Coursework information Proformas
Item Description Due Date
Coursework 1 (100% of module mark)
Written dissertation of 10000 – 15000 words and, in exceptional cases, a viva voce.
University hand in date.
Monday 20th August 2018
Coursework 2 (pass/fail)
Approval of Project proposal, including all relevant health and safety and ethical procedures
Proposal must be approved and ethical approval given BEFORE project data collection begins
Students must submit lab file with thesis including all consent forms and raw data etc. to ensure compliance with regulations
Masters level study At Masters level, study differs from undergraduate study in a number of ways:
Students must work independently
Students must rely heavily on PRIMARY sources of information, especially published research studies
Students must be able to critically analyse information
Students must be able to design and carry out research The 60 credit Project represents a third of your course credits and is a very important part of your course. The 20 credit Research Skills module is designed to help you to assess and develop appropriate learning skills for a science masters level course. It also helps you to develop your research design skills and takes you through the initial stages of planning your project. These 2 modules are therefore, closely interlinked. Much of the material covered in these modules will be familiar to you from your undergraduate studies, but we will be developing your higher level skills further.
Faculty of Health and Lifesciences
Module: M10BMS PROJECT/ DISSERTATION
Structure of the research skills and project modules TERM 1
Development of skills
Research skills CW 1 data analysis task
Project choices information in October
Specific projects assigned at end of term
Development of project proposals with supervisor
Submission of Research skills CW2 proposal
Submission of all ethics and safety forms for projects
Approval of all safety requirements for project TERM 3
Project data collection
Thesis write up
Thesis and lab file submission Students will carry out a research project under supervision for M10BMS.
In the first term students will attend a number of lead lectures which will cover topics such as literature searching and designing a research project. Full details of ethical procedures etc. will also be given.
Students will be assigned to a specific project and supervisor by the start of semester 2. During semester 2 they will also develop their project proposal, and then they will carry out their project in semester 3.
For the project students must obtain a pass for their project proposal and any ethics/ other requirements before they can proceed to data collection.
RELATIONSHIP WITH PROJECT SUPERVISOR What is a good working relationship between Project supervisor and Student? The following guidelines give an indication of the type of working relationship/code of conduct you can expect with your supervisor:
Meetings: 1. Students should arrange meetings with their supervisor on a regular basis (possibly once a week in the initial planning phase, then once a fortnight would be reasonable frequencies of contact time). 2. Meetings should be booked in advance by the student at a convenient time for the supervisor. 3. Meetings will generally be between 10 and 30 minutes long. Try to indicate to your supervisor the likely length of the meeting so that they can organise other bookings around yours. 4. Telephone calls are not substitutes for meetings and should only be used as a last resort to arrange meetings. Meetings should preferably be arranged via email or via visiting the supervisor’s office. 5. If for any reason you are unable to attend a meeting, then you should contact you supervisor well in advance to make alternative arrangements. 6. The ‘Project Supervision Log’ forms will be used at each meeting. Students should take note of the section ‘Action points before next meeting’ which outlines the things the student agrees to do before the next meeting with the supervisor. Students will generally be expected to have done one of the following before arranging a meeting with their supervisor, either: a. they have dealt with some/all of the action points identified at the last meeting.
OR b. they have identified problems that prevent them achieving the action points and have given some consideration to how the problems might be overcome. 7. Supervisors have many other roles to perform that are not related to project supervision. Therefore, do not expect supervisors to suddenly book you in for a meeting on the same day, in fact some time within the next week would be reasonable. Therefore, plan your meetings in advance!
Data collection and analysis: Students will not be allowed to start the data collection phase until they have a fully approved project proposal and have met all health and safety and ethics requirements.
Statistical Advice: 1. Your project supervisor should be able to advise you on the statistical analyses required by your project. 2. Do not make appointments to see other lecturers for statistical advice. You should know enough from previous Research Methods lectures and from reading statistical books to be able to just attend the statistics help sessions. 3. Please note that, ideally, you should plan the statistical testing before you start data collection. The design of your project will dictate the type of statistical test that will be most appropriate. If you consider statistics well in advance it will give you chance to learn and understand the best tests for the type of data you will collect.
Thesis Production: 1. Students should make sure they thoroughly read the ‘how to write a thesis’ information’. Your supervisor should not have to tell you the basic information that is contained in this. 2. Students may be able to get staff to read through drafts of their thesis if they produce it well in advance and give staff plenty of time to read it (it will also depend on the other commitments staff have at that time). However, students will need to agree the exact arrangement with individual staff. Some staff will prefer you to leave- drafts of the thesis for supervisors to read through in their own time, however, other supervisors may prefer to – read through parts of a draft during a meeting with the student to give verbal feedback. Ask your supervisor which system they would prefer. 3. If you want your supervisor to read something you must provide it as a print out- expecting staff to proof read text on the screen or print it out themselves is not reasonable. However, if you need help with stats/ graphs etc. it is usually best to bring both a print out and data on a disc with you. 4. Staff will only read through each section of the thesis once in detail. Further checks will only be used to quickly consider specific points of concern that the student has. 5. Drafts of the thesis should be produced well in advance of the project hand-in. It is not acceptable to expect your supervisor to read through drafts of your thesis in detail in the week in which your thesis is submitted (it merely demonstrates bad organisation and planning on your part). Also, you will not have enough time to make the corrections your supervisor suggests and get your thesis bound!
Overview of Relationship between Student and Supervisor:
Supervisor’s Responsibility Student’s Responsibility
Produce initial overview of project (used for project choices)
Produce ideas to improve/adapt project
Check and sign project supervision log of meetings with student
Organise regular meetings with supervisor – (see above) and fill in log
Advise student on suitability of their ideas
Prepare well for meetings with supervisor
Provide some ideas for initial literature sources
Find literature related to project
Advise on equipment suitability Organise subjects for the project
Give advice on write up (as above) Organise lab space/ equipment etc. for the project (via technicians), return all equipment promptly
Write up their project – show drafts to supervisor in good time
HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS Ethics forms: An ethics form or Ethics exemption form must be fully approved for all projects BEFORE any data collection can start. Details of how to complete these forms are in a separate document and will be available on Moodle you will also have a lecture and tutorial session that specifically addresses this area and will help guide you through the process. Key information needs to be given so that a sensible decision can be made on how safe your experiment will be. Think about this and discuss it with your supervisor. There are a number of scheduled sessions and tasks to assist you with this process. Your forms MUST be discussed, reviewed/ corrected and signed by your supervisor prior to submission to the ethics committee.
Risk assessment form: A risk assessment form details any risks associated with a procedure. It must be completed for ANY project. For taking blood samples from ear lobe and fingertip a standard form has been prepared – this must be printed and attached to your main risk assessment form if you are planning to take such samples. This is included as an example in additional information and is available to download on CUOnline. These forms MUST be reviewed/ corrected and discussed with and signed by your supervisor prior to submission to the BIOMOLECULAR SCIENCE TECHNICIANS. IF YOU ARE USING ANY KIT YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO BOOK IT BEFORE YOU HAVE ETHICAL CLEARANCE AND YOUR RISK ASSESSMENT IS SUBMITTED. You are strongly advised to keep your own copy of the submitted work. You will also need to submit these forms in your laboratory file.
PROJECTS INVOLVING HUMAN OR ANIMAL SUBJECTS
FORMS THAT MUST BE COMPLETED: Many of you may use human subjects in your projects – for physiological or biochemical measurements or to complete surveys/ questionnaires. Such studies may raise ethical problems relating to:
the confidentiality of data;
the potential risks involved. If your project involves human subjects you must complete:
a submission to the Research Ethics Committee (including a subject information sheet; see separate information);
a RISK ASSESSMENT form. In addition, your participants must submit a signed informed consent form. You will also need to complete a health questionnaire for each subject EVERY TIME they participate in the study (e.g. each of two visits). These forms are available in the sport science laboratories. If you are testing off-site make sure you take enough of them with you. These forms give information on:
subjects general state of health (long term illnesses/ injuries etc.)
how they feel TODAY- symptoms of a cold, minor injuries etc.
Anyone found testing subjects without the necessary forms will be made to stop immediately and may be prevented from carrying out further experimental work. You will not be able to start your lab work until these are approved, so please see your supervisor for a submission form and other details. You can download the forms from the module CU online site. Information on how to complete them is given in lectures and tutorials sessions as well as the Additional Information section of this document and in a separate ethics hand book.
DATA COLLECTION The biomolecular science laboratories and associated equipment are managed by Stuart Andrews The technical team will:
allocate you space in labs;
order and issue you with chemicals and other equipment. You must submit a list of equipment / chemicals / consumables required for your project to your project supervisor so that these can be ordered and ready for use during the project period (failure to do so may result in you being unable to commence your work as planned). You need to discuss this with your supervisor in advance so allow plenty of time for this.
You must: Keep the labs tidy and clean and clean balances, benches etc. after you have used them.
Turn up on time to use equipment/ rooms you have booked and fill in appropriate logbooks etc.
Let the technical team know ASAP if you find you will not use a room/ piece of equipment you have booked – so that it can be used by someone else. If you DO NOT do this you may be refused the chance to book another time-slot.
Return all equipment and unused items as soon as possible – don’t hoard! They may be needed by someone else – again failure to return equipment may mean you are not allowed to use it again.
Label everything you store in labs, fridges, freezers and coldrooms with its contents, your name and the date – unlabelled items will be thrown out.
Plan ahead – discuss with staff what you need in advance so items we don’t have can be ordered.
Put in a full working day – 09.00h to 17.00h – the technical staff start work at 08.30 and so don’t have too much sympathy with students who appear very late in the day and expect people to run round for them!
LABORATORY HEALTH AND SAFETY
Read the Safety Handbook previously issued to you and strictly follow all of the practices and procedures described in it. It covers both laboratory and field work arrangements. Sign in on the sheet provided when you arrive in the laboratory and when you leave. We need to know where you are. On each of the days that the laboratories are available for project work a member of staff will be on duty generally supervising from 09.00 to 17.00 hours and you must not work in the laboratory outside these times unless your supervisor has arranged appropriate supervision.
If you are carrying out data collection at other venues you must discuss the procedures etc. that you will use with your project supervisor first. They will check that what you propose is safe and ethical and that you are adequately trained/ experienced. You must not carry out any procedures without permission from your project supervisor as they are responsible for confirming that you are competent to carry out all the technical procedures involved in your project and have carried out the appropriate risk assessments. Your supervisor, the member of academic staff on daily lab supervision duty, and the technical staff, will not always be in the lab with you all of the time, particularly if you are working at remote locations, so safety critically depends on you achieving safe experimental procedures. Many projects include taking samples of blood or handling tubing etc. that is contaminated with saliva. Find out how to dispose of contaminated glassware, pipette tips gloves/ tissues, chemicals etc. and follow the correct procedures scrupulously at all times. In addition, prior to commencing any project requiring you to handle human blood samples YOU MUST attend a final health and safety session in the project period.
Be aware of others in the lab – do not leave vulnerable items near the edges of benches where they can be knocked over in crowded labs.
Report all hazardous spillages and breakages, including spillages of blood, at once to a member of staff.
Do not use any apparatus if you are not completely sure how it works. We would rather spend time showing you than have it broken, and you could injure yourself or one of your subjects.
Report all accidents/ illnesses to a member of staff who will call for assistance, first aid etc. as necessary. If you have an accident you must complete an Accident Report Form.
Complete a COSHH form for all reagents you use. The Technical staff will supply these and give advice on completing them. Completed COSHH forms must be included in your Work-file.
YOU MUST make sure that you have completed a risk assessment form for all the techniques you are to use in your work.
Coursework Instructions for Thesis
CONTENT OF THESIS See Section 2 below for details of what is expected in the thesis Note that word limit is 15,000 words (+10%)
What you need to submit
Electronic copy of your thesis via TurnItIn on Moodle
Lab file (see details below)
Marking scheme The marking criteria used for the THESIS are given at the end of this document – read these carefully GRADING CRITERIA These give you an OVERVIEW of what is expected for research work such as your project and proposal. They are designed to help you to understand what you need to do to get good marks in the thesis. These will be discussed in class. THESIS MARK SHEET The mark sheet used for your thesis is at the end of this document and you should look at this carefully and discuss with your supervisor if you have any questions about them. Each of the sections of the thesis has a number of marking criteria – and the relative weighting of these is shown on the form. You will also see that a ‘description’ of what we are looking for in each of the criteria is also given. Note that a lot of the criteria used for assessing your thesis are the same as for your proposal in M03BMS, so use the formative feedback from that module to help you with your project report.
Specific help available You will meet your supervisor regularly throughout the project period (see information above on relationship with your supervisor). You can speak to the module leader or your supervisor in a surgery session if you have any other specific queries.
Thesis and lab file submission procedure 2018-19 YOUR THESIS MUST BE SUBMITTED VIA TURNITIN Note if your electronic copy is submitted LATE, penalties will apply – see below You are strongly advised to submit your completed report or dissertation well in advance of the deadline.
Your lab file must be electronic and access must be granted to your supervisor, you will be given further guidance on the Turnitin submission. Normal penalties for late/ none submission apply-
work that is submitted late, without an extension or deferral having been granted, will receive a mark of ZERO (students MAY be eligible for a resit attempt next academic year)
work that is not submitted will be recorded as ABSENT – THIS MAY HAVE VERY SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES.
If you are unable hand in your coursework by the required deadline, and are eligible for an extension or deferral, you must contact the departmental office (RCG16) or your course director as soon as possible and BEFORE the date the work is due. NOTE THAT
It will take you longer than you think to produce your thesis.
pressure on the University computers/ printers is high towards the end of term.
Keep TWO back-up copies of your work. If the computer destroys one of them do not input the other until you are certain the problem is resolved or you could end up losing everything!
COMPUTER / I.T. PROBLEMS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTABLE MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES FOR LATE WORK UNLESS THERE HAS BEEN A UNIVERSITY WIDE PROBLEM WITH THE SYSTEM
PLAGIARISM Your work must be your own independent piece of work, not produced in collusion with a fellow student (i.e. your work should not be similar to any other students) nor plagiarized (copied) from a fellow student or a web site or a text book or any other information source. When referencing sources of information (books, journals or web pages) make sure you use the correct University Harvard referencing system.
By submission of your final work through TurnItIn, you warrant that all of the work is original and your own. Please note that Turnitin will compare your work with material from the Web and from submissions from other students. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU DO NOT CUT AND PASTE MATERIAL FROM THE WEB OR OTHER SOURCES, ALWAYS PUT THE MATERIAL INTO YOUR OWN WORDS. Penalties for work that is too long If your work is more than 10% over the word limit then 10% of your mark will be removed as a penalty. Your limit is 15,000 words – so you will be penalised if it is more than 16,500 words long Additional information
1. Teaching Staff Dr Jamie Beddow firstname.lastname@example.org 2. Date Handed Out May 2018
3. Date Marked Work will be Returned
Thesis marks will be available approximately 3 weeks after submission – this is to allow time for double marking and moderation
4. Return of Coursework Comments and marks will be available via Grademark on-line Feedback on Coursework Student will receive the following: Individual written comments will be provided using Grademark.
A marking rubric indicating the overall quality of the work.
General comments will be given to students
6. Learning Outcomes
The intended learning outcomes are that, on completion of the module, students should be able to:
1. Use relevant literature to design and refine appropriate methods to answer a research question/ deliver a support programme.
2. Carry out their experiment and demonstrate: a) a high level of technical skill and record keeping; b) awareness of health and safety issues; c) appropriate interaction with other students staff and clients; d) ability to work independently and demonstrate good time management
3. Analyze and present experimental results in a clear, critical and meaningful way
4. Discuss their data in the light of relevant literature, both in a written report and upon questioning.
The thesis will assess all learning outcomes.
GRADING CRITERIA FOR MSc PROJECTS
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences Department of Biomolecular and Sport Sciences
RESEARCH PROJECT GRADING CRITERIA
The criteria below will be used to assess your project coursework. You should read through the whole document to gain an appreciation of the level of performance required to achieve the associated grade. These criteria and assessment sheets will be discussed with you during a project development session. 1st (70 – 100) General: High degree of analytic capability and originality of thought;
unmistakably demonstrated ability to carry out research at a higher level. Student works effectively with supervisor but shows high degree in independent development of project. A project in the upper part of this range will exemplify the qualities below to a very high degree, and have no errors of any consequence, and maybe be publishable at the higher end.
Design: Full relevant literature reviewed critically and in depth;
research question/hypothesis clearly outlined and related to current state of knowledge; subsidiary questions/hypotheses incorporated where appropriate; appropriate and comprehensive research design; rationale for methodology fully discussed; links between method and theory firmly established; full awareness of ethical implications; provision made for all major sources of bias, both obvious and potential; sampling appropriate and theoretically informed; efforts made to ensure external validity of findings (where appropriate).
Execution: Validation of instruments (e.g. piloting, calibration) carried out where appropriate;
evidence of adaptability in the light of changing information; methodical approach; optimum and economical use of resources; evidence of high degree of effort; all procedures clearly described, such as to allow full replication (where appropriate).
Analysis: Comprehensive and profound;
imaginative and critical interpretation of data; discussion related fully to existing knowledge and initial research question/hypothesis;
data from various sources synthesised to construct an overall picture (where appropriate); correct choice and mastery of any statistical techniques used; full consideration of both confirmatory and disconfirmatory data; thoughtful and imaginative consideration of practical implications of findings and ideas for further investigation; full consideration of shortcomings and limitations of present study; discussion of any ethical implications.
Presentation: Appropriate subdivision of text into sections;
Excellent use of scientific English text clear and succinct, with no ambiguity; consistent use of appropriate terminology; references, graphs, tables, figures (if used) of publishable quality; no inaccuracies of any significance;
generally an extremely high level of clarity. 2i (60 – 69) General: Demonstrates analytic capability and some originality of thought;
evidence of ability to pursue research at a higher level. Student works wells with supervisor and demonstrates good independent development of project. Has produced a thesis which
very competently addresses and presents work from the original experimental design but has not taken it to a higher level with respect to original input, analysis or informed interpretation.
Design: Comprehensive and critical literature review; clear research question/hypothesis; appropriate research design; methodology well justified; awareness of ethical implications; attention paid to sources of bias; appropriate sampling. Execution: Efficient and economical; good and economical use of resources; evidence of high degree of effort; all procedures adequately described. Analysis: Thorough and interpretive; relevant findings adduced for all conclusions;
relevant discussion, related to existing knowledge and present research question/hypothesis; correct choice and good command of any statistical techniques used; full consideration of both confirmatory and disconfirmatory data; discussion of practical implications of findings and ideas for further investigation;
discussion of any shortcomings and limitations of the project; discussion of any ethical implications. Presentation: Appropriate subdivision of text into sections; Good use of scientific English
Neat and accurate throughout; references, graphs, tables, figures (if used) fully legible and accurate;
negligible errors; generally a high level of clarity. 2ii (50 – 59) General: A sound report, but lacking in depth and comprehensiveness;
evidence of analytic capability; student is working at MSc level. Student more dependant on supervisor for input and little independence. Has quite competently conducted original experimental design but quite limited in one or more aspects of the thesis.
Design: Adequate literature review, possibly lacking in discrimination; clear research question/hypothesis; research design generally appropriate; methodology justified; awareness of major ethical implications; some sources of bias possibly not catered for; appropriate sampling. Execution: Efficient and economical; good use of resources; evidence of effort; most procedures adequately described. Analysis: Valid discussion covering most relevant factors; relevant findings adduced for most conclusions;
relevant discussion, related to existing knowledge and present research question/hypothesis;
generally sound choice and use of any statistical techniques employed; full consideration of confirmatory but possibly insufficient attention to disconfirmatory data; discussion of practical implications of findings and ideas for further
investigation; discussion of any shortcomings and limitations of the project; ethical implications possibly not discussed. Presentation: Appropriate subdivision of text into sections; Reasonable use of scientific English
reasonable standard of neatness and accuracy;
references, graphs, tables, figures (if used) for the most part legible and free from errors; generally a reasonable level of clarity. 3 (40 – 49) General: A limited, incomplete report, lacking in originality and falling short of original experimental
plans; errors of both commission and omission; student has only just met requirements for working at MSc level. Student dependant on supervisor for considerable input into project.
Design: Incomplete literature review, probably not wholly relevant; research question/hypothesis unclear or unspecified; research design inappropriate in some respects; methodology not fully justified; insufficient awareness of ethical implications; sources of bias ignored or inadequately addressed; possibly inappropriate sampling. Execution: Reasonably efficient; poor or uneconomical use of resources; little evidence of real effort; some procedures adequately described. Analysis: Discussion incomplete and possibly superficial; some unsubstantiated or inappropriate conclusions; discussion liable to irrelevancies;
limited skill in choice and use of statistical techniques employed; lacking in discussion of practical implications of findings and ideas for further investigation;
little evidence of ability to weigh conflicting or inconsistent data; shortcomings of the project possibly not addressed; ethical implications possibly ignored. Presentation: Poor level of neatness and accuracy;
Poor scientific English references, graphs, tables, figures (if used) inaccurate, incomplete or difficult to interpret;
some parts of the report unclear. FAIL (10, 25, 35). Report falls markedly short of a significant number of the suggested criteria for a third class degree (especially in respect of those which are central to the research process), to an extent that suggests that the student has a negligible grasp of the basic principles of research and is not working at MSc level. Demonstrates little knowledge of relevant material and no original research. Treatment of topic is superficial and knowledge of key material is minimal. Has failed to engage with project presented in proposal and has obvious lack of understanding of methodologies and ability to conduct research work. Fails to meet with supervisor or does not even develop ideas discussed with supervisor. Bad Fail (10%). Show no evidence that material is understood, data collection could not be done independently, no or totally incorrect analysis of data and very little data produced. Results and write up not discussed with supervisor at all. No interpretation or referencing. General use of English very poor. Clear Fail (25%). Thesis makes some sense but extensive confusion, very poorly written. Data produced not understood and incorrect data analysis. No use of literature in discussion which is mostly repeat of results description. General English weak. Marginal Fail (35%). Some coherence and structure, content treated superficially, literature used but not correctly, data analysis attempted but performed incorrectly and inappropriately presented. Poor Scientific English.
THESIS MARKS GRID AND INDICATION OF KEY POINTS NEEDED FOR EACH OF THE CRITERIA You should discuss these with your project supervisor
THESIS MARKS GRID
Introduction 20% of marks zero 10% 25% 35% 45% 55% 65% 75% 85% 100%
abstract 0 0.5 1.3 1.8 2.3 2.8 3.3 3.8 4.3 5
scope of content 0 0.2 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7 2
scientific terminology and content
correct and clear 0 0.3 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.6 3
use of literature 0 0.5 1.3 1.8 2.3 2.8 3.3 3.8 4.3 5
aims and hypothesis 0 0.5 1.3 1.8 2.3 2.8 3.3 3.8 4.3 5
Methods 10% zero 10% 25% 35% 45% 55% 65% 75% 85% 100%
description of methods 0 0.6 1.5 2.1 2.7 3.3 3.9 4.5 5.1 6
appropriatness of design 0 0.2 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7 2
safety and ethics considerations 0 0.2 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.5 1.7 2
Results 25% zero 10% 25% 35% 45% 55% 65% 75% 85% 100%
validation and quality control 0 0.5 1.3 1.8 2.3 2.8 3.3 3.8 4.3 5
data analysis- including stats 0 0.7 1.8 2.5 3.2 3.9 4.6 5.3 6.0 7
data presentation 0 0.6 1.5 2.1 2.7 3.3 3.9 4.5 5.1 6
description of data 0 0.7 1.8 2.5 3.2 3.9 4.6 5.3 6.0 7
Discussion 35% zero 10% 25% 35% 45% 55% 65% 75% 85% 100%
own results interpreted and
applications considered 0 1.4 3.5 4.9 6.3 7.7 9.1 10.5 11.9 14
use of literature in discussion 0 1.4 3.5 4.9 6.3 7.7 9.1 10.5 11.9 14
limitations discussed 0 0.7 1.8 2.5 3.2 3.9 4.6 5.3 6.0 7
Presentation 10% zero 10% 25% 35% 45% 55% 65% 75% 85% 100%
general neatness and layout 0 0.3 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.6 3
spelling and grammar 0 0.3 0.8 1.1 1.4 1.7 2.0 2.3 2.6 3
ref list and in text-citations 0 0.4 1.0 1.4 1.8 2.2 2.6 3.0 3.4 4
Intro 20% of marks MARKS DESCRIPTION
Abstract 5 should be clear, concise and include research question, very brief methods, key results/ outcomes and brief conclusion
scope of content 2 should cover all key areas taking into account word limit and how much literature is available in the area
scientific terminology and content correct and clear 3
clarity of explanations, also correct explanations and use of scientific terminology etc.
use of literature 5 information from your different literature sources should be integrated to give a clear picture of the area
aims and hypothesis 5 must be clear, appropriate and in correct format
description of methods 6
should be concise but give sufficient detail for method to be reproduced by a peer. Should include details of equipment and reagents and/ or any questionnaires etc. used. MUST include description of analysis of data including any statistics.
appropriateness of design 2 is the research design appropriately ambitious and without avoidable flaws
safety and ethics considerations 2 brief mention must be made of ethics and health and safety procedures
validation and quality control 5
Should include any pilot studies, calibration, controls and other validation and quality control measures (note some of this information may be in methods rather than results section- discuss with your supervisor where best to place it)
data analysis- including stats 7 data should be analysed appropriately
data presentation 6 use of graphs, tables etc. to present the findings
description of data 7 must be clear, concise text describing the results you have found (do not discuss or explain the results at this point)
own results interpreted and applications considered 14
Should be extensive consideration and interpretation of the results. Must include significance and application of the results in wider context. Should not just be a description of the findings (which should be in the results).
use of literature in discussion 14
Results should be discussed with respect to the relevant literature. Should not simply be a restating of the literature given in the introduction, but rather relating the literature to specific aspects of the results.
limitations discussed 7
should be short consideration of the KEY limitations with suggestions for how these could be overcome, should not simply be a long list of possible limitations.
general neatness and layout 3 correct sections, use of page numbers, general layout etc.
spelling and grammar 3
ref list and in text-citations 4 must use University Harvard system for these
COURSEWORK 2- PASS/ FAIL CONFIRMATION OF COMPLIANCE WITH ALL HEALTH AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS:
PROPOSAL, ETHICS AND RISK ASSESSMENT APPROVAL- must be in place before data collection starts
Ethics forms An ethics form or Ethics exemption form must be fully approved for all projects BEFORE any data collection can start Risk assessment form A risk assessment form must be approved before any data collection starts.
Project proposals are completed as part of module M03BMS and must be approved before any data collection starts.
LAB FILE REQUIREMENTS- submitted with thesis
Students are required to submit a lab file at the same time as their thesis in order to demonstrate:
That they have complied with all health and safety/ ethics requirements
That their data are genuine
You may in some cases submit some of the material needed in electronic format by agreement with your supervisor in advance
Student must submit all of the following if they apply to their project
Do not write everything up neatly- but do make sure that material is appropriately organised and labelled etc.
Raw data- ALL of this, not just examples – so we can confirm that all data is genuine Processed data
Lab book/ Diary with clear justification of at least 200 hours spent on practical work and data analysis
Health and safety/ ethics documens o Approved ethics and risk assessment forms o consent form for each subject
signed health screen forms for each subject for each time they were tested
IF YOU DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR LAB FILE ON TIME YOU WILL FAIL TO MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CW2 AND WILL FAIL THE MODULE
SECTION TWO – GENERAL INFORMATION ON PRESENTATION ETC.
2.1 Purpose of the thesis The thesis is designed to assess learning outcome 1, 3 and 4 (see module guide)
1. Use relevant literature to design and refine appropriate methods to answer a research question/ deliver a support programme.
3. Analyse and present experimental results in a clear, critical and meaningful way. 4. Discuss their data in the light of relevant literature, both in a written report and in a seminar presentation.
2.2 General points on format etc. Thesis:
Word processed – graphs drawn using computer programmes;
Margins not less than 25mm;
Text double-spaced between the lines;
Written using 12 point type;
Written within the assigned word limit;
Colour MAY be used for graphs/ diagrams etc. note – colour must not be used for text
2.3 Tenses You must write all sections in the past tense, third person e.g.
VO2 max was measured (NOT I measured VO2 max)
It has been shown that aerobic capacity is a predictor of performance
2.4 References You must use the ‘COVENTRY UNIVERSITY HARVARD REFERENCING STYLE’ format. Details of this are in the ‘requirements for written work in sport and exercise science’ issued to you at the start of the academic year and available on Moodle. They are also on the University site for the Centre for Academic Writing.
2.5 Figures and tables Anything that isn’t a table is a FIGURE – do not use terms like picture 1, diagram 1, graph 1 etc. All figures and tables must have:
a title and number;
a legend if necessary to explain what they contain; o note – table numbers and titles go above the table, but figure numbers, titles and legends go below the
a source (i.e. the citation of the source) unless you produced them yourself from your own data. Make sure any illustrations you use from books, papers the WEB etc.:
are a suitable size;
are annotated if necessary to show key points;
have an acknowledged source (or you will be accused of plagarism).
2.6 Numbering systems Most scientific documents adopt a number based system for headings etc. as used in this document and you should do so for your thesis You can also use this system for numbering figures and tables i.e. if your results chapter is chapter 4, then your figures can be Figure 4.1, 4.2 etc. and your tables can be Table 4.1, 4.2 etc.
SECTION THREE – CONTENT OF SPECIFIC SECTIONS 3.1 Title page Gives the title, the name of the author and the following statement: “A report presented in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, towards the degree of Masters of Science in ………, August 2014” You should agree your title with your supervisor in good time. Having a title that has spelling mistakes or doesn’t make sense does not make a good first impression.
3.2 Contents Lists all chapters and subheadings. Should also include list of figures and tables. This should be set out neatly and include page numbers.
3.3 Abstract Should fit on one page – about 300 words maximum. As with abstracts for papers should present key points from your thesis – including introduction, methods, key results and key conclusions
3.4 Introduction Tells the reader the background information they need to understand your project. Starts with fairly basic information (e.g. from text books), but then focusses in on the key details (e.g. from peer-reviewed journal papers). Includes relevant literature:
to back up your arguments;
to justify the methodology you have chosen. Remember that you are trying to tell the reader the key points. Make sure these are CLEARLY made. Include sentences that summarise the key points at the end of each section. Do not just ‘list’ the information for each study you have read – instead integrate the key critical information you have identified into your writing
3.5 Aims, objectives and hypothesis You should have learnt how to set these out when you did your project proposal. The handbook gives details on how to do this successfully. You should refer back to these in your conclusions and state if your aims/ objectives were met and if the results supported your hypotheses.
3.6 Materials and methods Do NOT have a separate list of equipment/ materials – this information is integrated into the methods. You must give sufficient details for someone else to replicate the experiment:
exact make/ model of any machines used;
details of make/ company for chemicals etc.;
dosages for any food/ drink etc.;
number of times the experiment was repeated. You must give relevant information about any subjects, if used, too – e.g. age, how recruited etc. Use subheadings for clarity. Put methods in a sensible order – don’t talk about analysing blood samples before you have explained where the samples came from.
You must also include information in the methods on how raw data was processed
state software used for calculations (e.g. excel)
state software used and exact tests used for any stats (e.g. excel, SPSS)
3.7 Results Remember that subject confidentiality and data protection are very important. You must NEVER present information that allows an individual to be identified (this includes using initials). Results figures and tables Make sure all graphs:
have title and figure number;
have short legend that allows the content to be understood without having to read the text of the results;
fully labelled including; o axes with units indicated; o legend if needed;
suitable size (usually about half a page, but more complex graphs may need to be larger);
suitable symbols/ colours chosen – try and keep these consistent; o e.g. always have placebo as squares and treatment as circles;
have fitted lines fitted if appropriate;
annotated if necessary; o to indicate key points you want to draw attention to; o to show statistically significant results.
Make sure all tables:
have title and table number;
have short legend that allows the content to be understood without having to read the text of the results;
clearly labelled columns and rows;
try and keep columns / rows etc. in the same order if several tables have similar data in them;
have units clearly indicated for all data;
have appropriate number of decimal places (see below);
show data in the form of means standard deviations (with number of values indicated). It is not usually necessary to show data for each individual subject/ replicate. (Where this is needed for some reason you should put it in an appendix).
Decimal places You must not claim a degree of precision for your data that you cannot justify. The number of decimal places should be the same number as the original measurement: If heart rate measured as 66, 72, 78, 67 then mean should be , 71 NOT 70.75 Your graphs must not be hand drawn – they must be produced using a suitable computer programme such as excel. Specific help sessions will be available to help you with any queries and you must attend these if you have problems. Do not simply accept the styles of lines/ colours etc. that excel automatically selects – instead you should change the format if necessary. Make sure your tables and figures are large enough to be seen clearly. Usually 10-12 point font size for tables. Size of graphs depends on how much information they contain – discuss this with your supervisor. It is often useful to include results of statistical tests on figures/ in tables – usually by using an asterix (*) to indicate those results that are statistically significant. Make sure that if you do this on graphs/ tables with several groups or comparisons between groups and between time points that it is clear EXACTLY what the tests refer to (i.e. what is being compared with what). Try and stick to the same symbols in tables and figures (e.g. * = P<0.05, ** = P<0.01). For correlation/ regression r, r
2 and P values are usually given.
You should think carefully about the best way to display your data in graphs and tables. Look at journal articles that discuss similar experiments for ideas and talk in detail to your supervisor. Putting time on an axis can be problematic. See the document on how to produce different types of graphs in Excel on the course Moodle site.
Bar graphs and line graphs will usually also show means standard deviation. (There is a document on the course Moodle site that shows you how to add error bars to excel graphs.)
If you do need to show data for each subject it should be done as shown in Fig 1. Note that graphs should NOT be plotted as in Fig 1 … with ‘subject number’ along the bottom axis. For scatter graphs to show correlations/ regressions you plot individual data (see Fig 2).
Figure 1: One repetition max values for leg press and bench pull exercises.
Data shown as mean SD (n=6 for each group, * P<0.05, ** P<0.01).
Figure 2: The relationship between Wingate test maximum power and 2000m time trial.
Results text The text in the results section should guide the reader through the key points of your findings, clearly indicating in which figures and tables the information can be found.
0 7 :3 0 .0
0 7 :4 5 .0
0 8 :0 0 .0
0 8 :1 5 .0
0 8 :3 0 .0
0 8 :4 5 .0
0 9 :0 0 .0
2 5 0 2 7 5 3 0 0 3 2 5 3 5 0 3 7 5 4 0 0 4 2 5 4 5 0 4 7 5 5 0 0 5 2 5 5 5 0 5 7 5 6 0 0 6 2 5 6 5 0
m a x p o w e r (w a tts )
r = 0 .8 8
P < 0 .0 0 1
1 R E P M A X D A T A
1 0 0
1 5 0
2 0 0
2 5 0
L E G P R E S S B E N C H P U L L
M E N
W O M E N A
W O M E N B
Information on statistical test results should also be incorporated into the text. It is often useful when talking about changes etc. to give an idea of how large they are as a percentage. Saying that power went up by 25 watts won’t mean much to your reader, whereas an indication if the change was 1% or 50% will help them see how important this is. Usually you will be talking about mean data and relationships etc. rather than talking about individual subjects, although occasionally you may need to comment briefly on someone whose results are markedly different from the others. Remember to comment on baseline data. If you have two groups who are supposed to be the same you will need to comment on this. e.g.
The glucose (G) treatment resulted in a 15% higher resting blood glucose level compared to placebo (P) before exercise started (P<0.01; Table 3.1; Figure 3.2). Blood glucose level remained higher at all time points in G (Figure 3.2) but the difference declined with time and was no longer statistically significant after 30 minutes of exercise.
Five of the six subjects produced a higher power output when treated with caffeine, with the magnitude of the increase ranging from 5 to 20% (See Appendix 1). However, one subject showed a 20% decrease in power compared to the placebo trial.
Prior to starting training there was no significant difference in mean power output between the two groups in the Wingate test (Table 1). However, the trained group had a significantly higher body mass than the untrained group (Table 1; P<0.05).
Don’t be tempted to interpret your data in the results section. You only need to present your data in the results section; any interpretation of what it means must be kept for the discussion section.
3.9 Discussion This should be a discussion of YOUR RESULTS, not just a repeat of what the key results were.
The discussion must include:
an explanation of WHY you got these results;
a comparison with results reported in the literature; o are your results the same / different? o why?
An explanation of the application of your work; o how would the results be used?
To write the discussion refer back to the aims/ objectives and see if you have met these. Also did your data support your hypothesis? (NOTE you did not PROVE your hypothesis). Remember you are trying to make a set of key points in a logical order and using the literature and your own data to back these up. Bring key points to the attention of the reader by referring them back to the appropriate figures and tables again. e.g.
In this study the glucose ingestion resulted in a 10% increase in power output during treadmill exercise (Fig 4, Table 3). However similar treatment regimes have produced much larger improvements of over 40% in cycling (Bloggs et al., 1993) and swimming (Smith and Jones 2001). One possible reason for this difference is …..
Some of the key limitations should also be mentioned in the discussion.
3.10 Conclusions This should be a brief summary of the key outcomes of your findings. Often you can refer back to the Aims section.
3.11 Limitations and suggestions for further work Highlight the limitations to the study, which should be covered in detail. Make sure you make it clear which were the MOST IMPORTANT limitations. Try to give suggestions for how they could be overcome too. If some limitations were discussed in detail in the discussion mention them briefly here and refer to the relevant section in the discussion. In the further work sections give ideas for what you would do if you were to continue the work.
3.12 References See ‘guide to written work in sport and exercise science’ for how to set out references correctly (Journal of Sport Science format).
3.13 Appendices You can include information such as raw data, copy of the questionnaire used etc. You need to include anything that is necessary in order for the second marker to fully understand the methods etc. Discuss with your supervisor if there is anything you need to put in here.
3.14 Acknowledgements A short written thank you to the people who helped you with your project.