Skip to main content

Unit information: Engineering Research Skills in 2017/18

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 Engineering Research Skills
Unit code EENGM0004
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Yu
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit is designed to introduce the fundamental skills that you will need to embark on your MSc project. Syllabus will include: Choosing a project: project styles and research methodologies; fitting a project to your own interests, ambitions and capabilities; some characteristics of excellent projects. Preparing a project synopsis: aims and objectives; deliverables; added value. Finding relevant literature: available resources and tools; primary and secondary sources; how to make the most of the University Library. Reading research papers: deciding which papers to read; levels of reading; taking notes, making summaries; collecting bibliographic metadata. Writing research papers: planning the structure of your paper; framing the question; writing styles; tools and resources; citing and referencing; avoiding plagiarism; proofreading and corrections. Evaluating project outcomes: critical analysis; scope and limitations; evaluation styles: experimental, analytical, unit-testing, user analysis. Planning your Summer project: workplan, tasks, milestones and deliverables; how to make a workplan specific to your project; risk analysis and contingency planning; how to leave enough time for writing your report.

Intended learning outcomes

Your Research Review will be marked as to whether it satisfies the following criteria: You should demonstrate that you understand the aims and objectives of your Individual Project.

You should show an ability to research and collate information.

You should show an ability to digest and critique existing literature.

You should clearly explain where or why your Individual Project will add value.

You should demonstrate an ability to structure and write a comprehensive scientific report.

Teaching details

Although the majority of the time allocated for this unit is intended for independent study and for you to liaise with your project supervisor you must attend the lectures on researching and report writing. These are usually given as a set of lectures during the Spring term. There will be around 10 lectures covering aspects such as:  Types and styles of projects. What makes a good project?  How to write.  How to use references.  How your final thesis should be structured and presented.  How to avoid plagiarism.  Evaluation and metrics and how to measure performance

Assessment Details

Submission of a Research Review document (95%). This will contain a detailed literature survey, aims for the project and detailed project plan.

Interim report and viva (5%). Here the student submit a short report and basic project plan and is interviewed by an independent academic and the supervisor and needs to show that they have a basica understandin of the research project and have thought about the project plan and discussed it with their project supervisor.

Reading and References

The lecture handouts will contain pointers to relevant literature