Research Skills

The details
Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
17 May 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MPHDG10K48 Mathematics,
MPHDG10KJS Mathematics,
PHD G10K48 Mathematics,
PHD G10KJS Mathematics,
MPHDG30K48 Statistics,
MPHDG30KJS Statistics,
PHD G30K48 Statistics,
PHD G30KJS Statistics,
MPHDN32K48 Actuarial Science,
MPHDN32KJS Actuarial Science,
PHD N32K48 Actuarial Science,
PHD N32KJS Actuarial Science,
MPHDG34K48 Data Science,
MPHDG34KJS Data Science,
PHD G34K48 Data Science,
PHD G34KJS Data Science

Module description

Looking to build your research capabilities? This module will equip you with the principal research tools for your PhD in Mathematical Sciences combining general skills used across the mathematical sciences with individual techniques acquired via a small individual project guided by your PhD supervisor.

The general skills that you will learn will include the mathematical word-processing language LaTeX, good practice in mathematical and science writing, how to find research sources and use mathematical databases, present your research to others using posters and/or research talks, applying for funding and more.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide students with basic skills to carry out and communicate research in the mathematical sciences.

  • To provide students with a critical understanding of what constitutes a good and a bad piece of writing in the mathematical sciences and how to face the peer-review process.

  • To enable students to lead their own learning in their subject area and communicate it at a professional standard using a variety of methods.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and use of databases relevant to the mathematical sciences, as well as citation standards.

  2. Demonstrate use of typesetting of projects in LaTeX.

  3. Demonstrate a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of a subject in the mathematical sciences from a variety of sources, including research papers and specialist books.

  4. Exercise largely autonomous initiative in complex situations in mathematical sciences at a professional level.

  5. Conceptualise projects for the generation of significant new knowledge and/or understanding in the mathematical sciences.

  6. Make informed judgements on complex issues in a specialist field of the mathematical sciences, often in the absence of complete data.

  7. Be able to communicate ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences using different formats such as technical documents, posters and presentations.

Module information

Indicative syllabus

  • Sources of information (Library, MathSciNet, Web of Science, Google, Google Scholar, ArXiv, Zentralblatt, etc).

  • Reading of scientific papers.

  • LaTeX, Bibtex, version control and editing of documents in mathematical sciences.

  • Writing skills for mathematical sciences: planning, style and choices.

  • Designing and executing a research project.

  • Designing and delivering research presentations in mathematical sciences to different audiences.

  • Creating a research poster in mathematical sciences.

  • Attending lectures, conferences and research schools.

  • Accessing and applying for external funding.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • 20 hours of seminars

This module will include a substantial degree of self-learning. Students will have to prepare in advanced covering reading materials prepared by the instructor. In addition to that, the students will carry out an individual project in which they will survey a technique in a field of their interest under close supervision of their PhD supervisor (an average of one hour a week during term time). In this project the students will be able to put in practice all the skills learned in the module.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay and presentation     

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jesus Martinez-Garcia, email:



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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