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The University of Southampton

FEEG6022 Individual Research Exercise

Module Overview

This module provides you with the generic skills necessary to create an overview of research that facilitates you in embarking on a program of independent reading, which will help prepare you for your PhD or EngD project in the second and subsequent years of the program. This module is offered in association with the iPhD, EngD(s) and Centres for Doctoral Training run by the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment. The 5 credit assessment is coursework-only: a single 1250-word report written in the style of a conference paper. You should read this document in conjunction with the related module outlines: Individual Research Project (15ECTS/30CATS) and Individual Research Review (7.5ECTS/15CATS) to ensure that you have selected the most appropriate module for your needs. Important milestones for the module. There are two major milestones: submitting a project brief and submitting the final report. You should agree these submission dates with your supervisor and the module co-ordinator at the outset. You can register for this module in EITHER Semester 1 or Semester 2.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • Fundamental writing and research skills.
  • The process of writing an academic paper.
  • The structure and writing style required for academic papers.
  • How to communicate in the context of research.
  • The key components of selecting contextual academic papers of relevance to Engineering and the Physical Sciences.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the role of models in science.
  • Determine criteria for a desired communication with a particular audience.
  • Analyse and summarise the work of others in a relevant context.
  • Apply standard techniques to achieve satisfactory performance in writing and presentation skills within an engineering and scientific community.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an improved awareness of how to communicate the context of research with emphasis on the relevance to an audience
  • Display an improved understanding of communicating research findings.
  • Study and learn independently, solve problems systematically


To allow you to prepare to develop and demonstrate an advanced aspect of writing relevant to your research, including critical evaluation of current research, and an awareness of the current limits of knowledge in this aspect of the discipline. You will be assigned at least one supervisor, based on your declared interests. Together you must agree on a research area that is relevant to your PhD and of appropriate scale and scope, and decide on a set of materials to draw upon. These materials should include significant articles relevant to the chosen topic and may also include attending classes taught as part of relevant modules that are being delivered concurrently, where the agreement of the module leader(s) has been obtained. Between them, these materials should provide a representative background to the chosen research area, allowing you to carry out the preparation of an outline to prepare for a critical review of it. This research exercise may introduce you to a new domain and/or new set of relevant methods. Your research should be written up in the style of a self-contained outline, indicating the background to the problem, the approaches that have been taken and the methods that have been applied, and an evaluation of these approaches and methods. Additional materials that cannot be included in the body of the work (e.g., extended literature review, additional figures, extended discussions, technical appendices) may be included in one or more appendices that do not count towards the word count. You are recommended to follow the following structure, or similar, for your research project report: • Articulation of research question/problem area • Context/literature review summary • Project outline • Critical evaluation • References • Appendices as required

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods will include tutorials and problem solving. Learning activities include directed reading, case studies, student directed problem solving, peer-to-peer learning networks to facilitate cohort cohesion.

Wider reading or practice32
Preparation for scheduled sessions4
Project supervision2
Follow-up work2
Completion of assessment task10
Total study time50

Resources & Reading list

Melanie Mitchell (2009). Complexity: A Guided Tour. 

Research Methodology:. Please note that we have supporting on-line materials (e.g. Epigeum) on this subject that is accessed via Blackboard which you may find helpful. Please go to Blackboard, open 'Research Skills for Postgraduate Researchers', click on 'Training Materials' on the left hand side, then 'Managing Your Research' and you will find 'Research Methods in the Sciences/ Social Sciences/ Arts and Humanities


Assessment Strategy

It is expected that your success will be influenced by your attendance at supervisory meetings and your contribution to the debate.


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  ( words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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