MEEN40560 Research Skills and Techniques

Academic Year 2024/2025

This module is designed to equip Masters students with skills, techniques and knowledge to underpin their research projects in Engineering. The module differs significantly from most offerings in the Masters of Engineering (ME) programmes in that there is no end-of-trimester exam; instead student progress is continuously assessed. Engagement is via mix of class lectures and open discussions, on-line tutorials, and specific assignments designed to increase student experience in research-focused activities. Postgraduate student research projects, such as those on the ME programmes, should generate new knowledge and take the subject matter of interest beyond the state-of-the-art. The sources and quality of scientific and technical literature will be studied, and critical review of papers will be carried out. Writing papers – for both journals and conferences – will be considered, along with how to present a paper at a conference. Careful design of experiments is important in engineering research, and optimisation of experimental studies will be covered. Following such experiments, the resulting data may have statistical scatter, and correct interpretation of these is vital. Finally, the potential commercial value of the results of research projects will be studied, and the pathway to patents will be explored. Topics covered include the important areas of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), in Professional Practice, Dignity and Respect, Inclusive Design, Ai and Data Science, Creative Technology Innovation, Analytics and the ethical usage of technology and data, Teamwork and Communication.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module the students should be able to:
- Find papers relevant to their research projects, and determine their quality
- Critically analyse the published literature in a field of interest or particular relevance
- Write technical reviews in a clear and concise style, using recognised citation formats
- Identify potential outlets for publishing the results of their research
- Present the findings of a project to peers at a conference-style meeting or symposium
- Identify and address ethical problems in R&D
- Design a series of experiments for optimum return on effort and cost
- Analyse and report experimental data in a professional manner
- Conduct a review of patented technology in their area of interest
- Take appropriate steps to protect valuable intellectual property

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This course is evaluated on the basis of continuous assessment. Learning activities include: active/task-based learning; peer and group work; lectures; critical writing; reflective learning; enquiry & problem-based learning; case-based learning; student presentations, etc. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Research Skills and Techniques (EEME40420)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment(Including Essay): Assignment 1: 1. Assignment 1: Critical Review of Journal Paper (reviewed by subject specialists & second marked) (20% of overall grade) Week 4 Standard conversion grade scale 40% Yes


Assignment(Including Essay): Assignment 2. Technical Communications Assignment (20%) Week 5 Standard conversion grade scale 40% Yes


Assignment(Including Essay): Assignment 3: Experimental Design and Analysis - (20%) Week 8 Standard conversion grade scale 40% Yes


Assignment(Including Essay): Assignment 4: Horizon Scan - Ethics, SDGS, Inclusive Design and IP/Patents: (10%) Week 10 Standard conversion grade scale 40% Yes


Assignment(Including Essay): Assignment 5: State of the Art Review (to be marked by supervisors & subject specialist markers (30%) Week 12 Standard conversion grade scale 40% Yes



Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

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Name Role
Mr Barry Brophy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Lizbeth Goodman Lecturer / Co-Lecturer