Module code: ENGM296

Module Overview

This is an optional module for MEng students interested in furthering their research skills. Students would apply theoretical knowledge and practical techniques to address a complex engineering issue or problem related to their degree discipline. The issue is explored by means of guided independent study which produces (i) a poster describing the literature review, (ii) a body of practical work, (iii) a report of their findings in the form of a journal paper, and (iv) a presentation which is examined orally. The projects include experimental work, design, analysis, synthesis, computing and information processing in varying proportions consistent with the engineering research topic being addressed. Projects proposed by academic staff are allocated according to students' stated preferences regarding both the project type and subject area. Each project has a designated Principal Supervisor.

Module provider

Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Module Leader

ABASOLO Daniel (Mech Eng Sci)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 240

Lecture Hours: 1

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 48

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

As each project is an independent individual piece of work, the content here is only indicative. However, all students would be expected to familiarise themselves with current literature before undertaking their research project. They would also be expected to consider both the health and safety and project risks when planning and undertaking their research project.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) PROJECT PERFORMANCE 15
Coursework JOURNAL PAPER 50
Oral exam or presentation ORAL PRESENTATION AND DEFENCE 20

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate all of the key competences associated with planning, performing, reporting, and disseminating an individual piece of research work. Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Literature Review Poster [Learning Outcomes 2, 4]

  • Project Performance [Learning Outcomes 1, 3]

  • Journal Paper [Learning Outcomes 3, 5, 6, 9]

  • Oral Presentation and Defence [Learning Outcomes 7, 8]

Formative assessment and feedback

Students discuss their work on a weekly basis with their project supervisors. 

They are provided with written feedback on their literature review poster, using a standard marking template accompanied by free-form comments, at the end of semester 1. They are provided with written feedback on their literature journal paper, oral presentation and defence, using standard marking templates accompanied by free-form comments, at the end of semester 2.

Module aims

  • Plan and conduct original research independently on a previously unexplored topic relating to their programme of study.
  • Use and further develop appropriate research, analytical, practical, and interpersonal skills to deal with complex situations and/or incomplete information, including health and safety risk assessment.
  • Communicate findings through different media used extensively in engineering research: posters, oral presentations, and journal papers.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Maintain a logbook in line with professional conventions (P and T) including health and safety risk assessment PT M9, M18
002 Perform a literature search to establish the background and critically evaluate the current body of work relevant to the topic of the project KCP M4
003 Set objectives, produce and monitor a plan and undertake an individual and original engineering investigation which demonstrates a breadth and/or depth of knowledge and understanding of scientific principles within their engineering discipline, including the range of risks that are associated with research projects and the ability to deal with complex and/or changing situations KC M1, M2
004 Structure and prepare a poster which presents the literature review underpinning the project's research hypothesis and potentially include preliminary findings of the engineering research conducted in line with professional expectations to both specialist and non-specialist readers. PT M17
005 Select and evaluate sometimes conflicting and/or incomplete data from literature sources and/or obtained from practical or computer-based studies to support a line of reasoning and/or a develop a solution to a complex and/or challenging research question. C M2, M13
006 Structure and write a journal paper which presents the context, research hypothesis, technical data, and findings of an engineering research project in line with normal professional expectations to both specialist and non-specialist readers. PT M2, M4, M17
007 Select and implement an appropriate oral presentation format to effectively communicate the conduct and outcomes of a complex engineering investigation to an audience comprising both specialists and non-specialists. PT M17
008 Combine prior knowledge and analytical skills to synthesise answers to complex or open-ended technical questions about the context and rationale of the project work demonstrating the ability for original thought. CT M1, M2
009 Demonstrate appropriate ethical conduct regarding acknowledgement of source data, treatment of research results and conduct of experiments, especially where these involve people or animals. P M8

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 support students as they undertake an individual research project by providing them with a project supervisor who can offer a bespoke response to individual needs. Project supervisors are encouraged to meet with students on a weekly basis, but this can be more or less frequent by mutual consent. The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Explaining the requirements of a logbook and then reviewing when presented by the student at the project meetings

  • Working through a risk assessment together Identifying and discussing key pieces of literature

  • Suggesting and reviewing ideas and plans

  • Discussing results and challenging findings

  • Providing constructive criticism of written work

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: ENGM296

Other information

The School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Responsibilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas: 

Employability: students will be able to demonstrate to a prospective employer their independent project planning skill, research skills of information retrieval, project specific deliverables and analysis, and delivery to set deadlines. Their poster and journal paper will demonstrate students’ ability to document their planning, research, and analysis. The use of a viva-voce examination allows students to explain their project in both technical and non-technical language and answer questions, a skill highly valued by employers. 

Digital Capabilities: students may have opportunities to analyse experimental data using Excel, engineering software such as CAD, Matlab, FEA or Fluent, or write and test their own code.Furthermore, their digital capabilities will be enhanced via the writing of a mid-project poster presentation and final journal paper using data analysis software, generating figures and/or tables, etc., and using appropriate referencing style. Students will be able to build upon and apply their experiences of using software to produce an effective individual project. 

Global and Cultural Responsibilities: students will be able to become members of the supervisor’s research team, which will expose them to staff and PhD student researchers from around the globe and their personal and professional experiences. Students will learn to communicate their ideas with both technical and non-technical audiences. Students should consider the ethical aspects of their projects. 

Sustainability: Depending on the project type, students may consider aspects of sustainability in an engineering content and the UN’s Sustainability Development goals in their project planning and delivery.  

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Students’ skills will be enhanced through demonstration of risk identification and minimisation to ensure as successful a project as possible as judged by the project objectives. Students will have an opportunity to reflect on the progress of the project via meetings with their supervisor and the associated feedback. Students may face challenges as the projects progress and they need to demonstrate the ability to adapt the project to overcome these challenges.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Mechanical Engineering MEng(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Biomedical Engineering MEng(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Automotive Engineering MEng(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Aerospace Engineering MEng(YEAR LONG) Year-long Optional 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.