THE PROJECT - 2019/0

Module code: BMSM013

Module Overview

Leading on from the BMSM002 (Research Nutrition), this module allows the student to engage in an in-depth research project in an area relevant for nutritional science in the 21stCentury. Projects may be clinical, laboratory or literature based. Students may be attached to NHS units, to staff or research teams within the Nutrition division, but also in other areas in the wider University, including psychology. At the end of the project period a thesis is produced – in part based on a manuscript - which is marked by 2 members of the academic team.

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

AHMADI Kourosh (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits: 45

ECTS Credits: 22.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: C900

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

Module Availability

Crosses academic years

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Modules 1, 2 and 6 + other optional modules.

Module content

Project Allocation

The student is expected to have developed an interest on a specific topic/theme before interacting with the module organiser. On discussing their interest with Dr Ahmadi, each student will develop their idea with the MO + potential supervisor at which point the student will be asked to complete and submit a Project Approval Form (PAF) to be formally allowed to register and commence his/her project. Students are strongly advised to meet with potential project supervisors to discuss the projects before they are finalised.

Project Details

  1. Guidelines for carrying out research projects

Discuss the timing and details of practical work with your supervisor. You are responsible for ensuring that you allocate enough time to achieve an adequate body of results for your dissertation.

A sound understanding of the literature background to the project is required which will form the basis of the Introduction to the dissertation. Accordingly, you should get to grips with the relevant scientific literature and do your database literature searching early in the summer. Discuss the proposed contents of the Introduction with your supervisor (much of this can be carried out well before practical work is completed).

You should aim to speak to your supervisor on at least a monthly basis and receive feedback on each section of your dissertation (introduction, methods etc) once only.

An ethical checklist will be used to assess whether ethical approval is required for the course of work. All work which involves humans or samples of human tissue including blood will need ethical committee approval. This is a legal requirement, for more information please refers to the faculty ethical committee webpage.

Finally, practical or data collection should be planned so that adequate time is available to write the dissertation!

  1. Format of Project Dissertation

The project should be written in the format of a scientific paper and should not be more than 15,000 words (double spaced) plus figures, tables and references.

Key sections include:

Summary/Abstract: The summary should not exceed 400 words and concisely describe the contents of the dissertation. It should succinctly state the nature of the study, the aims of the project, the primary methods used, the results obtained and the conclusions drawn from the research.

Acknowledgements: Record any thanks to individuals involved in your project.

Introduction: This should contain a critical review of the relevant literature to the research project. It should be focused on the background to the research problem that is being addressed in the project but should also be sufficiently comprehensive to demonstrate that you have a good depth of understanding of the research in the field. Remember to provide literature citations for all of the statements that you make.

Methods: All of the methods should be written in the past tense. The methods should be described in sufficient detail for someone to be able to repeat the work. Where standard techniques are used these should be summarised briefly and the relevant literature cited.

Results: The results text should be written in the past tense and describe the most important features of the results obtained. It should be supportive of the figures and tables and not simply repetition of what is contained in the figures or tables. The figures and tables should each be numbered consecutively and stand alone. They should have titles and a legend with sufficient detail for them to be understood them without reference to the text. There should be no discussion of the meaning of the results within this section - it should purely state what was found.

Discussion + Conclusion: This should contain your interpretation of the results obtained and be related to the existing literature. It should not merely restate the results but should link your findings to the work of others and accordingly arrive at conclusions. Interpretative statements should be accompanied by cited literature to provide a thorough critical assessment of your research. Where there have been practical problems or the project is incomplete it is helpful to make suggestions for future studies, again by referring to the work of others.
Supplementary material: Optional.


These should be prepared using a referencing programme such as endnote or refworks. For example:

Matthes H. W. D., Maldonado R., Simonin F., Valverde O., Slowe S., Kitchen I., Befort K., Dierich A., Le Meur M., Dolle P., Tzavara E., Hanoune J., Roques B., Kieffer B. L. (1996) Loss of morphine-induced analgesia, reward effect and withdrawal symptoms in mice lacking the µ-opioid receptor gene. Nature 383, 819-823.

In the body of the text, references should be cited by name and year according to the following example format. e.g. The gene knockout studies of Matthes et al. (1996) confirm the pharmacologist view that morphine acts at the mu receptor (Kitchen, 1995).

If there are more than two authors the first author should be given followed by et al. Where the author has been quoted from several papers in one year the references should be labelled thus (Kitchen 1995a, 1995b, 1995c etc).

Your supervisor should be able to assist you with content and construction

Project Submission

Projects must be submitted online through SurreyLearn. No hard copies are required.

Submission Deadline

6-18 months from the time of registration – upon approval of the PAF – on the module.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate cognitive and analytical skills, scientific writing and communications skills.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Written dissertation

The Formative assessment and feedback

  • Students will receive feedback electronically in SurreyLearn and supervisors will be available for further discussion.


Written and oral formative feedback of draft versions of the dissertation will be provided by the research supervisor

Module aims

  • To build on experience in information retrieval relevant to a specific topic of research
  • To acquire and develop specific practical research skills
  • To develop and expand the student's capacity for independent investigation
  • To develop written presentation skills applicable to the publication of original research findings in the scientific literature

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
006 The opportunity to present and defend their own research findings K
001 A full appreciation of the use electronic databases in research and the ability to undertake systematic literature searches and information gathering P
002 An opportunity to be able to critically interpret, assess and appraise the relevance of scientific literature KC
003 An increased capacity for independent research T
004 The ability to correctly analyse and interpret research data PT
005 The ability to write a detailed and well-constructed scientific report suitable for publication KT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to be aligned with the descriptor for qualification at level 7 in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) produced by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and include development of independent thinking transferable laboratory/clinical research skills.

The learning and teaching methods include: Independent learning with academic supervision.

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 THE PROJECT :

Other information

This module is only available to students on the Nutritional Medicine programme.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Nutritional Medicine MSc Cross Year 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 2019/0 academic year.