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 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 for the generation of original results or new understanding.

Module provider

Chemical and Process Engineering

Module Leader

WU Charley (Chm Proc Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Lecture Hours: 10

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 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

  • Design of Experiments

  • Health and Safety

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Research Proposal 40
Coursework Interim Report 60

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 research proposal for a short study, and (ii) an interim report including a response to feedback from the proposal, a more comprehensive literature review and/or an update on the execution of the project. The former requires a discussion and justification of the research design / approach, and will require reference to information in the reading assignment.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Coursework 1 (Research Proposal) – 40% (LO1, LO2, LO3)

  • Coursework 2 (Interim Report) – 60% (LO3, LO4)

Formative assessment

  • 1 page 'white paper' submitted for peer feedback (wk 4)

  • Presentation to Supervisors/Research Group (wk 6)


  • Weekly verbal feedback during supervisor meetings (LO1 – LO4)

  • Written feedback on Coursework 1 (LO2, LO3)

  • Written feedback on Coursework 2 (LO3, LO4) 


Module aims

  • Prepare students for effective research work through: (i) providing an awareness of the research process and research skills, and (ii) providing experience with the initial-stage research activities such as research planning.
  • Further develop the technical writing skills of the students.   
  • Expose students to the 'peer review' by providing the opportunity to respond to feedback on their proposal in an interim project report

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Describe the research process and the significance of research questions and ethics, and effective research design. KCT
002 Search, interpret and critique technical literature KCT
003 Write a proposal for a research project that carefully considers objectives, timeframes, milestones, resources and contingencies for a short study. CPT
004 Respond to peer review in the production of an interim report consisting of an updated literature review and/or discussion of progress on the execution of the proposal CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

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                               5 two-hour seminars: introduction to research in Chemical Engineering, literature search and review, research design and planning, research ethics, health and safety.

  • Reading assignment             4 hours           

  • Independent learning            10.3 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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM275

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 2019/0 academic year.