Full Title:Agri-Science Project
Module Code:AGRI S8015
Credits: 10
Valid From:Semester 2 - 2014/15 ( February 2015 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Description:This module will provide an opportunity for students to integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired to date and develop their skills through the research, planning, implementation, interpretation and presentation of a defined body of scientific work.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to
  1. Apply knowledge and skills in the research of a specific aspect of agricultural development, assessment or production.
  2. Conduct and present a comprehensive literature review report, with due regard to the Institute Policy on Academic Integrity.
  3. Describe and critically interpret the scientific knowledge base in a defined subject area and apply it to a specific area of scientific study in agricultural science.
  4. Design a suitable programme of investigations and present a comprehensive and viable research plan.
  5. Work independently within defined time and resource boundaries.
  6. Use statistical knowledge and software to analyse, synthesise and summarise scientific data.
  7. Present the results of this research in high-quality oral and written formats.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Each student will be assigned a supervisor who will be responsible for overseeing the research project for the duration of the academic year. Where possible, each supervisor will guide the work of a group of students who are working on interrelated projects, which have a common theme. Each student will collect, collate, review and present information from the literature on the defined topic of their project.
Students will meet with their project supervisor for approximately 30 minutes per week to discuss the progress of the work, data analysis and preparation of the thesis and oral presentation. Students must maintain a notebook in which they should record thoughts, plans, methods, raw data, calculations and other details of practical activities during the course of the project. During weekly meetings, the project supervisor may add remarks or suggestions to the notebook.
Students must submit a typed, bound, project thesis of 7,000 (+/- 500) words using an approved format and perform and defend a 10-15 minute oral presentation of their work.
Module Management
• Students who express interest in a specific project area will be allocated supervisors with corresponding expertise. Other students will be allocated a project supervisor by random ballot. The supervisor will direct and oversee the project during both semesters. Project titles will be agreed by mutual consent after discussion. Students will be encouraged and facilitated to do projects in association with industry or other external organisations (e.g. Teagasc).
• Students will meet with their project supervisor for approximately 30 minutes per week to discuss the planning, experimental design and progress of the work. Supervisors may employ a combination of individual student meetings and ‘team’ meetings.
• Refresher library tutorials will be provided to improve information retrieval skills and ensure compliance with the Institute Academic Integrity Policy. Students will also attend a tutorial and practical class each week on Statistics and Experimental Design.
Sample Project Titles
• Feasability study of the bioenergy potential of a selected farm.
• Correlation between milk Standard Plate Count (SPC) test and Somatic Cell Count (SCC) using data from the Ballyhaise dairy herd.
• Feasibility of setting up an artisan food enterprise on a small to medium size farm.
• Survey of the various forms of off-farm employment in a selected rural parish and their contribution to overall farm income.
• Investigation into the contribution of agri tourism to the viability of farming in an area.
• Analysis of existing data on the effect of REPS on the biodiversity of the flora and fauna in a designated area.
• Economic effects of using hybrid animals for milk and beef production.
Statistics and Experimental Design
• Review of Descriptive Statistics. • Experimental Design: Sampling variation, confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. T-test, ANOVA, regression and correlation. • Statistical Software: Minitab.
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work100.00%

Full Time

Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Marks Out Of Pass Marks Assessment Date Duration
Written Report Literature Review and proposal (5,000 ± 1000 words): The student will be required to submit a comprehensive, referenced, literature review on the subject area of relevance to their selected project topic. The student will also be required to include a plan of work for their selected project, including project objectives, methodology, data analysis, project risk assessment, time-line and resource requirements. The literature review and project plan reports will be assessed by their project supervisor and a second reader. 1,2,3,4,5 30.00 0 0 Week 12 0
Continuous Assessment Statistics assessment 6 10.00 0 0 Week 26 0
Project The student will be required to submit a comprehensive thesis on the methodology, results, data analysis and conclusions of their project using an approved format (7,000 ± 500 words). This report will be assessed by the project supervisor and a second reader appointed from the team of supervisors. 1,2,3,6,7 35.00 0 0 Week 27 0
Presentation The student will be required to prepare and present the project findings in the form of an illustrated oral presentation of 10-15 minutes duration, followed by questions. This will be attended and assessed by the entire team of supervisors and the external examiner will be invited. 1,3,5,7 15.00 0 0 Week 28 0
Performance Evaluation Supervisor’s report: The project supervisor will issue a report based on the student’s performance during the course of the project. This will be based on criteria such as attendance, diligence, motivation, initiative and problem solving skills. 4,5,7 10.00 0 0 End of Year 0
No Project
No Practical
No End of Module Formal Examination

DKIT reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload & Resources

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecturer Supervised Learning Meeting with Supervisor 0.50 Every Week 0.50
Tutorial Statistics and Experimental Design 1.00 Every Week 1.00
Practical Statistics and Experimental Design 1.00 Every Week 1.00
Directed Reading Review of literature 1.50 Every Week 1.50
Independent Study Preparation of project plan and thesis 5.00 Every Week 5.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 9.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 2.50
This course has no Part Time workload.
Recommended Book Resources
  • Murray, R. 2011, How to Write a Thesis, 3rd Ed., Oxford University Press
  • Ruxton, G.D. and Colegrave, N. 2010, Experimental Design for the Life Sciences, 2nd edition Ed., OUP Oxford
  • Blaxton, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. 2010, How to Research, 4th Edition Ed., Open University Press
  • DkIT Library 2009, Credit where Credit is due, DkIT
  • Dawson, C. 2009, Introduction to Research Methods: a practical guide for anyone undertaking a research project., Oxford, How to Books
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Denscombe, M. 2010, The Good Research Guide: for small-scale social research projects, 4th edition Ed., Open University Press
Recommended Article/Paper Resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
DK_SAGRI_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Agriculture 7 Mandatory
DK_SSUAG _8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Sustainable Agriculture 1 Mandatory