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MODULE CODE: ME7711 LEVEL: 7 CREDITS: 30

TITLE: Engineering Research Techniques, Entrepreneurship and Quality


Management
PRE-REQUISITES: None

CO-REQUISITES: None

MODULE SUMMARY (INDICATIVE)

Research Techniques & Entrepreneurship for Engineers is a core module for engineering
students on various master programmes. The module is designed to provide the student with
the research skills and techniques necessary to select and justify a research topic, plan
project execution, use various resources to carry out a literature search and successfully
complete the project and other module assignments on the course. It also addresses issues
related to presentation of technical reports at master level and for the purpose of wider
publication in learned media.

The module further develops the students knowledge and skills in business and
management, with a particular focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. It supports
students in producing proposals for enterprise ideas such as new products or services, or
innovations in existing processes or organisations. Concepts of total quality management to
enhance quality of products and processes in an industrial setting are presented and
application of supporting quality tools and techniques are discussed.

The module content is designed to enhance the students employability potential in a variety
of national and international industrial organisations, or career opportunities in research and
development arena. It also equips students with a set of skills to set up their own business in
an engineering innovation area should they wish to do so.

AIMS
To provide the student with the skills to carry out a research project and to introduce
various research methods for independent scientific research.
To introduce students to the British & international business environment and provide
skills to analyse business and management issues related to engineering industries.
To develop students understanding of context-specific entrepreneurship drivers and
provide knowledge and skills for identification and development of enterprise
opportunities through idea generation, networking and engaging with the
entrepreneurship community.
To provide the knowledge of total quality management process in support for quality
improvement of products and systems, and application of the available tools and
techniques in a variety of engineering industries.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:


1. Formulate strategies for successful research within a variety of settings by selecting
& utilising appropriate research methods.
2. Plan a research project and apply appropriate techniques for successful completion
within time & funding limits, and communicate findings effectively.
3. demonstrate an understanding of international business environment and assess
their context (international, local or organisational) for the support and constraints it
provides for entrepreneurial activities, and reflect on the implications
4. Identify problems, needs or challenges in their environment and respond to these by
generating, investigating and critically evaluating appropriate enterprise ideas.
5. Demonstrate understanding and engagement with an entrepreneurial community
6. Describe and critically analyse quality management systems, product liability
prevention programmes and implementation of quality tools and techniques, in
manufacturing industry.

CURRICULUM CONTENT (INDICATIVE)

Research methods
Overview of the nature & process of research, topic selection and scope, links
between theory & practice, organisational/ legal/ social & ethical implications,
planning and undertaking a literature search, types of information sources & their
merits, using printed & on-line materials to best effect.
Research approaches: objectives & outcomes, planning, underpinning theoretical
concepts, Implications of different strategies for research (e.g. experiment,
simulation, survey, case study, etc). Issues of validity, reliability and applicability.
Methodology for data collection and analysis, sources of secondary data.
Quantitative analysis techniques including graphical and statistical techniques,
qualitative analysis techniques.
Managing a research project: methodologies, techniques & tools, role of the
supervisor, presentation of research findings, technical report/ dissertation structure,
framing the academic context, convention on citation and quotations, writing style.
Critical analysis & reflection, discussion & clarity of thought, techniques for research
publication in journals and conferences.

Business and Entrepreneurship management

Methods of assessing an engineering business environment, PEST/SWOT & Porters


analysis, trading models with the emergent economies. Ethical issues in labour
market, corporate responsibilities, HR policies in Multinational organisations.
Assessing the role of enterprise and innovation as tools of social and economic
development in the international, local, or organisational context. the enterprise
support infrastructure offered by governments and other organisations, and the
resources of the entrepreneurship community
The entrepreneurship development process of opportunity identification and
evaluation. Business models and their elements. Assessing resource needs,
gathering and organising resources. factors which create value in organisations
including, markets & customers, Intellectual property, profits / surplus or cash flow,
business models and processes, leadership, team building and management.

Quality Management
Total Quality Management (TQM) in engineering, systematic approaches such as
ISO 9000 series of standards, quality awards, Six-Sigma and quality costs (PAF
model and process cost model). Product liability legislation and preventions, quality
management tools and techniques, design of experiments Taguchi technique,
reliability, failure modes and effects analysis, quality function deployment,
benchmarking, introduction and application of specialised software such as MiniTab
in SPC.

TEACHING AND LEARNING STRATEGY (INDICATIVE)

The module is delivered by a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. The
main feature of the strategy is case studies from research activities of the wider academic
community, and informal engagement of master students with research work of PhD
students.

The module will be delivered in two intensive weeks. The first week will be delivered in the
first teaching week of each academic block and primarily concentrates on research
techniques aspect of the module required by master students. This will enable both groups
of September and January MSc intakes to benefit from the content, and apply the knowledge
and skills to their studies on other modules, as well as preparation and selection of their final
project. The 2nd week will be delivered later in each teaching block to cover the business,
entrepreneurship and quality aspects of the module. Teaching notes, guided reading,
problem solving and other supplemented materials will be available on-line and can be
accessed via dedicated module site.

Formative assessments during case study sessions and discussion workshops are designed
to help students learn more effectively by giving them feedback to improve their performance
and feed-forward towards summative assessments. Reflective practice by students and
feedback from designated Personal tutors and project supervisors will also form part of the
formative assessments.

Students will be expected to spend a total of 300 hours on the module including independent
study. As a guide this may involve:

DEFINITIVE KIS CATEGORY INDICATIVE DESCRIPTION HOURS

Lectures 40

Scheduled learning and Case study, tutorials and 20


teaching discussion workshops

Presentation seminars. 10

Guided prior-reading 30

Independent individual and group 200


Guided independent study study including interaction with
PhD students to develop research
proposals.

Total 300
ASSESSMENT STRATEGY (INDICATIVE)

Summative assessment is through 3 coursework assignments covering stated outcomes.


The first is a research based coursework on a relevant engineering subject area to include a
research proposal for the students final project. The assessment may include an oral
presentation.

The 2nd coursework is a group activity simulating an industrial environment allowing students
to apply their business and entrepreneurship knowledge and skills to evaluate a reverent
business opportunities in their field of interest, including preparation of a business plan.To
complete the work on time the groups will need to delegate tasks, critically evaluate each
others work, provide peer feedback, and then synthesise their findings and
recommendations into a final report.

Coursework three relates to application of total quality tools and techniques for enhancement
of quality in an engineering setting.

In addition to formative assessment as part of the Teaching and Learning strategy, meetings
with Personal tutors and designated project supervisors will also provide students with
feedback on their performance and feed-forward for summative elements of assessment.

LEARNING OUTCOME
On completion of the module, students will be able to: ASSESSMENT STRATEGY

1. Formulate strategies for successful research within a Coursework 1


variety of settings by selecting & utilising appropriate
research methods. report (3000 words)

2. Plan a research project and apply appropriate Coursework 1-


techniques for successful completion within time &
funding limits, and communicate findings effectively. report (3000 words)

3. demonstrate an understanding of international Coursework 2-


business environment and assess their context (
international, local or organisational) for the support report (4000 words)
and constraints it provides for entrepreneurial
activities, and reflect on the implications
4. Identify problems, needs or challenges in their Coursework 2-
environment and respond to these by generating,
investigating and critically evaluating appropriate report (4000 words)
enterprise ideas
5. Demonstrate understanding and engagement with an Coursework 3-
entrepreneurial community
report (2500 words)

6. Describe and critically analyse quality management Coursework 3-


systems, product liability prevention programmes
and implementation of quality tools and techniques, in report (2500 words)
manufacturing industry
BREAKDOWN OF MAJOR CATEGORIES OF ASSESSMENT

DEFINITIVE KIS INDICATIVE DESCRIPTION PERCENTAGE


CATEGORY

Coursework 1: A research method 40%


assignment to include a project research
proposal.
(3000 words)
Coursework 2: A group assignment on 40%
Coursework business and entrepreneurship
(4000 words)
Coursework 3: An assignment on 20%
applications of quality management in
industry.
(2500 words)
Total 100%

ACHIEVING A PASS
It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an
overall pass for the module

BIBLIOGRAPHY (INDICATIVE):

Core Text(s):

Sharp, J.A., Peters J and Howard, K., The Management of A Student Research
Project, Third [kindle edition], Gower publishing, 2012

Recommended Reading:
Boddy, D.; Management : An Introduction; 5th Edition, 2010; Financial Times Press.
Johnson, G., Scholes, K. & Whittington, R.; Exploring Corporate Strategy - Text and
Cases; 9th Edition, 2010; Financial Times Press.
Worthington I & Britton C.; the Business Environment, 6th Edition, 2009; Financial
Times Press.
Brook Q; Six Sigma and Minitab: A complete Toolbox Guide for all Six Sigma
Practitioners; 2006; QSB Consulting.
Evans J.R. and Lindsay W.M.; The Management and Control of Quality;
2008; Thomson.
Montgomery D.C.; Introduction to Statistical Quality Control; 6th Edition, 2008;
John Wiley and Sons.
Dale B.D.; Managing Quality; Blackwell; 5th Edition, 2007(or latest edition)
Murdoch J. and Barnes J.A.; Statistical Tables for Students of Science,
Engineering, Psychology, Business, Management, Finance; Palgrave; 1998
Resource from Engineers without boarders http://www.ewb-international.org/