The module descriptors for this programme can be found below.

Composites: Major Individual Research Project

Module aims

Students gain experience of carrying out research and developing knowledge in a particular aspect of Composites Technology.

Learning outcomes

The projects include all or some elements of theory, computation and experiment. The students should, as appropriate to the project chosen, be able to:

1. Plan and manage work over four months.

2. Take personal responsibility for their work.

3. Meet deadlines and work within other externally defined constraints.

4. Tackle open-ended research work and apply theoretical knowledge to practical situations.

5. Obtain and process information from a wide range of sources and analyse it critically. Use scientific literature effectively.

6. Organize self-directed study and autonomous learning.

7. Select and use laboratory instrumentation appropriately and correctly and work safely in laboratory and workshop environments.

8. Select and use appropriate computational tools for analysis and design.

9. Develop oral and written communication skills and communicate the outcomes of the project work effectively and accurately.

10. Present technical information in various forms: report, oral presentation and progress meetings.

11. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the subject area of the project.

12. Show evidence of critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Module syllabus

A wide range of topics are offered as projects by both internal staff at the college and external industry professionals; these are listed in the Project Topics List. The project constitutes a piece of individual research that for full-time students is a continuous activity from the completion of the Summer term exams (from mid-May) to the end of the course (mid- September). The project must include some element of originality. The results from the study must be set in context against published work (i.e. there must be a literature survey).



Teaching methods

As soon as projects have been allocated the student and the supervisor(s) (internal and external in the case of an external project) should discuss the details of the work.

The external supervisor will normally participate in the discussion via emails and telephone conversations. Following this discussion the student must prepare a ‘Work Plan’. This document should outline the student’s programme of work, on a week-by-week basis, for the project period. (This plan must include time for writing up the final report and preparation of the oral presentation.) The Work Plan will normally be submitted to the supervisor(s) for discussion, amendment and approval before the end of March. Throughout the period of the project the students will have regular meetings with the supervisor(s) to discuss progress.


This project is assessed as follows:

·         Dissertation/Project Report: 66.66%

·         Oral Presentation: 11.11%

·         Carrying-out of the Project: 22.22%

The project report must present the results of their research project in a report of no more than 40 pages to include figures and references (Arial Size 11 or other equivalent font size; 1.5 line spacing, single-sided). Appendices are not included in such limit but the markers are not obliged to read beyond the 40 pages and may ignore.

The oral presentation is weighted as follows:

·         Quality of viewfoils: 30%

·         Clarity of presentation: 30%

·         Technical content: 30%

·         Ability to answer questions: 10%

The presentation should last exactly 20 minutes plus 5 minutes for questions. Please note that 2 marks are deducted for every minute over or under to a maximum of 10 marks (+/-1 minute: no deductions)