University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Dissertation

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Institute of Space Sciences and Astronomy

DESCRIPTION A programme of research, as agreed with the supervisor and the Panel of Supervision identified according to the relevant Regulations and Byelaws, which leads to the writing of a dissertation, its submission and examining.

Study-unit Aims:

The main aim of the dissertation is for students to conduct an independent investigation in a particular area of study in astronomy, astrophysics or cosmology under supervision. They will investigate in depth an area of particular interest, and are expected to critically evaluate methodology in their chosen area and to develop a critical understanding of the main research methods for data analysis and/or modeling. Students will practice and develop skills in collecting and processing data/model information, evaluating and comparing existing information and/or undertaking practical work of an advanced or an original nature. They will be required to write their findings in the form of a dissertation that shall be in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Institute.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Demonstrate a critical understanding of any theoretical perspectives in their chosen area of study;
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of any computational methods used in their chosen area of study;
• Demonstrate the ability to implement these methods and achieve results;
• Demonstrate a critical understanding of how to analyze the results of these strategies.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• Give a clear definition of the problem;
• Analyse and evaluate information that is relevant to the research problem. This should be somehow related to astronomy, astrophysics or cosmology;
• Report and discuss the results of their research in a clear, structured and concise form;
• Evaluate the strengths and limitations of their research and propose possible further studies;
• Have a clear idea of the theoretical background of the problem.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

As suggested by Dissertation Supervisor/Advisor, as necessary for particular research project and as deemed necessary by student.

ADDITIONAL NOTES **Resit Availability: Students who fail to obtain an overall pass mark will be re-examined in the Dissertation. However, the resit availability for the Oral Examination is at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Dissertation

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Dissertation & Oral Examination (See Additional Notes) ** 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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