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Unit information: Research Skills in 2020/21

Unit name Research Skills
Unit code CENGM0070
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Claire Gronow
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Civil Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


The aim of this Unit is to prepare students for their research project as well as providing a broader grounding in preparing for, conducting and reporting on research projects and investigations that students can apply in either a research or professional setting after graduation. Students will be provided with an overview of basic research paradigms and concepts such as reliability and validity. Students will then be guided through the process of understanding the broader context of their research, presenting a focussed research question, developing a suitable approach to answer the question and identifying suitable literature, reports and data to support the research. The expectations for MSc level research will be laid out and students made aware of marking criteria for the dissertation.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of this module, the successful student will be able to:

  • Identify, read, interpret and critique academic and technical literature
  • Define a research question within a broader problem context and design a research approach that will provide a valid and reliable response to that question
  • Be able to plan and conduct a research project and prepare a typical research report.

Teaching details

Teaching will be through a combination of lectures and interactive sessions

Assessment Details

A single summative assessment in the form of a research proposal (100%)

Reading and References

Creme, Phyllis, and Mary R. Lea. Writing At University : A Guide For Students, McGraw-Hill Education, 2008. ProQuest Ebook Central,

Gruba, P., & Zobel, J. (2017). How to write your first thesis. Springer.

(Both references are available as e books from UoB library)