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The University of Southampton

SOES6039 MSc Research Project

Module Overview

The MSc project will entail four months of full-time work investigating a topic related to marine/Earth/environmental science, and culminating in the submission of a dissertation. The project is conducted on a novel question, often associated with a larger research project being conducted by staff within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and/or NOC Strategic Research Divisions, or with an external organisation. The project draws on a literature review (undertaken as part of SOES 6018) on a general area of the research question, providing the background to understanding the issues associated with the research. The literature review also provides material suitable for the introduction to the dissertation. You will also submit a research proposal, outlining the plans for your project and its significance, for assessment before the project period (this must be signed by the project supervisor). The project can be focussed on existing data, or may require the collection of new data, or can aim to develop and test a new method. You will present a seminar on the results of your project towards the end of the dissertation period.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify novel research areas.
  • Time management.
  • Critical analysis of research literature.
  • Research skills.
  • Oral presentation.
  • Plan and carry out a research project with appropriate allowance for the time available.
  • Design analysis procedures suited to the testing of specific hypotheses.
  • Produce a written scientific dissertation.
  • Clearly discuss the nature and conclusions of the Project, with reference to the original objectives/hypotheses.
  • Prepare an effective research proposal.
  • Present a research seminar
  • Scientific writing.
  • Scientific method



Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

- You will work in consultation with a project supervisor(s) to develop and execute the research. - You will identify a project of interest together with a potential supervisor from a published list of research titles and summaries. - Initial planning and the development of the project occur through regular meetings with your supervisor, who also offers suitable advice on data analysis, interpretation and presentation. - Your progress is monitored by the project supervisor. A wide range of support can be provided for those students who have further or specific learning and teaching needs.

Independent Study540
Total study time600



MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation 80%
Seminar 20%
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