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UCL Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering Sciences


MECHGM99 Individual Project Report

To course aims to develop independent research and project management skills and to improve technical writing and critical analysis ability. The student will be required to conduct an individual piece of research over an extended period of time and to produce a coherent body of work to a deadline. Guidance will be provided by an academic supervisor but it is expected that the work and effort is driven and managed by the student. The output consists of a presentation followed by a question and answer session and a thesis of 12,500 to 15,000 words. The practical and experimental skills learnt are dependent upon the type of project chosen.

Code: MECHGM99
Alt Codes: None
Title: Individual Project Report
Level: MSc
UCL Credits/ECTS: 75/30
Start: January
End: September
Taught By: Dr. PJ Tan (Module Coordinator)


  • Only available to students enrolled on MSc Mechanical Engineering or MSc Power Systems Engineering.

Method of Instruction

  • Self study
  • Formal progress reports have to be submitted
  • Each student will have a member of academic staff to act as their supervisor


Thesis (85%) – all theses are independently marked by the project supervisor and one other academic. On completion of the marking the two markers compare marks and come to a consensus on the final mark. The module co-ordinator acts as a mediator if required.

Presentation and oral exam (15%)


The individual project may cover any subject so long as it contains sufficient academic content and is relevant to mechanical engineering. Projects maybe practical or theoretical, projects that are just literature reviews are not normally acceptable. The project topic is usually selected by the student from a list of projects suggested by members of staff. Students are not guaranteed their first choice of project. Students may suggest their own project topic provided a member of staff is willing to adopt and supervise that project. Approval for a self suggested project should be sought as soon as possible and no later than January. Projects can be with industrial partner. Projects that are military or commercially classified are not acceptable. The subject matter of the thesis must include an element related to the theme(s) of the Masters programme.

General Learning Objectives

Ability to develop, monitor & update a plan, to reflect a changing operating environment

The module involves a major research project; planning, monitoring progress and adapting the plan to the changing situation are necessary skills.

Ability to monitor and adjust a personal program of work on an on-going basis, and to learn independently

The MSc individual project forms a significant personal work load requiring well developed self study and independent learning skills. Students are required to produce a work plan and this is reviewed at monthly intervals with project supervisor

The ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility, which may be as a team member or leader

No team work, but students are expected to manage their own project.

The ability to learn new theories, concepts and methods etc and apply these in unfamiliar situations

Normal learning situation common to all degree programs. Particularly emphasised in this research project where one topic is taken to considerable depth.

MECHGM99 Individual Project Report

Specific Learning Objectives

Underpinning science & Mathematics

A comprehensive understanding of the relevant scientific principles of the specialisation

The purpose of the individual project is to achieve this within context of the specialist area of the project.

A critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the specialisation.

The purpose of the individual project is to achieve this within context of the specialist area of the project.

An understanding of concepts relevant to the discipline, some from outside engineering, and the ability to critically evaluate and apply them effectively.

The purpose of the individual project is to achieve this in the specialist area of the project. Critical analysis is seen as a key component of the thesis. Research projects frequently take the student beyond just their own discipline.


Engineering Analysis

Ability to use fundamental knowledge to investigate new and emerging technologies Where relevant to the subject matter of the project

Ability to apply appropriate models for solving problems in engineering and the ability to assess the limitations of particular cases;

The purpose of the individual project is to achieve this within context of the specialist area of the project.

The ability to collect and analyse research data and use appropriate engineering tools to tackle unfamiliar problems, such as those with uncertain or incomplete data or specifications, by the appropriate innovation, use or adaptation of engineering analytical methods.

The purpose of the individual project is to achieve this within context of the specialist area of the project.



The ability to apply original thought to the development of practical solutions for products, systems, components or processes

Where relevant to the subject matter of the project. Some project have considerable design content others none.


Economic, Social and Environmental Context

Knowledge and understanding of management and business practices, and their limitations, and how these may be applied appropriately, in the context of the particular specialisation N/A

The ability to make general evaluations of risks through some understanding of the basis of such risks

Other than for self management of project this is limited for most projects.


Engineering Practice

A thorough understanding of current practice and its limitations, and some appreciation of likely new developments

Where relevant to the subject matter of the project

Advanced level knowledge and understanding of a wide range of engineering materials and components

Where relevant to the subject matter of the project – a selection of materials orientated projects are always undertaken.

The ability to apply engineering techniques taking account of a range of commercial and industrial constraints

Opportunities depend upon nature of research topic and industrial/commercial input to project


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