Research and investigate a selected specialist area of computer science, including issues at the forefront of research or professional practice in that area.


General Unit Information:

Unit Name

MSc Project - Computer Science

Unit Code




Credit Value


Location(s) of Delivery

On Campus

Period(s) of Delivery

15 weeks

Pre-requisites or Restrictions






Aims and Relevance

The project unit is essential for you to use and develop comprehensive skills and knowledge gained from other units and from your wider educational and working background in a major integrative exercise. While working creatively under the appropriate guidance of a member of staff, you will generate an idea and demonstrate your ability to develop it further, producing a suitable artefact by applying your technical, analytical, practical and managerial skills in an integrated manner. You are required to emphasise on a topic which sufficiently reflects on the course you are studying.

The project unit is aiming at your ability to demonstrate that you have the appropriate level of intellectual skills (ability to synthesise, criticise, develop and integrate material that you have met in the taught units); to identify problems, analyse situations and develop solutions; to develop your project management skills to schedule your time and work and to schedule resources under supervision; to carry out and present in an organised way a substantial body of original work.


Syllabus Content

There are several important stages for the project:

Getting started - selecting project topic, identifying the problem and project planning

Researching state-of-the-art using academic sources

Analysing requirements, designing and implementing the solution Testing and evaluation of the solution

Final report writing up with appropriate referencing to avoid plagiarism Poster presentation

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit you should be able to

1. Demonstrate the following knowledge and understanding

Research and investigate a selected specialist area of computer science, including issues at the forefront of research or professional practice in that area.

2. Demonstrate the following skills and abilities 

Independently undertake a substantial investigation that rigorously tackles a complex problem in an area of computer science, select appropriate methodological processes and critically assess their effectiveness.

PSRB Outcomes and/or Apprenticeship Standard 


Summary Learning Hours






















Approach to Learning 

A project workshop will be used to introduce the main principles of conducting a project and preparing assessments. With a help of selected supervisor, you will use guided and independent learning to familiarize yourself with the project topic and to practise design methods and required software. You will be asked to complete a number of exercises including the identification of relevant literature sources, provision of a précis of one or more sources, and the correct referencing and citation of those sources. Feedback will be provided by staff to ensure that you are able to reflect further on your work and can improve in future submissions, in particular concerning the final project report.

During the project, you will be expected to produce draft documentation such as project proposal, time plan, risk assessment, literature review, design, implementation, testing and evaluation plans, logbook, etc. You will receive formative feedback on these aspects and use this feedback in order to improve your work ready for final submission.

You will meet with your supervisor on a regular basis during the project. The supervisor will provide guidance in delivering the project objectives (including the artefact) and necessary supporting activities (e.g. project planning and review). But, the project remains mainly your independent study activity.

Assessment Summary 


Assessment Method

Learning Outcome(s )


Submission Week

Length of




1 and 2



1500 words


Coursework - Project Report

1 and 2



10000 words


Coursework - Poster

1 and 2



1000 words

 Learner Development

This Unit particularly focuses on the development of your abilities in the following areas:

Contextual Understanding, including where employer based

You will have thorough understanding in current research and thinking related to your project and your course.



You will work with your project supervisor and with other stakeholders. There may also be interaction with your peers for instance if they work on related projects.


You will develop a novel artefact.


Assessment 1 Details

In this assessment, you need to detail the problem statement, objectives, description of your project artefact, research methodology and project management approaches that you will use and the contributions your project outcome will bring. You also need to provide a detailed project time plan with the corresponding GANTT chart detailing the stages of the project and the expected outputs for each stage. You need to produce a risk assessment to analyse impact level and likelihood of potential risks for your project. You also need to list required resources you will need to realize the project artefact. You need to identify any ethical issue and respond how those issues will be handled. You are required to use the provided template for this submission and to provide no more than 1,500 words.


Assessment 2 Details

The project report should include introduction to the project topic, aims and objectives, literature review, quality of analysis, originality and depth for the produced artefact (e.g. a simulation, a piece of software, or the building of a physical hardware device) and conducted research, testing, experimentation, results, evaluation and discussion & references used. The word limit for the project report is 10,000 words. Order now



Assessment 3 Details

Your poster (A1 size, portrait or landscape orientation) should briefly present and summarize the overall work of the project including the outcomes and performance evaluation. It should also include the project requirements, relevance of the project to the course being studied, implementation and design details and the key conclusions from the project. You also need to attend oral viva and to submit the logbook that should reflect the activities taken throughout the project work week-by- week. Our samples

Assessment 4 Details


Threshold Expectations

In order to pass Assessment 1 you will need to :

Clearly define the project problem statement and aims; Propose and design a suitable investigation process; Identify, select and synthesize relevant literature in the chosen project area; Provide work breakdown and timeline; Identify and critically assess risks to the project

In order to pass Assessment 2 you will need to:

Autonomously manage the progress of your project using initiative and accessing support where appropriate; Effectively implement and test the project design; Identify, justify and apply appropriate evaluation methods; Integrate findings from your literature review with critical evaluate your original investigation to develop substantial conclusions including the potential for future work; Effectively communicate project progress and results in a range of specialised contexts

In order to pass Assessment 3 you will need to:

Produce an A1 poster that clearly and effectively summarises your project objectives, design and implementation, key findings, and conclusions; Present the poster in oral viva; Show in detail your activities on week-by-week basis in logbook

In order to pass Assessment 4 you will need to

Section B 

Recommended Reading

Core Text - this unit is supported by the following core text:

DAWSON, C. (2009), Projects in Computing and Information Systems: a Student’s Guide. 2nd Ed. Addison Wesley.

Guided Reading

The following is expected reading for this unit. Details of what to read and when will be provide in the BREO site.

BERNDTSSON, M. et al. (2007), Thesis Projects: a Guide for Students in Computer Science and Information Systems. 1st Ed. Springer.

Literature related to your project

Independent Study

To receive high grades you will need to demonstrate your wider reading. The following resources provide useful background reading for the material in this unit. This is not an exhaustive list and students should read widely from the variety of journals available in the Learning Resources Centre.

Independently undertake a substantial investigation that rigorously tackles a complex problem in an area of computer science, select appropriate methodological processes and critically assess their effectiveness.

Literature related to your project

Equality Impact Assessment



Additional anticipatory adjustments/actions if necessary

Learning materials will be made available in advance of sessions for students to adapt as appropriate?



Materials will be made available for students online at the very beginning of the scheduled delivery

The approach to teaching and learning is sufficiently flexible to enable all students to succeed?




Guidelines and support will be given throughout the assessment development and workshops will be denoted for that purpose. The lecture sessions are designed to address a large set of learning needs with additional learning resources available to students to complement their study and engagement with the unit

The approach to group work takes account of the needs of students with disabilities and from diverse backgrounds?



Appropriate rules and guidelines are considered for students with disabilities and diverse backgrounds to assure fairness, confidentiality and additional support where necessary

The approach to practical work takes account of the needs of students with disabilities?



Additional access to learning and specialised equipment will be made available for students with disabilities

Students with a protected characteristic* have an equal opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes?



The learning outcomes do not affect students with a specific characteristic to achieve the minimum required to pass the assessment points associated with them

The assessment tasks provide all students with an equal opportunity to succeed?



The assessment has been carefully designed to provide an equal opportunity for all students to succeed.


Any other aspects of the unit that might pose potential challenges from an equality or diversity perspective have been considered?



Should these challenges arise corrective actions will be taken by the unit team


* Age, Gender reassignment, Marriage and civil partnership, Pregnancy and maternity, Race, Religion and belief, Sex, Sexual orientation

Section C

Administrative Information – Faculty completion


Creative Arts Technologies and Science




School of Computer Science and Technology

HECOS Code(s)



Apprenticeship ?



Courses that this unit is delivered on

MSc Computer Science

MSc Computer Science with Project Management


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