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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: COMM002 Module Title: MSC DISSERTATION
Module Provider: Computing Short Name: COM00
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: TANG HL Dr (Computing)
Number of credits: 60 Number of ECTS credits: 30
Module Availability

Run once throughout the year.

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)
Poster Presentation
Final Dissertation Report
Final Examination
Qualifying Condition(s) 
The students should have completed the taught element of the MSc successfully and have achieved an overall average of 50% or higher.

Module Overview
The dissertation is a module that allows a student to undertake a major piece of work that will involve developing and applying material encountered on the course under the guidance of a supervisor, who is normally a member of teaching staff. The dissertation lasts for both semesters and involves practical work and writing a report on the work done. This module is different from all other modules in that the content is determined to a large extent by the student but at MSc level should be research led and/or a significant technical challenge. The dissertation provides a lot of freedom in choosing what to study but on the other hand it requires a lot more independent thought and organisational skills than the majority of modules.

See qualifying conditions above

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to develop the student’s ability to conduct supervised research leading to the preparation and defence of a quality dissertation document in the chosen specialism. It is expected that the dissertation will be available on the Web.

Learning Outcomes
By the end of the MSc dissertation the students are expected to be able to:
1.       competently address one current problem in the broad area of Internet Computing, Information Systems or Security and Technology Applications
2.       describe and critically evaluate existing literature relevant to their topic thus demonstrating expertise in their field;
3.       apply the concepts, techniques and methods they learned from the taught element of the course in order to design a solution (typically a software system) for their chosen problem;
4.       critically evaluate software tools and environments and choose the right combination in order to implement (fully or partially) their design;
5.       assess their system by using appropriate metrics such as performance, user acceptance and feedback, security, etc;

demonstrate competence in applying the concepts of software lifecycle and systems analysis and design in all stages of the development of their system professionally present technical findings in written and spoken form.

Module Content

Regular supervision with supervisor and series of supporting lectures to cover choosing a dissertation topic, how to plan your dissertation and dissertation writing.

Methods of Teaching/Learning
The students are expected to work closely with and under the guidance of their MSc dissertation supervisor. Each student has one member of academic staff allocated as supervisor. It is expected that there will be regular meetings between the student and the supervisor.

There will be in addition a small number of formal classes on thesis writing which all students are encouraged to attend. The dissertation coordinator will provide additional support throughout the session to answer any queries on the dissertation process.

Selected Texts/Journals
Essential reading
Zobel, Justin. 2004. Writing for Computer Science. London: Springer.
Rudestam, Kjell Erik. Surviving your dissertation: a comprehensive guide to content and process 2nd ed, London, Sage 2001 0761919619
Locke, Lawrence F. Proposals that work: a guide for planning dissertations and grant proposals 4th ed, Thousand Oaks, Calif, London, Sage 2000 0761917063
Glatthorn, Allan A, 1924, Writing the winning dissertation: a step-by-step guide, Thousand Oaks, Calif, Corwin Press, 1998 0803966784

Watson, George, 1927, Writing a thesis: a guide to long essays and dissertations, London, Longman, 1987 0582494656

Last Updated

21 August 2008