Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module ENGI42090: Research and Development Project

Department: Engineering

ENGI42090: Research and Development Project

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 90 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None
Tied to H1K609


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The research and development project provide an open-ended challenge to each individual student. In collaboration with a staff supervisor, the student is required to identify and initiate methods to investigate the topic, to generate data, to analyse this data, to formulate recommendations and findings, and to present the work in a report.


  • A research and development project approved by the course director relevant to the field of new and renewable energy.
  • This project will be supported by seminars relating to best practice regarding research methods.
  • The seminars will cover topics such as: Data collection; Data analysis; Documentation of research work; Dissemination of research work; How to carry out a literature survey; Planning and monitoring a research project; Use of IT tools for carrying out research.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To appraise and analyse data critically using appropriate mathematical and IT skills. B2, B4.
  • To be able to work as a team with their supervisor and technicians to achieve a successful R&D project. C5, C2.
  • To be able to apply best practice research methods. C8.
  • To produce an effective report which clearly presents and describes the investigations, results and conclusions. Communication skills will be assessed through the written report and an oral examination. In addition, a poster presentation is required. B2, B8, C2.
  • To plan and implement a project work schedule. B1, C6.
  • To utilise knowledge and skills acquired from the formal teaching process. A1.
  • To be able to carry out work that is both relevant and realistic in industrial terms. B3.
  • To show imagination and problem solving skills in formulating lines of investigation. B13, C1, C7.
  • To show technical awareness and mature judgment in producing data.
  • This may require design skills applied to laboratory or simulation work. B5, B6, B9, B10, B12, C4.
  • To be able to carry out extensive in depth work in a specialist area. A2.
  • The ability to make health and safety assessments and to carry out effective risk assessments and COSHH statements. B10.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • Regular meetings with supervisor to discuss project progress, planning, data collection, research methods and technical issues.
      • Mid-term assessment to ensure project is on track, a clear plan for completion is in place and that the standard of work is satisfactory.
      • Poster Presentation to allow an assessment of the student's understanding of their work, and their oral and written communication skills.
      • Oral examination to allow detailed questions to be put to the student regarding the technical aspects of their work and also to assess oral communication skills.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Tutorials 27 1 per week 1 hour 25
      Seminars 4 early stages of project 1 hour 5
      Practicals 500 500
      Preparation and Reading 370
      Total 900

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Report and Oral Examination Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Project and Report completed by beginning of August, Oral Examination held in September 18,000 words 100%

      Formative Assessment:

      Poster Display, Research Methods (literature survey, project plan,), Risk and COSHH assessment forms.

      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University