Motorsport: final year projects

Josh Smith blog entry

Welcome to my October blog and we are nearing the end of the motorsport racing season for most and heading into a winter of rebuilding, refreshing, upgrading, testing and development.
Students of both FE and HE are back to their studies now and for some of you, you will have a final year project, double project or dissertation to complete.
These are vital modules as they often carry heavier weighting than other modules/units and are driven by you, the student. Staff will be there to guide you, provide thoughts, opinions and subject knowledge when necessary, but the onus is on you to produce a high quality piece of work within strict guidelines of timeliness and specific outcomes.
This module is also important for employers to see, alongside the work placement modules (covered next month) that you may do. The reason for this is mentioned above; it provides you with an opportunity to express yourself within your chosen area of study and allows you to explore a specific area in more detail. You may pick something that is based around modules you have enjoyed, specific topics you have a key interest in, your preferred career path or a project in conjunction with your work placements. One thing you must ensure is that you have an interest and understanding of the topic prior to you starting it. As this is an independent project you must be able to self-motivate yourself in order to carry out tasks and complete them to the best of your ability.
The planning stage is vital as you will no doubt have many other assessments and extracurricular work going on throughout the year. You will need to plan for any kind of risk in terms of equipment failure, back up for supplier issues and any other kind of process issue that could hold up your progress. Your project will need to have elements of research, modelling, testing, analysis, development, evaluations and conclusions. To assist in your planning and to best maintain a clear focus, you should come up with a project title, aims and objectives. The title will tell you what you are doing, the aim will tell you what you are looking to achieve or prove whilst the objectives will give SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) goals that help with the progression and completion of your work.
Once completed, a project provides you with an interesting talking point with employers for interviews as they will quiz you on what you did and how the project was managed throughout the year.
Next month, we will discuss the project process more and then begin to discuss work placements…..