CO7201 Individual Project


CO7201 Individual Project

Credits: 60 Convenor: Dr. M. El-Ramly Semester: June-Sept

Prerequisites:
Assessment: Coursework: 100% : none%
Lectures: none Problem Classes: none
Tutorials: none Private Study: 438
Labs: none Seminars: none
Project: none Other: none
Surgeries: 12 Total: 450

Subject Knowledge

Aims

The aim of this module is to give students the opportunity to show individual creativity and originality; to apply where appropriate and go beyond where necessary, the knowledge and skills taught throughout the course, to enhance planning, investigative, problem-solving and other transferable skills, and to demonstrate the ability to undertake a substantial research or development-based project.

Learning Outcomes

The main learning outcomes of this module are in the development of research and presentation skills. Upon successful completion of the project, students should be able to:

Methods

After examinations, a project is undertaken full-time, leading to submission of a 15,000 word dissertation (excluding program code and documentation) by the middle of September. The project is expected to contain some element of original work. Students may wish to complement the foundational material of the first two terms with practical, applied work during the project. It is possible for this type of project to involve informal collaboration with other organisations, subject to previous approval of the project supervisor. Students who, from the beginning, wish to obtain the full MSc qualification in a focused topic, can construct their own pathway, with the help of a member of the staff, by coordinating the choice of options and the work to be performed in the Seminar module, the Planning module, and the Individual Project.

Assessment

Dissertation and marked interim reports

Course Description

After the examinations in June, an individual research project can be undertaken full-time by the students who qualify to do so. The project may include substantial practical computing, but may also be purely theoretical. In any case, it must be clearly at postgraduate level; it is expected to contain some element of original work but need not yield substantially original results. A project cannot be entirely or mainly a review of literature; it must include practical and/or theoretical results obtained directly by the student and not merely taken from previous literature.

Projects are carried out under the supervision of a member of the academic staff. A menu of possible projects is made available by Monday, 24 January 2005. For each project, this menu includes a provisional title, a few sentences of outline description, and the name of the supervisor. Before selecting a project from this menu, a student should discuss details with the indicated supervisor. The supervisor may refuse to supervise a student if, by the time registration is due, the student has not acquired sufficient background to complete successfully the project. Project registration forms must be submitted by Friday, 17 June 2005, and all discussions between students and project supervisors must be concluded before that date.

Because one project can be taken only by one student, and the projects of two students cannot be too similar, students are advised to start discussions with potential supervisors well before the registration deadline. The allocation of the projects is done by the course Director, in consultation with the supervisors, shortly after the project registration deadline.

Students who, from the beginning, wish to obtain the full MSc qualification in a focused topic, can construct their own pathway by coordinating the choice of options and the work to be performed in the Seminar module, the Planning module, and the Individual Project. For that purpose, students should contact a member of staff as early as possible to help them construct their pathway and supervise their work. It is possible for this type of project to involve informal collaboration with other organisations, subject to previous approval of the project supervisor. When a student and a proposed supervisor reach agreement on a project proposal, the MSc Project Co-ordinator must be consulted, in all cases before the registration deadline.

The project is subject to continuous monitoring by the project supervisor. On Friday, 24 June 2005 every student is required to give a ten-minute public oral presentation on his or her project, as well as to submit a preliminary report which contains, among other things, a clear technical specification, background material, as well as a detailed-time table for achieving the objectives of the project. In addition, two interim reports are due before the submission of the final dissertation, one on Friday, 22 July 2005 Friday, and the second on Monday, 22 August 2005. After submitting the dissertation, each student is required to give a formal "project presentation" to two members of staff. More details will be made available in the first semester.

The project is assessed on the basis of a the two interim reports, with a combined weight of 10%, and the dissertation (carrying 90%). An oral examination may also be required. If the project includes practical computing, the student must demonstrate to at least one member of the academic staff (usually to the project supervisor) that the developed software behaves according to the specification given in the dissertation.

The dissertation must be an original exposition that is clear and includes proper references to the technical literature. The dissertation should not exceed 15,000 words, excluding program code and documentation. It must be clearly and accurately written in good English. The dissertation must be prepared in a document typesetting system and must be laser-printed on A4 paper. Three bound copies must be submitted. A CDROM with a soft copy of the dissertation and all software developed for the project must be attached to one hard copy of the dissertation. Assistance with typing is not provided.

Each dissertation must include a clear description of the following aspects of the project:

The supervisor will read and comment on a draft of a student's dissertation provided that this is produced sufficiently in advance of the deadline for final submission. The supervisor may comment on technical adequacy and style of presentation. The strict deadline for submission of the dissertation is 5:00pm on Friday, 23 September 2005.

After the final meeting of the Examiners in September 2005, students will be informed if they have failed the project, passed the project or passed the project with distinction. The Examiners may deem a project report to be satisfactory provided some minor amendments are made. In such a case, the Examiners may require the candidate to make the specified amendments within a specified amount of time (at most three months but usually not longer than one month). The final result will depend upon the Examiners being satisfied by the amendments that have been carried out.

A student who fails a project may, at the discretion of Examiners, retake it in the year immediately following the year of the failure, but it will have to be a new project not merely a continuation of the previous one. The project may not be retaken more than once. It is not legitimate to take the written examinations in one year and voluntarily defer taking the project for the first time until the following year. Registering for a project but not submitting it is equivalent to failing it.

Module Evaluation

Course questionnaires, course review.


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Author: N. Rahman, tel: +44 (0)116 252 2593
Last updated: 2004-09-29
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