MSc Computing (Specialism) Individual Project

Module aims

In this module you will have the opportunity to demonstrate independence and originality, to plan and organise a large project over a long period, and to put into practice the knowledge, skills and research methods that you have learnt throughout the programme.                

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this project students will be able to:
• Conduct independent research
• Produce a technically non-trivial implementation
• Develop and critically evaluate a system that satisfies the requirements of a Computing application area
• Communicate challenges and achievement both orally and in writing
• Produce a technical and scholarly report

Module syllabus

The module is primarily self-study, where students work on an independent investigation with supervisory support.

There will be a small number of supporting lectures that will
1. describe the structure of the project, including expectations, milestones and deliverables,
2. give guidance on writing and presentation skills targeted specifically at individual projects,
3. explain the assessment procedures.

Teaching methods

This is an independent project, although you will be supervised throughout by an academic supervisor, possibly in conjunction with a Postdoctoral Research Assistant or PhD student. MSc individual project topics vary widely: some involve contributing novel and potentially publishable research, whilst others are concerned with tackling a substantial practical or theoretical problem using state of the art techniques, methods or thinking drawn from the research literature. The supervisor's role is to provide guidance and expertise when needed, but it is up to the you to demonstrate your ability to think and work independently and to evaluate your findings in a sound and rigorous manner. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor(s), typically one every week or two on average, although more regular interactions are common as the project nears completion. A second marker for the project will be assigned at around the midpoint of the project and they will conduct a progress check, based on an interim report and a short interview.               


All projects are approved, conducted and supervised under standard guidelines developed by the Department of Computing (DoC), and independently assessed against standard criteria by a minimum of two people. All project marks are subject to internal moderation by DoC. As mentoned in the learning and teaching report, you will meet your supervisor(s) regularly and also have a meeting with the second marker who will provide you feedback on the interim report.

The project is assessed through the production of a final report, along with a presentation/demonstration. Both components are considered together to give an overall impression of the project. The presentation is required and provides an opportunity for the markers to ask questions to the student, but a separate mark is not provided for the presentation. The project cannot be passed if the presentation is not completed. The final mark is based on the written report. 

Your progress is continually asessed by your supervisor. You will receive verbal feedback throughout the project at regular meetings with your supervisor, as well from your second marker during the interim review.