The aim of the module is to develop students¿ skills in the area of critical analysis of scientific literature in the field of sports engineering and technology. The content of the module is also designed to complement other final year modules in the programme (advanced materials in sport and the final year project). The module is composed of three exercises. The first exercise is designed to highlight the fact that peer reviewed papers can often contain significant errors and omissions, and in some cases, deeply flawed methodology/scientific approach. The first lecture will begin with the discussion of an example research paper and move on to highlight (through a series of examples) the type of errors and omissions that are often encountered in materials research papers, particularly in the field of sports engineering/technology. The session will conclude with the introduction of a number of papers that will contain examples of good and bad scientific writing. Students will be required to read these papers independently and then produce a list of issues that will be discussed in the second lecture. The second lecture will be composed of two parts. The first part will aim to discuss the good and bad aspects of the example papers. The second part will then introduce the main topic area that constitutes the first assessed work for the module. This topic will focus on prosthetic devices for the 100/400m sprint.
Students will be required to identify 10 relevant papers in the area and then summarise these investigations in order to communicate of the state of current research in the field. Students will be required to identify relationships, contradictions, gaps and inconsistencies in the literature and then suggest the next step or steps required for further work in the area. This exercise will be assessed by an individual written report of 1500 words. This introductory exercise is worth 20% of the module and will be submitted in week 5. The introductory literature review will be followed by a two consecutive exercises worth 40% each. These will be similar in aim and format to the introductory review, but the submission will be increased to 2000 words in length to reflect the extra time available for completion of the reports. The first review of this pair will be submitted in week 1 of the spring term and the second in week 7 of the spring term.