Capstone Project - (30 credits)

A capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, generally designed to encourage them to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills necessary for future careers. Often interdisciplinary, they require students to apply skills or investigate issues across many different subject areas or domains of knowledge. This project is designed to enable students to demonstrate autonomy within a project-based module of their choosing. The project will be linked directly to their award programme and demonstrate clearly the development and acquisition of academic, transferable and importantly employability skills pertinent to their chosen sector. Students will be given several options for completing this project, that may comprise one or more of the following (please note that not all options are available for every student or scheme): 1. (Traditional) Dissertation: Consisting of a project in which a student finds, analyses and interprets a unique data set, ordinarily consisting of data generated via an experiment designed and undertaken by the individual. 2. Systematic Review: Systematic reviews aim to find as much as possible of the research relevant to the particular research questions, and use explicit methods to identify what can reliably be said on the basis of these studies. Methods should not only be explicit but systematic with the aim of producing varied and reliable results. 3. Education/Science Communication Project: Working alongside a school, this project identifies a practical experiment that requires implementation within the school’s curriculum. The project will cover all stages of the development of the session from scoping the requirement, understanding contribution to the curriculum, developing and implementing the session, analysing achievement and feedback and project evaluation. 4. Entrepreneurial Project: Where the student identifies an opportunity to develop an innovative product or resource that could be taken forward in their own start-up business. To include a substantive research element. 5. Research/Conference Paper: (Limited to those who achieved a 2.1 or better in the prerequisite Research Methods module). This entails a student undertaking novel research where the output consists of either a research paper ready for submission to a relevant peer-reviewed journal publication, or a conference presentation ready to be delivered at an external conference relevant to the industry concerned. 6. Consultancy Project: A real-life business-based project that is (ordinarily) set by an industry partner. These projects are likely to entail a ‘what if’ scenario for business development, but could also encompass problem-based scenarios requiring specific technical knowledge. 7. Community Engagement Project: Working alongside the local council, school or community body (such as a church) this project will enable students to develop and implement a solution to an identified problem and encourage reflection on the impact that the project has enabled on the whole community. 8. Student-focused Project: Working within the University College, this project will enable the student to demonstrate their awareness of the interface between the student body and academic staff and will entail the student clearly articulating and implementing solutions to an identified issue, with clear and direct positive results for subsequent cohorts. 9. Team-based project. Working within a team, each student will identify and contribute to an agreed, defined part of a larger collaborative project, ordinarily in conjunction with an industry partner. Part of the assessment for this type of project will include reflection on the role played by the individual and the wider team in the success of the project. Summative assessment will include a group presentation (mark allocation to be agreed by the whole team) and an individual report. 10. Case Studies. In this instance, students undertaking a course that includes the acquisition of competency skills will be able to put together a portfolio to evidence these skills that includes documenting case studies and reflecting on personal professional practice. Alternatively, students may choose to research interventions made by professionals to management protocols and evaluate, using case study examples, the efficacy of the changes made. The project module is designed to enable students to gain experience by undertaking a substantive project which explores specific issues in greater depth than is possible elsewhere in the programme. It is a major opportunity for students to demonstrate that they have met the level H descriptors for Bachelor Degrees with Honours as detailed by QAA within their Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Students will also be expected to demonstrate the knowledge and skills expected of an Honours undergraduate as defined in the relevant QAA Benchmark Statement. This project module is also designed to develop independent learning, self-reliance, work planning skills and a professional approach to study.