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Unit information: Research Project in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Research Project
Unit code EENGM8000
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Cryan
Open unit status Not open

Satisfactory completion of the taught section of the course



School/department Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


Research projects normally involve an extended investigation into the application of a novel component or technique, and they offer the opportunity for an in-depth study of a specialised subject. Each project is carried out under the supervision of a member of staff. Importance is given to the planning of the work programme, the setting and achievement of objectives, the costing of designs where appropriate, and the presentation of the results of the work.


The precise content of a project will vary between individual students and supervisors. However, the work to be performed will, in general, not be repeating known work or techniques, other than where a new application is being explored. In this way the student will be encountering new challenges and is encouraged to seek and propose his or her own solutions to these challenges and hence demonstrate individual ability. The project will involve the design of either an item of hardware, or a piece of software and includes the documenting of the work in the form of a thesis at the end of the project.

Intended learning outcomes

Project Phase

The project contains a research or investigative element which allows you to demonstrate individual talent and intellectual ability. It attempts to mirror a research and/or development project of the type you might encounter upon graduation and as such contains elements of project planning and budgetary control. The project report also provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate report structuring and writing skills.

Teaching details

Teaching takes place over two Semesters, the first lasting for weeks 1-12 and the second for weeks 13-24. Exams normally commence in week 25 and last for approximately three weeks. The remainder of the programme is then dedicated to full-time work on the research project.

Taught phase

The taught units and their associated assessments (including examinations) occur in the first 35 weeks and the research project runs full-time during the latter 15 weeks of the programme. The taught material is presented over 2 Semesters, each 12 weeks in duration; excluding the Christmas and Easter vacations of 8 weeks in total. Further, the examinations are held May/June each year over a 3 week period. During the second Semester you will commence the background reading phase of your research project. The taught material is arranged in units extending over a 12-week period (a Semester), typically with 2 lectures per week, each of 50 minutes duration.

The Laboratory

Laboratory activities are scheduled for two afternoons a week during the first two terms, although you may not have labs scheduled in all sessions. Predominantly, these will take place in the MSc Laboratory. Precise details of activities and a laboratory timetable will be provided separately by the Programme Tutor and will also be available online at:

Assessment Details

Taught Phase

The assessment of this material is via a combination of continuous assessment (usually laboratory assignments) and formal examination.

Laboratory work

At various times throughout the year you will be asked to write about an aspect of your laboratory. Unless otherwise instructed, you will be asked to submit this either as a Technical Note (TN) or as a Full Report (FR). In either case the report should be written on an individual basis even if the lab was performed in groups.

A TN is briefer than an FR: you should refer to The Guidelines on Writing Technical Reports (Section 2.4) for more information on their structure and content.

As an approximate guide, we suggest that a TN should be 1000 words plus diagrams etc., whereas a FR should be 3000 words plus diagrams etc. Our time calculations are based on you spending (at most) 12 hours writing a TN and (at most) 24 hours writing a FR.

Where appropriate, your laboratory notebook will also be inspected from time to time by a member of staff or a demonstrator. Coursework or laboratory assessments will normally contribute 10-20% of the total unit assessment (see unit breakdown information on the MSc website for specific unit details):

Project phase assessment

  • Poster presentation
  • Final project thesis

Poster presentation

This will be performed by two members of staff who will undertake the assessment separately. They will first read through your poster and then ask you a number of questions relating to the work described. You will be given the opportunity to present any demonstrations you have prepared.

Reading and References

There are 12 branch libraries covering different disciplines and members of the University may use any of them. However, the Queen’s Building Library has the most relevant collections for the Electrical & Electronic Engineering students.

There are many information resources available to Electrical & Electronic Engineers. Library Services provides access to the most important ones via our resource gateway, MetaLib.

Barrass, R., Scientists Must Write, Science Paperbacks, 1978 Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers: editorial house style Kirkman, J., Good Style for Scientific and Engineering Writing, Pitman, 1992 University of Wales MSc. Student Handbook Van Emden, J., Handbook of Writing for Engineers, McMillan, 1990