ASSESSMENT INFORMATION- 313SPO Independent Sport, Exercise and Therapy Sciences Project 2017-18

ASSESSMENT INFORMATION- 313SPO Independent Sport, Exercise and Therapy Sciences Project 2017-18



ASSESSMENT COMPONENT Coursework 1 Project thesis



Details of Assignment:


To produce a project thesis. Please see the below thesis guidelines for a detailed explanation of contents of each section of the thesis


Mapping to Module and Course Learning Outcomes


The thesis is designed to assess learning outcome 1, 2, 3 as noted in the module guide and listed below.


  1. Conduct a research study and demonstrate through doing so a) an appropriate awareness of health and safety and ethical issues b) a high level of technical skill and record keeping clients c) an ability to work independently and demonstrate good time management d) appropriate interaction with participants, peers and staff.


  1. Analyse, present and interpret their data in a clear and meaningful way with respect to background, methods, results, discussion and conclusions in a written report.


  1. Demonstrate an ability to analyse scientific information and synthesise meaningful, evidence based, scientific discourse, where appropriate, throughout the written thesis.


Expected Student Effort Hours


Producing the actual thesis is expected to take 30 to 50 hours. This does not include data analysis. The time spent will also vary depending on preparatory work and knowledge of the subject area and time spent engaged with appropriate material. Collectively the module requires 200 hours of student effort.


Word Limit


The word limit for this assignment is 5000 words.

If you exceed this word limit by more than 10% i.e. if you exceed 5500 words then you will be penalised by deduction of 10% of your final mark. You should state your word count at the end of your work.


The following are included in your word allowance:


  1. The text of your written work
  2. Reference citations and reference to Figures and Tables within the text
  3. Descriptive paragraphs as Figure or Table legends


The following are excluded from your word allowance:


  1. The title
  2. Your name, course etc.
  3. Figure and Table headings
  4. Words associated with Figures and Tables (those within them)
  5. Reference list
  6. The word count details
  7. Contents page
  8. Acknowledgements


Submission Requirements





Submission of thesis is through turnitin via 313SPO Moodle page


Submission Deadline


SUBMITTED WEDNESDAY 21st MARCH 2018 by 6pm– electronic version only.



Help and Support


There is a wealth of information and guidance for your project work.


  • Preparation in module 308SPO
  • On-line help ‘how to’ tutorials for many statistical tests
  • Scheduled lectures around producing the thesis
  • These guidance notes at the end of this document


  • Meetings and tutorials with project supervisor (see supervisor relationship information in the module guide for extensive guidance around this).


Please note that if you are unable to submit coursework or attend an assessment e.g. test, examination, presentation or assessed laboratory session you may be eligible to apply for an extension or a deferral.  Please refer to the Extenuating Circumstances guidance for students at the following link:

Deferral or Extension requests must be made before the due date of the assignment and must be accompanied by appropriate evidence.


Late or non-submission of CW


Normal penalties for late/ non-submission apply:

  • Work that is submitted late, without an extension or deferral having been granted, will receive a mark of ZERO (students will normally be eligible for a resit attempt).
  • Work that is not submitted or exams not attended will be recorded as Absent (ABS) (students may not be permitted a resit attempt).


Plagiarism and Cheating


The University takes very seriously any attempt to cheat in coursework or examinations by any student and if a case is proven this can result in expulsion form the University.  Cheating refers to plagiarism, collusion, taking unauthorised materials into an examination (this list is not exhaustive). Please refer to the essential information within your Student Handbook.


Self-plagiarism or reuse of work previously submitted

You must not submit work for assessment that you have already submitted (partially or in full), either for your current course or for another qualification of this university, unless this is specifically provided for in your assignment brief or specific course or module information. Where earlier work by you is citable, ie. it has already been published/submitted, you must reference it clearly. Identical pieces of work submitted concurrently will also be considered to be self-plagiarism.

Self-plagiarism is unacceptable because you cannot gain credit for the same work twice.


These are special circumstances were it is permitted for a student to utilise their own work for a second assessment e.g. a resit attempt where they are improving their first attempt at the same assignment OR e.g. project where they may be using their project proposal information to produce a thesis.


Avoiding plagiarism and collusion




All coursework is submitted via Turnitin, which detects plagiarism and collusion by checking for any unoriginal content by comparing submitted papers to several databases. It scans its own databases here at the University, as well as other institutions. Turnitin also scans commercial pages from books, newspapers, journals and the information publicly accessible on the Internet.


This means Turnitin will detect similarities between a student’s submission and:

  • any previous submissions from the student (this can reveal potential acts of self-plagiarism)
  • submissions from other students for this cohort or previous cohorts (this can reveal potential acts of collusion)
  • most information available either through hard copy of via the Internet (this can reveal potential acts of plagiarism)


Any cases of suspected plagiarism or collusion are referred to an Academic Conduct Officer, who will then investigate the case to see whether there is a case to answer to. If a case of plagiarism or collusion is proven, there are a range of outcomes, from a warning to expulsion from the University.


Collusion is straight-forward to avoid, by ensuring that you work independently to produce your coursework. However you should consider it a good academic practice to invite a fellow student to provide any useful feedback on your written work.


Plagiarism can also easily be avoided because it is usually the result of poor scholarly practice. If you engage appropriately with sources of information in the production of academic writing, you should never have any concerns about the risk of plagiarism. Here are some good scholarly practice tips to follow:



Good scholarly practice


  • DO NOT COPY AND PASTE INFORMATION FROM ANOTHER SOURCE. Even if you do this with the intention of adapting the information later, there is a risk that you may not do so sufficiently. Instead;
  • MAKE NOTES ON WHAT YOU HAVE READ, and always note down the source of information (title, author, page numbers, publisher name and location, date) so that you can provide a correctly formatted citation and full reference later on.
  • PARAPHRASE so that what you write is in your own words.
  • PROVIDE A CITATION RIGHT NEXT TO THE INFORMATION YOU HAVE OBTAINED FROM YOUR SOURCES. Good paraphrasing and injecting your own arguments results in a combination of information from your sources and from you! Therefore you should insert a citation next to the information that is from your sources (even if it is in the middle of a sentence), so that the reader can clearly distinguish between what other authors have said (your sources) and what YOU are saying.
  • USE DIRECT QUOTATIONS SPARINGLY. This should only be when there is no better way of expressing the point/argument. Always use quotation marks (“) and cite the source directly afterwards including the page number – e.g. (Smith and Jones 2015: 8).
  • DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN PRIMARY SOURCES AND SECONDARY SOURCES. Always ensure that you make it clear whether you have read the original source (primary) or read about the information elsewhere (secondary) and cite the source accordingly.





Coventry University have adopted the Harvard Referencing System as the standard format for citations and references. There is a Centre for Academic Writing (located next to the library, also see the links on Moodle) which can provide detailed support on the Harvard System. There is also a useful reference guide on the Harvard Style that we advise you to download and keep.

This can be found at:



Marks release, Return of work and Feedback


All marks released are subject to final Assessment Board decisions and are therefore provisional until after the Board sits.


Marks will be released three weeks after submission and available via Moodle


Feedback will be provided via Moodle and will include a combination of in text comments and additional general feedback in the main feedback area of Grademark.



Marking Scheme and Grade Criteria


Project thesis marking criteria and weighting of sections


Section Weighting % Criteria
Abstract and Introduction 20 Abstract a coherent summary. Introduction, updated proposal review, relevant, sufficient background but focusing quickly towards specific topic and aim. Both clear, concise and scientific.


10 Appropriate detail, level and accuracy. All relevant aspects included in a logical order. Analysis included. Correct style. Brief mention of ethics and health and safety should be included.
Results 25 Thorough and appropriate description of results in a logical order. Clarity and accuracy of data presentation: figures, tables and statistics where appropriate.
Discussion 35 Should be extensive consideration and interpretation of the results. Must include significance and application of the results in wider context. Should not just be a description of the findings (which should be in the results). Results should be discussed with respect to the relevant literature. Should not simply be a restating of the literature given in the introduction, but rather relating the literature to specific aspects of the results.

Should be short consideration of the KEY limitations with suggestions for how these could be addressed in future work.

Presentation and Referencing 10 Clear and concise scientific English with high standard of spelling and grammar.  Correct referencing style.







Purpose of the thesis

The thesis is designed to assess learning outcome 1, 2, 3 (see module guide)


  1. Conduct a research study and demonstrate through doing so a) an appropriate awareness of health and safety and ethical issues b) a high level of technical skill and record keeping clients c) an ability to work independently and demonstrate good time management d) appropriate interaction with participants, peers and staff.


  1. Analyse, present and interpret their data in a clear and meaningful way with respect to background, methods, results, discussion and conclusions in a written report.


  1. Demonstrate an ability to analyse scientific information and synthesise meaningful, evidence based, scientific discourse, where appropriate, throughout the written thesis.



General points on format etc.




  • Typed/ word processed- graphs etc. also drawn using computer programmes
  • White A4 paper
  • left-hand margin not less than 25mm, double-spaced between the lines, on one side of the paper
  • using 12 point type
  • It should not be more than about 20-25 pages long excluding the reference list and any appendices.
  • colour MAY be used for graphs/ diagrams etc.
    • note- should not be used for text
    • colour printing is more expensive and students will not be penalised if they use black and white instead- providing that all information is still clear



You must write all sections in the past tense, third person



  • VO2 max was measured (NOT I measured VO2 max)
  • It has been shown that aerobic capacity is a predictor of performance


Figures and tables

Anything that isn’t a table is a FIGURE- do not use terms like picture 1, diagram 1, graph 1 etc.


All figures and tables must have

  • a title and number
  • a legend if necessary to explain what they contain
  • a source (i.e. the citation of the source) unless you produced them yourself from your own data


Make sure any illustrations you use from books, papers the WEB etc.

  • are a suitable size
  • photocopy/ print well (things from the WEB often don’t)
  • are annotated if necessary to show key points
  • have an acknowledged source (or you will be accused of plagarism)


Numbering systems

Most scientific documents adopt a number based system for headings etc. as used in this document and you should do so for your thesis


You can also use this system for numbering figures and tables

i.e. if your results is chapter 4, your figures can be Figure 4.1, 4.2 etc. and Tables Table 4.1, 4.2 etc.



Title page

Gives the title, the name of the author and the following statement:

“A report presented in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, towards the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours in ………,  March 2018”


You should agree your title with your supervisor in good time. Having a title that has spelling mistakes or doesn’t make sense does not make a good first impression



Lists all chapters and subheadings

Should also include list of figures and tables

This should be set out neatly and include page numbers



Should fit on one page- about 300 words max

As with abstracts for papers should present key points from your thesis- including introduction, methods, results and conclusions



Tells the reader the background information they need to understand your project.


Starts with fairly basic information (e.g. from text books)

Includes relevant literature

  • to back up your arguments
  • to justify the methodology you have chosen


Remember that you are trying to tell the reader the key points

Make sure these are CLEARLY made

Include sentences that summarise the key points at the end of each section


Do not just ‘list’ the information for each study you have read- instead integrate the key critical information you have identified into your writing


Aims and hypothesis

You should have learnt how to set these out when you did your project proposal

The handbook gives details on how to do this successfully


You should refer back to these in your conclusions and state if your aims were met and if the results supported your hypotheses



Materials and methods

Do NOT have a separate list of equipment/ materials- this information is integrated into the methods.


You must give sufficient details for someone else to replicate the experiment

  • exact make/ model of any machines used
  • details of make/ company for chemicals etc.
  • dosages for any food/ drink etc.
  • settings used


You must give relevant information about subjects too- e.g. age, how recruited etc.


Use subheadings for clarity


Put methods in a sensible order- don’t talk about analysing blood samples before you have explained where the samples came from


You must also include information in the methods on how raw data was processed

  • must state any software used e.g. Expair to calculate O2 uptake
  • state method used to identify VO2 max, lactate threshold etc
  • state software sued for calculations (e.g. excel)
  • state software used and exact tests used for any stats (e.g. excel, SPSS)



Remember that subject confidentiality and data protection are very important

You must NEVER present information that allows an individual to be identified (this includes using initials!)


Results figures and tables

Make sure all graphs:

  • have title and figure number
  • have short legend that allows the content to be understood without having to read the text of the results
  • fully labelled including
    • axes with units indicated
    • legend if needed
  • suitable size (usually about half a page, but more complex graphs may need to be larger)
  • suitable symbols/ colours chosen- try and keep these consistent- e.g. always have placebo as squares and treatment as circles
  • have fitted lines fitted if appropriate
  • annotated if necessary
    • to indicate key points you want to draw attention to
    • to show statistically significant results


Make sure all tables:

  • have title and table number
  • have short legend that allows the content to be understood without having to read the text of the results
  • clearly labelled columns and rows
  • try and keep columns / rows etc. in the same order if several tables with similar data in
  • have units clearly indicated for all data
  • have appropriate number of decimal places (see below)
  • show data in the form of means ± standard deviations (with number of values indicated). It is not usually necessary to show data for each subject. (Where this is needed for some reason you should put it in an appendix).


Decimal places

You must not claim a degree of precision for your data that you cannot justify. The number of decimal places should be the same number as the original measurement:

If heart rate measured as 66, 72, 78, 67 then mean should be , 71 NOT 70.75


Your graphs may not be hand drawn- they must be produced using a suitable computer programme such as excel

Specific help sessions will be available to help you with any queries and you must attend these if you have problems.

Do not simply accept the styles of lines/ colours etc. that excel automatically selects- instead you should change the format if necessary


Make sure your tables and figures are large enough to be seen clearly. Usually 10-12 size font for tables. Size of graphs depends on how much information they contain- discuss this with your supervisor.


It is often useful to include results of statistical tests on figures/ in tables- usually by using an asterix (*) to indicate those results that are statistically significant. Make sure that if you do this on graphs/ tables with several groups or comparisons between groups and between time points that it is clear EXACTLY what the tests refer to (i.e. what is being compared with what). Try and stick to the same symbols in tables and figures (e.g. * = P<0.05, ** = P<0.01). For correlation/ regression r, r2 and P values are usually given.


You should think carefully about the best way to display your data in graphs and tables. Look at journal articles that discuss similar experiments for ideas and talk in detail to your supervisor.


Putting time on an axis can be problematic. See the document on how to produce different types of graphs in Excel on the course CUOnline web site.


Bar graphs and line graphs will usually also show means ± standard deviation. (There is a document on the course CUOnline site that shows you how to add error bars to excel graphs.)


If you do need to show data for each subject it should be done as shown in Fig . Note that graphs should NOT be plotted as in Fig … with ‘subject number’ along the bottom axis.


For scatter graphs to show correlations/ regressions you plot individual data (see Fig ..).


Figure 1: One repetition max values for leg press and bench pull exercises.


Data shown as mean ± SD (n=6 for each group, * P<0.05, ** P<0.01).


Figure 2: The relationship between Wingate test maximum power and 2000m time trial.



Results text

The text in the results section should guide the reader through the key points of your findings, clearly indicating in which figures and tables the information can be found.

Information on statistical test results should also be incorporated into the text. It is often useful when talking about changes etc. to give an idea of how large they are as a percentage. Saying that power went up by 25 watts won’t mean much to your reader, whereas an indication if the change was 1% or 50% will help them see how important this is.


Usually you will be talking about mean data and relationships etc. rather than talking about individual subjects, although occasionally you may need to comment briefly on someone whose results are markedly different from the others.


Remember to comment on baseline data. If you have two groups who are supposed to be the same you will need to comment on this.




The glucose (G) treatment resulted in a 15% higher resting blood glucose level compared to placebo (P) before exercise started (P<0.01; Table 3.1; Figure 3.2). Blood glucose level remained higher at all time points in G (Figure 3.2) but the difference declined with time and was no longer statistically significant after 30 minutes of exercise.


Five of the six subjects produced a higher power output when treated with caffeine, with the magnitude of the increase ranging from 5 to 20% (See Appendix 1). However, one subject showed a 20% decrease in power compared to the placebo trial.


Prior to starting training there was no significant difference in mean power output between the two groups in the Wingate test (Table 1). However, the trained group had a significantly higher body mass than the untrained group (Table 1; P<0.05).



This should be a discussion of YOUR RESULTS. Not just a repeat of what the key results were, Instead you should provide:

  • explanation of WHY you got these results
  • comparison with results reported in the literature
    • are your results the same / different
    • why
  • explanation of the application of your work
    • how would the results be used


To write the discussion refer back to the aims/ objectives and see if you have met these. Also did your data support your hypothesis- NOTE you did not PROVE this!


Remember you are trying to make a set of key points in a logical order and using the literature and your own data to back these up.


Bring key points to the attention of the reader by referring them back to the appropriate figures and tables again.




In this study the glucose ingestion resulted in a 10% increase in power output during treadmill exercise (Fig 4, Table 3). However similar treatment regimes have produced much larger improvements of over 40% in cycling (Bloggs et al., 1993) and swimming (Smith and Jones 2001). One possible reason for this difference is …..


Some of the key limitations should also be mentioned in the discussion.



This should be a brief summary of the key outcomes of your findings. Often you can refer back to the Aims section.


Limitations and suggestions for further work

Highlight the limitations to the study, which should be covered in detail. Make sure you make it clear which were the MOST IMPORTANT limitations. Try to give suggestions for how they could be overcome too. If some limitations were discussed in detail in the discussion mention them briefly here and refer to the relevant section in the discussion.


In the further work sections give ideas for what you would do if you were to continue the work.



You must use the ‘COVENTRY UNIVERSITY HARVARD REFERENCING STYLE’ format. Details of this are on the University site for the Centre for Academic Writing.



You can include information such as raw data, copy of the questionnaire used etc. You need to include anything that is necessary in order for the second marker to fully understand the methods etc. Discuss with your supervisor if there is anything you need to put in here.



A short written thank you to the people who helped you with your project.




  • It will be a significant challenge to produce a thorough thesis in only 5000 words
  • Writing WELL takes a long time- and several versions- and lots of proof reading
  • Uploading your thesis may only take a few seconds or minutes at the most however many other students may well be trying to upload their thesis at the same time! Avoid leaving the upload until minutes before the deadline.














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