Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Open Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to H103


  • 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.
  • This module provides an open-ended challenge for students to investigate a research topic at BEng level, to identify and initiate methods to investigate the topic, to generate data, to analyse this data, to formulate recommendations and to present the work in a written report.
  • It provides the opportunity for the student to carry out an individual research project, contributing to the professional skills required by practising engineers.


  • Final year technical project for BEng students.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Mathematics relevant to the application of specialised 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 individually specify, manage, conduct and report on an engineering project.
  • To collect and critically review data from a variety of sources
  • To observe, record, analyse and interpret data and experimental evidence both in the laboratory and, if appropriate, in the field
  • Preparation and delivery of a specialised technical report.
  • Effective preparation and delivery of technical presentations.
  • Competent and safe use of standard engineering laboratory instrumentation for independent research
  • Understanding of risk assessment and COSHH.
  • Use of computational tools and packages and/or to write specialised computer programs.
  • To demonstrate an awareness of practical engineering skills
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self learning within the bounds of professional practice.
  • The effective communication of general and specialised engineering concepts (written, verbal, drawing, sketching etc.).
  • Specialised numerical skills appropriate to an engineer.
  • Effective use of IT relevant to engineering profession.
  • Time and resource management.
  • Advanced problem solving skills.

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, individual consultation with their project supervisor and, when appropriate, by laboratory technicians.
  • Examined through continuous assessment, written research/technical 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.
  • The students undertake practical or theoretical research for 16 weeks.
  • 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 an intial report and a research paper outline.
  • 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
Tutorials (Project Supervision) 20 Weekly 0.5 hour 10
Project work 280
Abstract writing tutorial 1 towards end of term 2 1 hour 1
Paper writing lecture 1 towards end of term 2 2 hours 2
Preparation and Reading 107
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Project 100% none

Formative Assessment:


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