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SCI9003 Master of Science Dissertation Full Time (Science)

Semester 1, 2014 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 4
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agric, Comp and Environ Sciences

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Examiner: Yan Li
Moderator: Stijn Dekeyser


This course is part of a supervised research project which provides opportunities for motivated and highly qualified students to undertake advanced study and to produce a research-based dissertation. Students develop the appropriate research skills and specialist knowledge which will enhance their career prospects or allow them to undertake further studies. The emphasis of the programme is on developing the appropriate knowledge and skills to undertake independent research and professional practice.


Full-time candidates undertaking Master of Science research in Biology, Physics, Climatology or Chemistry should enrol in this course for the third and subsequent semesters of their candidature. This will normally be for a total of two semesters. The subject of their Research Project will be decided in consultation with their Project Supervisors and the Faculty of Sciences.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. identified their research topic;
  2. demonstrated their ability to proceed with the research topic;
  3. if appropriate, gained ethical clearance for their project;
  4. prepared their research proposal to their supervisor's satisfaction;
  5. demonstrated their ability to think analytically, critically and creatively about a chosen research topic and related issues within the area of specialisation chosen;
  6. demonstrated competence in each component of empirical research procedures, viz; identification and analysis of research problems, formulation of hypotheses, operationalised research procedures, collected relevant data, carried out appropriate analysis of data, interpreted results obtained, and drawn appropriate conclusions;
  7. competently written a dissertation based on the research project to communicate all aspects of the project to professional peers;
  8. presented one seminar per year within the Faculty, outlining the project aims and progress.


Description Weighting(%)
1. To be determined by the supervisor in consultation with the student. 100.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • To be determined by the student's supervisor.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 13.00
Private Study 300.00
Seminars 2.00
Supervisor Consultation 13.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROGRESS REPORT 1 1 04 Mar 2014 (see note 1)
SEMINAR 1 1 04 Mar 2014 (see note 2)
THESIS 100 98 04 Mar 2014 (see note 3)

  1. Office of Research and Higher Degrees will advise due date for Progress Report.
  2. Examiner will advise date of Seminar.
  3. Examiner will advise due date for Thesis.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, research group discussions, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Not applicable.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    The course will be graded as SP (Satisfactory Progress) or F (Fail). To be awarded the grade of SP, a student must be assessed by their Supervisor as having made satisfactory progress against a set of objectives provided by the Supervisor at the start of the semester which may include delivery, at a satisfactory standard, of a public seminar within the Faculty reporting on the scope and progress of the project work.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    Not applicable.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination for this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. In accordance with University policy, the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  2. Completion of the final dissertation course in the Master of Science program is by dissertation examination.

  3. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //