appropriately to a variety of audiences in written, verbal and graphical forms
  • Appreciating issues of sample selection, accuracy, precision and uncertainty during collection, recording and analysis of data in the field and laboratory
  • Preparing, processing, interpreting and presenting data, using appropriate qualitative and quantitative techniques and packages including geographic information systems
  • Solving numerical problems using computer and non-computer-based techniques
  • Using the internet critically as a means of communication and a source of information
  • Developing the skills necessary for self-managed and lifelong learning (e.g. working independently, time management and organisation skills)
  • Identifying and working towards targets for personal, academic and career development
  • Developing an adaptable and flexible approach to study and work
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Planning, conducting, and reporting on environmental investigations, including the use of secondary data
  • Collecting, recording and analysing data using appropriate techniques in the field and laboratory
  • Undertaking field and laboratory investigations in a responsible and safe manner, paying due attention to risk assessment, rights of access, relevant health and safety regulations, and sensitivity to the impact of investigations on the environment and stakeholders
  • Referencing work in an appropriate manner


This module will be delivered via execution of a research project, guided by input from a supervisor. The syllabus as such will be determined by the project and will be guided by the student to complement and augment emerging specialization within the chosen degree pathway.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching methods will vary between individual students depending on the nature of their project and will primarily comprise advice and guidance relating to: – The designing and planning of projects such that research question(s) or aims are clear and achievable. – The acquisition of data or information to provide the basis on which research questions/aims will be answered. – Selection and application of approaches to data interpretation and analysis. – Compilation of the write-up such that the content, structure, presentation and integrity are well-founded and appropriate for the chosen format. Learning activities include: – Conducting research to obtain data and information as part of the research process (field, laboratory or desk-based). – Self-directed learning (researching and reading) around the subject matter of the research project. – Discussion sessions with the project supervisor.

Project supervision10
Completion of assessment task590
Total study time600



MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (7000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Report  (7000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

Projects may require additional support other than that provided by the Faculty or their supervisor (e.g. travel and subsistence, consumables); each student is eligible for up to £300 to pay for such costs.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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