MSc individual research project
MSc Individual Research Project
Project aims and deliverables
The aims of undertaking an individual research project are to give you:
- an opportunity to carry out research to deepen your knowledge and develop your skills regarding an area in which you have a special interest
- an opportunity to develop your skills regarding report writing and presentations
- experience of managing a project
You should contact your supervisor every week or so, perhaps just by email, to report your progress. It is wise to type up your work as you do it. This will help you when you have to write reports, including your final report. In addition, it gives you something to show your supervisor and will help monitoring your progress and rapid detection of any errors. Bear your deadlines for deliverables in mind throughout the project. If you have any serious problems with your project, please inform the MSc Programme Director.
- an initial written report covering the background, specification and milestones for your project. This is an unassessed 1-2 page compulsory submission giving the aims and objectives of the project, a literature review and contents page. Its purpose is to ensure all students are engaged with their project work.
- a high-quality final technical report
- a poster presentation on the project
Project schedule 2021-2022
Main work on Individual Research Project with the following submission deadlines and skills training: between last week of May and first week of September
- Students to submit their project preferences last Friday in November.
- Project allocation to be made around first week of December.
- Initial work on the project to take place part-time throughout the rest of the Spring Term: February - March.
- Submission of Initial Project Report: 10 March 2022 by 4pm
- Full-time work on the project starts after the last exam (usually by late May) and ends by the end of August.
Support sessions availabe througout the year:
- Preparing for your MSc Project (run Central Library) - Janauary '22 and June '22 (exact date/time TBA). You only need to attend one of the sessions.
- Webinar: Mastering Presentations: Informational Posters - Layout and Design (run by Graduate school) - 08 June 2022, 13:00-14:30
- Turnitin Library Session: mid- Aug 2022 - exact date/time TBA
- Electronic Version of Poster: 25 August 2022 by 4pm
- Final Project Report: 1st September 2022 by 4pm
Poster Presentation: week commending 5th September 2022
Selection and allocation of projects
Project proposals by staff will be issued by mid-November for you to make an online selection.
A project may consist of, for example, an integrating review, the use of existing theory for some particular application, investigation of design techniques, a detailed extension of existing theory or a deeper investigation into a laboratory experiment. While new concepts are not required from students, originality of presentation and evidence of understanding in depth are required.
Proposing your own project
Students wishing to propose their own projects should send an initial draft proposal to their MSc Course Director by the end of October . The Course Director will then attempt to find a supervisor for the proposal who (if necessary) will collaborate with the student to prepare, by the middle of November, an acceptable proposal related to the proposal submitted.
If you are considering a project in industry, so an external project, please read the notes within this page about exernal projects.
Allocation of projects
The aim is to allocate projects around the first week of December, so that students can start part-time work on the project fairly early in the Spring term.
Any student who has developed (perhaps with the help of a member of staff) a satisfactory self-proposed project will be allocated that project. Students will be allocated a project (if possible their first choice) via a web-based system.
The secenario for students wishing to do an external project is more complicated. Once a student has found an external project that is acceptable to the Programme Director, negotiations regarding the legal agreement sometimes continue until a few days before the project is scheduled to start in the external organisation (normally in late May). In these cases, we shall try to allocate work related to the external project which can be begun at the start of the Spring term and which can form a back-up project in case the negotiations fail.
Ordering Hardware for your project
Writing and submitting Initial Project report and Final Project report
Please submit your electronic MSc Initial Project Report in a PDF format by 4:00pm, Thursday 10th March 2022
Final MSc Project reports must be submitted in pdf format by 16:00 BST, Thursday 1 September 2022.
Projects will be partly assessed by poster presentation sessions. During the Poster Sessions you should be prepared to explain your project, and answer any questions, to members of the academic staff . The weighting of this presentation session (and/or interview) will be 15% of the overall project mark.
- Please submit your FINAL electronic MSc poster as a PDF file by 16:00 (BST), Thursday 25 August 2022.
- MSc Poster Submission Instructions via the app.
- MSc poster template. Please use the Imperial College A1 portrait research poster template, Downloadable template and guidance.
- Poster Presentations will take place the week commencing 5th Setpember in the main entrance of College.
Students will attend a mandatory presentations skills course.
Mastering Presentations: Presenting your Research by Poster - Wednesday 8th June 2022, 13.00-14.30 via MS Teams.
Your project will be assessed by your supervisor and a further examiner. The following aspects of your project will be taken into account.
- Your performance regarding: Project management, Understanding of the background and context, Initiative, Perseverance in dealing with difficulties, Theoretical, computational and practical achievements
- The technical content of your report
- The size and quality of the part of your project report that could be published in a reputable conference proceedings or journal
- Any special factors contributing to performance on the project
- (in the case of external projects) the report(s) from the external organisation
- Your Initial Project Report
- Your Interim Project Report
The Programme Director will moderate all the project marks to try to ensure consistency of marking. An External Examiner (from another university) helps to oversee this process.
This MSc project assessment table gives an indication of the requirements for a report of pass quality, of merit quality and of distinction quality.
The College's formal position on examination offences is detailed in the Cheating Offences Policy and Procedures, which lists what the College categorises as cheating and thus completely unacceptable. Plagiarism, which is the presentation of another person's thoughts, words or images and diagram s as though they were your own and which is a form of cheating, must be avoided, with particular care in coursework, essays, reports and projects written in your own time and also in open and closed book written examinations. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD WHAT CONSITUTES PLAGIARISM WHEN PREPARING YOUR PROJECT REPORT.
The procedures can be found at Plagiarism, Academic Integrity & Exam Offenses section
Definition and more information can be found on Library's dedicated Plagiarism Awareness for Master's students webpage.
Important note on external projects
Students wishing to carry out their project as an intern with a suitable company should contact the Programme Director by the end of October. Such projects will be called external projects. They can only be undertaken with the permission of the Course Director. An academic supervisor from Imperial College will be allocated and the student must keep in contact with the academic supervisor by email throughout the project. The external organisation must sign an agreement with the College and the student.
Undertaking an external project is, in general, more risky than undertaking a project within the department owing to the increased uncertainty of all aspects the project, however it can be useful experience.
Projects as interns in industry
We do not have a system for finding such projects for you, however, students from French Universities can usually use the systems provided by their universities. Sometimes students find projects using the web. Once a student has found a project offered by a company, please submit the details to the Programme Director. If it is acceptable, a legal agreement has to be formulated and signed by the company, Imperial College and the student before the student can start the project. An essential condition of the agreement is that the report on the project must be put in the public domain, by being entered into the College Library, within a maximum of two years of submission of the report. Any delay must be approved by the College before the project is begun.
Not surprisingly, companies might be reluctant to sign such an agreement and negotiations regarding such agreements sometimes continue until a few days before the project is scheduled to start (normally in late May). Students need to inform the company immediately of the need to sign such an agreement and the condition on the project report going into the public domain because it is best to determine as soon as possible whether the company will be able to accept these conditions. An electronic version of the document can be downloaded from the MSc web-page for sending to the company concerned. It is essential to keep the Course Director informed of all activity concerned with trying to find a suitable internship.
Useful links and samples of past projects
The Library runs practical support sessions to help with the literature review/writing part of your project, covering:
• Advanced search tools to find research papers
• Use of reference management software (Refworks) to collect reference details and automatically generate your reference lists
• Reference management for LaTeX users using BibTeX
The above topics will be covered in Preparing for your MSc Project session in Feb & June 2022. See your outlook Calendar for MS Team event.