Module code: VMS3001

Module Overview

The 3rd year research project is the culmination of all the practical, analytical, literature and presentation skills developed during a typical science undergraduate degree programme.  The project will run over two semesters, The student will be expected to liaise regularly with their supervisor(s) and if undertaking a laboratory based project will be expected to follow good laboratory practice and adhere to local safety rules at all times.

Module provider

School of Veterinary Medicine

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

JACs code: D990

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Successful completion of years 1 and 2 of the BVMSci programme

Module content

Indicative content includes the following generic content, delivered via tutorials, lectures or online units:

Project selection – project descriptions are circulated 2 weeks , before the  ‘Research Fair’. The Research Fair provides the opportunity to discuss projects with the supervisors and the students are expected to use this time to ask questions.
8 choices are to be submitted within 2 weeks of the fair using the official submissions form
Students are informed of their project before exams start  
Additional content will include

Literature Searching & Databases, Bibliographic Software & Refworks training
Narrative, systematic and critical appraisal of literature
Project planning – experimental design and data collection
Project planning - responsibilities and safety training
Ethics of animal use – the role of the veterinarian in research & obtaining ethical approval,
Plagerism refresher tutorial
Paper writing tutorial
Project Seminar tutorial
Statistical analysis sessions


Individual content will vary depending on the project, but will typically include discussion of literature, laboratory demonstrations and provision of protocols, provision of appropriate health and safety material, data analysis guidance, progress meetings, and individual guidance on seminar and dissertation.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation SEMINAR PRESENTATION 20
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) SCIENTIFIC PAPER (5000 WORDS) 80

Alternative Assessment

No alternative assessment is available

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to demonstrate:

1. The effective use of electronic databases, critical assessment of scientific literature and knowledge of the research project topic (LO 6.1).

2. An understanding of the relevant literature in their area of research (LO6.1, LO 6.2, LO6.4)

Formative Peer assessment of their narrative review (Semester 1 week 2)
Formative  assessment of 250 word abstract of their narrative review (Semester 1, week 3)

3. An ability to answer questions on their literature findings in a structured and scientific manner (LO6.7)

4. To respond to questions relating to background material, experimental design and data analysis and interpretation of results (LO6.3, LO6.7, LO6.4, LO6.2)

5. Ability to analyse and interpret research data (LO 6.5)

6. Ability to orally present findings in a structured and scientific manner, (LO6.7)

Formative peer assessment – 3 minute thesis; one slide presentation (semester 1 week 8)
Formative (10%) 3min thesis slide
Summative oral presentation 8 mins presentation; 2 mins questions- this will be recorded via a video camera at the back of the room  (Semester 2 week 5)

7. Ability to write a detailed and well-constructed scientific paper (LO 6.6)

Summative- Scientific paper to be submitted in an appropriate format (semester 2 week 11)

On-going Formative assessment and feedback is provided by supervisors who will provide

Feedback on both the paper and the seminar during their preparation.  Typically a supervisor would be expected to provide detailed comments (not corrections) on the paper once;  students should not expect reiterative rounds of feedback nor feedback if the final draft is submitted after an agreed deadline
Feedback on 3 min thesis and presentation but this should not involve extensive “re-writing” by the supervisor.
Ongoing feedback on research performance (laboratory, analysis or literature) throughout the project in a verbal, usually informal manner at project meetings which should be initiated by the student. Students and staff may want to keep written records of the meetings.   If there are serious problems with the research element of the project this may be indicated in more formally arranged meetings with the module organiser.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Seminar (20%): 8 mins presentation plus 2 min of questions. 
Assessment by two independent members of academic staff on the basis of: Content, Presentation Skills and ability to answer questions.  A rubric will be used and available to students on Surreylearn prior to the assessment

Scientific paper (80%) of not more than 5000 words to be submitted to SurreyLearn week 11, semester 2.   

For Laboratory, Clinical or Data analysis projects: a paper of not more than 5,000 words, of which no more than 2500 will comprise the introduction. This will be assessed by two independent examiners on the basis of: Structure, Clarity and Production (30%); Understanding and Analysis (50%); and Literature Surveyed (20%).

8. For Literature projects: a paper of not more than 5,000 words. This must include a CRITICAL, systematic assessment of the literature in order to address a specific scientific question or hypothesis and should include an element of novel insight, such as the identification of future avenues for research. It should include a knowledge summary )if appropriate) [i]in the appendix. This will be assessed by two independent examiners on the basis of: Structure, Clarity and Production (30%); Understanding and Analysis (30%); and Literature Surveyed (40%).

A detailed breakdown of the components of the scientific paper and marking rubric is not provided here, but will be available to students via SurreyLearn


Module aims

  • To provide experience in information retrieval relevant to a specific topic of research
  • To enable students to acquire specific practical research skills (where appropriate)
  • To develop their capacity for independent investigation
  • To develop written and oral presentation skills
  • To provide experience in a research environment 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Use electronic databases critically to selectively access information RCVS KU 1, RCVS KU 2, RCVS KU 10 T
002 Interpret and assess the relevance of scientific literature RCVS KU 1, RCVS KU 2, RCVS KU 10 PT
003 Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the research project topic, informed by current scholarship and research RCVS KU 1, RCVS KU 2 K
004 Show a capacity for independent research RCVS KU 2, RCVS KU10 CP
005 Demonstrate the ability to analyse and interpret research data RCVS KU 1, KU 2, RCVS KU10 C
006 Write a detailed and well-constructed scientific report RCVS KU 2, KU 10, KU 11 CPT
007 Present research findings orally in a structured and scientific manner, including responding to questions relating to background material, data analysis and interpretation of results RCVS KU 2, KU 10, KU 11 CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 124

Lecture Hours: 16

Tutorial Hours: 10

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to: provide students with sufficient guidance to enable them to work safely and robustly, whilst promoting independent thought and allowing the opportunity for students to input into research design. The primary mode through which this is achieved is by workshops and lectures but one-to-one supervision and additional generic support is provided through facilitated self study sessions.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Guided study/tutorials with supervisor (10hrs)

Generic workshops and lectures. (16hrs)

Dissertation and seminar guidance and feedback

Timetabled project work (111hrs)

Facilitated self study groups (13hrs)

Self-study (150hrs) 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for RESEARCH PROJECT (BVMSCI) :

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Veterinary Medicine and Science BVMSci (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.