Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module ENGI42090: Research and Development Project

Department: Engineering

ENGI42090: Research and Development Project

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 90 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap
Tied to H1K609


  • As specified in programme regulations


  • As specified in programme regulations

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • As specified in programme regulations


  • This module is designed solely for students studying Department of Engineering degree programmes.
  • 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:
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of advanced engineering concepts.
  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of a student's chosen area of specialisation and an ability to perform critical assessment and review.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To specify, plan, manage, conduct and report on an engineering project.
  • To analyse, evaluate and interpret complex engineering data.
  • To apply engineering principles to the solution of problems in an industrial context.
  • To synthesise data from a variety of sources and apply to the solution of a particular problem.
  • To demonstrate an awareness of practical engineering skills.
  • To observe and record accurately, data and experimental evidence both in the laboratory and, if appropriate, in the field.
  • Preparation and delivery of advanced technical reports.
  • Effective preparation and delivery of technical presentations.
  • The competent and safe use of engineering laboratory instrumentation for independent research.
  • An understanding of Risk assessment and COSHH.
  • The application of engineering principles to the design and manufacture process.
  • To write advanced or highly specialised computer programs.
  • To use advanced or highly specialised computational tools and packages.
  • To be imaginative and innovative in the solution of technical and non-technical problems.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • Ability to work independently, show initiative and generate ideas.
  • The effective communication of advanced technical concepts (written, verbal, drawing, sketching etc.).
  • Highly specialised numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Highly specialised use of information technology (IT) relevant to the engineering profession.
  • Time and resource management in order to plan and maintain effort.
  • Advanced problem solving skills including working.

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

  • Individual, independent research and development project.
  • Students are supported by regular consultation with their project supervisor and, when appropriate, by laboratory technicians.
  • Examined through continuous assessment, written academic journal style paper and oral examination.
  • Soon after the start of the project an individual project plan is submitted and which is included in the overall assessment.
  • A course on how to write a research paper is given at the end of the practical component.
  • On completion of the project an academic journal style paper is submitted which demonstrates the student's capacity for individual research, analysis, critical assessment and their ability to select and use advanced or specialised techniques appropriate to their research topic.
  • The students gain feedback on a literature review and the draft research paper.
  • Each student is also examined by oral examination.
  • An overall mark is derived from an assessment matrix which addresses all aspects of the project including effort and planning, initiative and ideas, written report, understanding, oral examination performance and achievement.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Project Work 500 500
Tutorials 30 Typically 1 per week 0.5 hours 15
Preparation and Reading 385
Total 900

Summative Assessment

Component: Report and Oral Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Effort and Planning 10%
Initiative and Ideas 10%
Report (Research Paper) 25%
Understanding 25%
Oral Performance 15%
Achievement 15%

Formative Assessment:

Poster Display, Research Methods (including literature survey, 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