Advanced Study Topic

Module code: NS4013

Module co-ordinator: Dr Sarah Gretton

In this module you will undertake guided research from a set list of topics in a selected discipline (Biological Science, Chemistry, Earth Science or Physics), modelling the interaction between a PhD student and supervisor. Your research will be supported by regular supervision sessions leading to the production of a review report and lecture. You will have the opportunity to both broaden and deepen your specific scientific knowledge, to either develop a discipline specialism or augment your interdisciplinary specialisation, and to gain advanced research skills and expertise in independent learning.

Examples of previous projects include:

  • Physics of the human body: energy and vital processes
  • Geochemical analysis of hydrocarbons
  • Gold nanoparticles: their novel properties, synthetic protocols and biomedical applications
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • HIV-1 as a case study for viral evolution: theory and practice 

Topics covered

  • Independent research/study skills
  • Locating relevant research materials
  • Working at a sustained pace
  • Maintaining records of sources, notes and references
  • Organising workload and arranging meetings
  • Depth of knowledge in a discipline specialism
  • Critical analysis of a variety of written sources
  • Decide the relevance of written sources
  • Interpret and summarise sources
  • Preparing and delivering a lecture
  • Constructing a report that brings together information from a variety of sources


  • 5 one-hour lectures
  • Meetings with a supervisor 


  • Lecture (50%)
  • Report (50%)