Module code: ENGM275

Module Overview

The module is intended to introduce students to research methods in Chemical Engineering, with a focus on developing research ideas, undertaking a literature review and planning a research study. Students work with an academic supervisor to undertake a literature review of a research topic, and ultimately plan a research study to address identified research questions or test research hypotheses. The module is intended to develop the skill base and subject knowledge of the students so that research work can be effectively undertaken in semester 2 (see ENGM276) for the generation of original results or new understanding.

Module provider

Chemical and Process Engineering

Module Leader

CAMPBELL Alasdair (Chm Proc Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: H810

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

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Completion of the progression requirements to FHEQ Level 7 of the degree courses in Chemical Engineering, Chemical and Bio-Systems Engineering and Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, or equivalent.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Literature search and review methods

  • Research questions and hypotheses

  • Research design: quantitative and qualitative methods

  • Research ethics

  • Research planning

  • Research tools, e.g.: Gantt charts, reference managers

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework RESEARCH PLAN 20

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the full range of learning outcomes though the production of: (i) a literature review and research questions arising from this; and (ii) a corresponding research plan for a short (one semester) study. The latter requires a discussion and justification of the research design / approach, and will require reference to information in the reading assignment. The students will have the option of executing their research plan in ENGM276.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Coursework 1 (Literature Review) – 80% (LO1, LO2, LO4)

·         Coursework 2 (Research Plan) – 20% (LO3, LO5)

Formative assessment

·         None


  • Weekly verbal feedback during supervisor meetings (LO1 – LO5)

  • Written feedback on Coursework 1 (LO2, LO4)

  • Written feedback on Coursework 2 (LO3, LO5) 


Module aims

  • Prepare students for effective research work through: (i) an awareness of the research process and research skills, and (ii) experience with the intial-stage research activities of a literature review and research plan.
  • Further develop the technical writing skills of the students.   

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Describe the research process and the significance of research questions and ethics, and effective research design. KCT
2 Search, interpret and critique technical literature KCT
3 Develop a research plan that carefully considers objectives, timeframes, milestones, resources and contingencies for a short (one semester duration) study. CPT
4 Write a literature review for a research topic. CPT
5 Write a plan for a research project. CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 8

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Guide students through the process of taking a research topic and developing a realistic plan for a project that is grounded by current understanding and future needs.

  • Encourage experiential learning of the research process.

  • Develop a generic understanding of research methodology through seminars on research methods seminars and reading assignments.  

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Supervisor meetings              1 hour meetings for 12 weeks

  • Seminars                              4 two-hour seminars: introduction to research in Chemical Engineering, literature search and review, research design and                                                      planning, research ethics.

  • Reading assignment              4 hours           

  • Independent learning             10.5 hours per week for 12 weeks (average) 

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


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemical and Petroleum Engineering MEng 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Chemical Engineering MEng 1 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 2018/9 academic year.