SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code MHW222996
Module Leader Brian Shields
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Computing
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Research Methods & Professional Issues

Summary of Content

This is a substantial individual piece of work with a significant research dimension based on an appropriate topic from within the student's programme of study and which reflects the student's own interests. This work will be concerned with a specific problem from the student's programme of study and will include as appropriate, a systematic investigation, a survey of literature relevant to the problem, an analysis of appropriate approaches, a detailed planning activity and an implementation of the selected approach. The project will also involve a reflective evaluation of the project outcomes and approach taken and a verbal presentation of the work. At this programme level the student is expected to be significantly autonomous and demonstrate a high degree of initiative in the conduct of the project. Students on Software Engineering Suite of programmes as well as students on the BSc(Hons) Computer Games (Software Development), BSc(Hons) Computer Games (Design), BEng(Hons) Network Systems Engineering and BEng(Hons) Digital Security, Forensics and Ethical Hacking programmes are required to undertake a practice-based capstone project .


The procedures for allocating and undertaking this module and details of its individual assessment components will be given in the guidance material issued to students in preparation for undertaking this module

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:Demonstrate the ability to plan and carry out an in-depth research or practice-based capstone project as appropriate to the area of study and to work independently (Students on software engineering suite programmes are required to undertake a practice-based capstone project).Demonstrate a clear understanding, as appropriate to the problem, of techniques, technologies and tools for the chosen area of work.Demonstrate literature review, analysis, synthesis and critical evaluation skills appropriate to an Honours level award.Evaluate the success of the project work and the corresponding project process.Analyse the professional and ethical issues which apply within the context of the project.Demonstrate the ability to communicate all aspects of the project in a written, visual and oral form.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The University 'Strategy for Learning' documentation has informed the learning and teaching strategy for this module. The student will be explicitly prepared for the Honours project through the Research Methods module which precedes it. This module builds upon the project skills which students will have developed from previous programme levels and emphasises the specific research related methods and skills applicable at Honours level. Either, project titles will be distributed to students in Year 3 and students indicate choices before writing a proposal, or students suggest their own topic and will be directed by their module coordinator to an appropriate member of staff to discuss the feasibility of the proposed project. The student will then undertake the project with guidance from an appropriate member of staff who will act as project supervisor. The project supervisor will assist the student in refining the scope of the project. The supervisor will provide advice and guidance to the student in the development of their project deliverables, and in the planning and monitoring of the project's progress. Contact with the supervisor should be on the basis of pre-arranged regular meetings. The students will be supported in the early stages of the project module by a number of lectures to explain the module requirements and the research ethics application process. Further lectures will give generic guidance on key aspects of undertaking the project, such as writing a literature review and the development of the various project deliverables. Full use will be made of GCU Learn to provide generic study materials to support independent learning and allowing self-reflective feedback on student performance. Staff-based feedback on student performance for submitted work will be provided in line with the University feedback policy, with summative feedback and grades on the coursework assessment. The additional interactive discussion features of GCU Learn will be utilised, as appropriate to the module, to stimulate independent and flexible student learning outwith scheduled class time. Students registered on part-time programmes may use elements of work-related activity to underpin the learning on this module. To support part-time students in undertaking group activities use will be made of GCULearn to provide study materials. Additionally the interactive features of GCULearn will be utilised to support group learning outwith scheduled class time. GCULearn facilitates group interaction through discussion forum, file sharing, blogs, wikis and journals. Students will also be encouraged to make appropriate use of social media and collaboration tools.

Indicative Reading

Individual references may be recommended for each project by the project supervisor, but the student's own literature survey would be expected to provide most of the reading material relevant to the project. General honours project support texts include : Kumar R (2014) Research Methodology: A Step by Step Guide for Beginners (4 th Edition), Sage Publishing. Cornford T, Smithson S (2005) Project Research in Information Systems: A Student Guide, (2 nd Edition) Palgrave Macmillan. Dawson C W (2009) Projects in Computing and Information System: A Student's Guide, (2 nd Edition) Addison Wesley. Creswell J W (2002) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Method Approaches (4th Ed), Sage Publishing. Miles, M, Huberman, M, Saldana, J (2013) Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook (3 rd Edition) Sage . Leech, Barret & Morgan, (2012) IBM SPSS for Intermediate Statistics: Use and Interpretation, Fourth Edition. The Management of a Student Research Project (3rd Edition), Gower Publishing. Oates, B J (2006) Researching Information Systems and Computing. Sage. Simon, H A (1996) The Sciences of the Artificial. 3rd ed. MIT Press. Sutcliffe, A (2002) The Domain Theory: Patterns for Knowledge and Software Re-use. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Zobel, J (2005) Writing for Computer Science, second edition, Springer. Lazar, J et al. (2009) Research Methods in Human Computer Interaction, John Wiley & Sons

Transferrable Skills

D1 Specialist knowledge and application D2 Critical thinking and problem solving D3 Critical analysis D4 Communication skills, written, oral and listening D6 Effective information retrieval and research skills D7 Computer literacy D8 Self-confidence, self-discipline & self-reliance (independent working) D9 Awareness of strengths and weaknesses D10 Creativity, innovation and independent thinking D12 Appreciating and desiring the need for continuing professional development D13 Reliability, integrity, honesty and ethical awareness D15 Ability to prioritise tasks and time management D17 Presentation skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 6.00
Assessment (FT) 36.00
Independent Learning (FT) 358.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 70.00 n/a Final Project Report.The 10000 word count incorporates content from the progress report which is not assessed a second time.
Coursework 3 n/a 10.00 n/a Final Presentation
Coursework 1 n/a 20.00 n/a Interim Progress Report (4000 words)