Further background

Topic selection

The organisation can propose:

  • a specific project title or topic for the student to deliver;
  • a general idea of a business need which requires further development;
  • a core research theme to be developed by the student into a bespoke project;
  • an intended outcome for the organisation, thus leaving the design of the research entirely to the student.

Projects should typically be achievable within an 8-16 (including write up) week time frame.

Projects that are available for the 2016/17 year:
  • Valuing our marine environment (SNH)
  • Supporting coastal communities with a Coastal Community Fund project (SNH)
  • Fair Isle Demonstration and Research MPA (SNH)
  • Identifying whether visitor management is required to reduce disturbance to seals on Mousa SAC in Shetland (SNH)
  • Interaction matrices in marine planning (SNH)
  • Review of worldwide mitigation measures used to reduce marine animal entanglement in fishing rope: Understanding the suitability of these measures for use in Scottish waters (SNH)
  • Clarification of the extent of the non-native diatom Mediopyxis helysia in east of Scotland and Northern Isles, and whether phytoplankton and microzooplankton community composition has been changed by the introduction of this species (SEPA)
  • The cumulative impacts of thermal discharges from the whisky industry into the River Spey (Spey Foundation)
  • Evaluation of Adult Salmonid Fish Counting Options and Recommendations for the River Deveron catchment (The Deveron, Bogie and Isla Rivers Charitable Trust)

More information on these projects can be found here.

Example feedback:

As part of the MMM MSc a GIS based model has been developed to examine the spatial and temporal variability in noise levels around the Shetland Islands, and whether these levels are sufficient to impact marine mammals and whether they exceed levels permitted under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Whilst this approach has been trialled elsewhere, including Canada and Australia, it is the first time this modelling approach has been used in the UK.

Project suitability

The relevant Course Director/academic supervisor will help to to refine the proposed topic, ensuring that it meets both the requirements of the organisation and the academic needs of the student.

Organisation and University Supervisors

The organisation is required to provide a supervisor to:

  • oversee delivery of the project to ensure objectives are being  met;
  • provide the student with a project briefing and expected outputs;
  • ensure the student is aware of, and complies with legal requirements related to being based in the workplace (if applicable).

The academic co-supervisor is required to:

  • be available throughout the project for input;
  • ensure the project is on track via regular contact with the student;
  • oversee the write-up stages.
Project agreement

All  terms are defined by the organisation, university and student at the outset to ensure all parties have agreed the key parameters.These include (but are not limited to):

  • project title, start date and delivery deadline;
  • location - will the student be based in the work place, at university or both?
  • operating procedures and workplace regulations (working hours, health and safety procedures etc;
  • outputs of the project;
  • Intellectual Property rights, Non-Disclosure Agreements and project ownership on completion.
Project Delivery

The student is responsible for project completion and delivery to meet the agreed deadline. Assessment of the final academic output remains the responsibility of the University and no input is required from the host in this respect, unless previously agreed.  However, hosts may request additional outputs, for example, an executive summary or technical report.