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

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

WU Charley (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 10

Independent Learning Hours: 110

Seminar Hours: 8

Tutorial Hours: 4

Guided Learning: 9

Captured Content: 9

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

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:

  • Literature analysis (Individual) - 20%

  • Interim report - Literature review (Joint) - 50%

  • Interim report - research proposal (Individual) - 30%

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            

  • Seminars                               

  • Reading assignment                  

  • Independent learning            

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

Other information

Sustainability: On this module, students have the opportunities to not only work on a specific research project related to sustainability but also develop a good understanding of sustainability for a wide range of chemical processes through attending research seminars and literature study. Many of the research projects offered to students involve the development of integrated processes, optimisation strategies and predictive tools to improve the process efficiency and to better use the resources with reduced costs and waste.  

Digital capabilities: Students are exposed to modelling tools, data analysis and statistical software on their research projects, from which they develop their skills in using these digital tools to address a research question, develop a robust solution and analyse data. Students also routinely utilise digital tools for collaborative working, such as Zoom, Teams, and WhatsApp, to communicate with the project partner and their supervisors. 

Employability: The module not only develop students’ research skills, but also consolidate their Chemical engineering knowledge through working on a specific research project. Their research experience and enhanced understanding of a specific topics can dramatically widen their employability, especially improve their competitiveness in securing jobs involving critical thinking and research skills.      

Global and cultural capabilities: On this module, students are immersed in various research groups and labs where they are trained by and engaged with researchers from diverse cultures and background globally. Students are also attending research seminars delivered by external experts from various industries, countries and cultural background.

Resourcefulness and resilience: Students need to develop their research project proposal with the guidance of their supervisors, for which they develop a feasible research plan with duly consideration of resources and infrastructures needed and think through potential risks and contingency plan. Frequent interactions with supervisors and the module leader provide opportunities to resolve any unexpected situations, inspiring them to become more resourceful and resilient.

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 2025/6 academic year.