UCL Earth Sciences


GEOL0072 Independent MSci Project

In this course the student will undertake independent research under the supervision of a member of academic staff and prepare a report and a poster presentation on the research project.  It contains a very high level of practical work.

Coordinator: Prof Ian Wood

Module details
TitleMSci Independent Project
UG CodeGEOL0072
CoordinatorProf Ian Wood
Other Contributors 
Term1 & 2
Credit45 credits
Written Exam 
Poster Presentation10%
Pre-RequisitesEntry into MSci year
Maths & Stats Content and RequirementVarious depending upon the project
Categorizing Student Performance Levels

A course for all Earth Science MSci students with an independent project relating to their specific degree programme, normally to include a literature review, an element of data acquisition or analysis (laboratory or field-based) and a proposal for future research.


  • to assess the student’s ability to provide a critical synthesis of a scientific problem;
  • to enable a student to derive original laboratory or field data, and/or to seek and utilise published data;
  • to train a student to assess those data and draw appropriate conclusions;
  • to learn how to communicate the experimental strategy, results and conclusions effectively;
  • to provide training in how to formulate a research problem.


Knowledge and Understanding:

  • an in-depth understanding of a specialised area related to the student’s degree programme;
  • the principles and methodology of experimental techniques and of data handling and evaluation.

Intellectual Outcomes:

  • a highly developed ability to consider issues from a wide range of perspectives and to draw on appropriate concepts and values in arriving at a critical assessment;
  • ability to define problems, devise and evaluate possible solutions, and to solve elegantly routine and unfamiliar problems;
  • appreciation of the use and limitations of data in testing an hypothesis.

Practical and Transferable Outcomes:

  • a highly developed ability to analyse, synthesise, summarise and evaluate critically information from academic literature, ideas, interpretations and other sources;
  • the ability to formulate and execute a research programme;
  • the ability to communicate effectively through the research report and a poster presentation;
  • highly developed critical approach to academic literature and other sources of information.