TMA 03: Final EMA Project

TMA 03 (15% OES)

This TMA is in four parts and forms an important step towards the final EMA project. It allows you to get feedback on:

  • your draft contents page, to ensure that your project is suitably structured both in terms of content and layout
  • your draft results and discussion sections, which show how you plan to present your results, and demonstrate that your critical scientific writing is of sufficient depth
  • finally, through summarising your project verbally it prepares you for writing your abstract.

Part 1 Contents page (10 marks)

This part carries 10% of the marks for TMA 03 and tests module learning outcomes KS2.

Word limit: No word limit.

Submit a draft of the contents page for your final project report.

Your report should be organised into sections with appropriate headings. You may want to use subsections under the main introduction/methods/results/discussion sections.

Help on the structure of your report is given in ‘Writing a research-based project report’. Please take care to ensure you include all sections not listed as optional. Give your section headings and subheadings suitable titles.

Part 2 Results and discussion (50 marks)

This part carries 50% of the marks for TMA 03 and tests module learning outcomes KU1, CS1, CS2, and KS2.

Word count: Mandatory maximum of 1800 words for Part 2. Note that the word count does not include the full references that you list at the end of this part.

Write a draft of your results and discussion sections. Tutor feedback that you receive will enable you to develop and refine these sections for your final report.

The results section should include a description of your results, appropriate figures and/or tables and the outcomes of any statistical analyses. There should be a clear statement of acceptance or rejection of your null hypotheses. If you don’t have a complete set of data at this stage report what you have so far or the results of any pilot study. Talk to your tutor if you have had problems with your project and have no data so far.

In the discussion you should discuss the results of your investigation – were they as you predicted, and if not, why not? Discuss any limitations of your experimental design. It is important that you put your results into context with what is already known in the research area. Compare and contrast your findings with those of similar studies reported in the literature. Critically evaluate the literature to explain why your results might differ and/or in what way they support the literature. Identify any further gaps in knowledge and suggest future research avenues.

Help on the structure of your report is given in Section 3.6 of the Module guide  and in ‘Writing a research-based project report’.

Study note

Note that research projects do not always work as planned, even for research professionals! If you don’t have enough data to answer your research question, you should explain why your experiments didn’t work and what modifications you made to try and get them working and, if you are still doing experiments, what you plan to try next to get around any problems. You may have had to abandon some early research ideas and follow a different track. If so, explain those changes. Remember that problem solving is a fundamental skill in research science.

List references using the Cite Them Right (Harvard) format.

Include any relevant supplementary information (spreadsheets, figures, tables) you have so far in a separate folder. Supplementary information is not assessed as part of the TMA, but it is a chance for your tutor to check how you are handling the data and offer help and advice where needed. It also helps the module team to get a feel for the kind of data you are collecting and could clarify points that are unclear in your TMA. 

Part 3 Oral Presentation (25 marks)

This part carries 25% of the marks for TMA 03 and tests module learning outcome KU1 and KS2.

Word limit: No word limit.

Sharing research findings effectively is an essential part of scientific research, and both written and verbal communication skills are valued by employers. In this part of the TMA, you will demonstrate your ability to communicate key points from your research by sharing a summary of your project with your tutor group in the form of an oral presentation. Your presentation slides and the tutor feedback on this task will inform the content and development of the abstract of your report.

  • Prepare a five-minute presentation (no more than five PowerPoint slides) that summarises your project to date. Include key points from each of the following project sections: title, introduction, methods, results, conclusion which should be appropriately referenced in the Cite Them Right (Harvard) format. Please email your PowerPoint slides to your tutor at least 48 hours before your presentation date.
  • Deliver your oral presentation to your tutor group. The date of the presentation will be set by your tutor at the start of the module. If you have a disability that prevents you from presenting verbally, please contact your tutor to request an adjustment to the task.

For guidance on preparing and giving an oral presentation please refer to Section 3.6 of the Module guide  and ‘Delivering an oral presentation’.

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