Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Engineering


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to H100


  • None


  • 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 MEng 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 a research project at Masters level, contributing to the professional skills required by practising engineers.


  • Research/technical project work.

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 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.
  • This module is complemented by an equally weighted programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials which are assessed primarily by written examinations.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Project work 400
Tutorials 20 Typically 1 per week 0.5 Hour 10
Abstract Writing Tutorial 1 Towards end of term 2 1 Hour 1
Paper Writing Lecture 1 Towards end of term 2 2 Hours 2
Academic advisor Typically 4 Throughout the year up to 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 183
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Coursework 100% No

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