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MSc Corrosion Control Engineering / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Research Methods

Unit code MATS64201
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Department of Materials
Available as a free choice unit? No


The unit provides an overview of the design and realization of an experimental research project, the application of technical data analysis and visualization methods, and how these can be applied to solve engineering problems. 


The unit aims to:   Introduce the theory of planning, managing, and executing a research project in science and engineering Provide methods to assess and analyze technical data, with introduction to the design of experiments and industrial statistics, including the application of Taguchi methods Provide training and practical examples to provide solutions for engineering challenges Improve confidence in the use of transferable and interpersonal skills, team working, and the written   oral communication of ideas Reinforce the application of engineering knowledge and theory with concepts in the form of case studies and an individual M.Sc. research project, the latter also running in the Sem2 Dissertation unit MATS63330

Learning outcomes

A greater depth of the learning outcomes will be covered in the following sections:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Intellectual skills
  • Practical skills
  • Transferable skills and personal qualities

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, group tutorials (problem sessions), recommended textbooks, web resources, self- teaching worked examples, past exam papers, electronic supporting information (Blackboard).


Knowledge and understanding

Understand the principles of engineering design and the use of simplified models in design projects

Demonstrate knowledge of the basic methods of experimental design

Understanding  and use of design matrices, and of fractional factorials for design matrix optimization

Understand key components of project planning & scheduling

Understand the scientific principles behind the physical techniques used to characterise and test engineering materials

Understand the importance of economic, legal, social, ethical, environmental context relevant to engineering practice 

Intellectual skills

Identify methodologies for designing, managing, and executing a research project

Show improved logical reasoning and problem solving in engineering applications

Demonstrate an understanding of statistical data analysis methods and tools 

Practical skills

Application of statistical tools for experiment optimization and evaluation of experimental data

Design and perform a practical group case study with data analysis

Research literature sources & conduct a literature review

Conduct a peer discussion and assessment of the group project

Perform image analysis & visualization for materials science applications 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Work effectively in a team with defined roles to solve problems

Plan, prioritise, delegate/distribute and deliver a programme of work within a team

Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate a research project, its motivation, aims and outcomes, to different audiences

Undertake the design of a research poster & a short oral presentation in materials science & engineering

Conduct a high-level literature review 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written assignment (inc essay) 40%
Report 10%
Oral assessment/presentation 15%
Practical skills assessment 20%
Set exercise 5%

Summary report.

Feedback methods

Feedback given written and verbally.

Recommended reading

W.D. Callister, Materials Science and Engineering - An Introduction, Pub. Wiley, 2010. M. Ashby, K. Johnson: Materials and Design – The Art   Science of Material Selection in Product Design, Elsevier, 2004. R. Roy: Design of Experiments Using The Taguchi Approach: 16 Steps to Product and Process Improvement, John Wiley   Sons, 2001 G.S. Peace: Taguchi methods - ¿a hands-on approach, ¿Addison-Wesley, 1993 D.A. Porter, K.E. Easterling, M. Sherif, Phase transformations in Metals and Alloys, Pub. Chapman and Hall, 2009 Initial reading about the topic of the individual M.Sc. project will be provided by the supervisor. The student will perform an in-depth literature review using relevant books and articles from scientific journals, under the guidance of the supervisor.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Enrique Jimenez-Melero Unit coordinator

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