SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code MHW225671
Module Leader Brian Shields
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Computing
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Research Skills & Professional Issues or equivalent

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 BCS Accredited Programmes are required to undertake a practice-based capstone project.


The procedures for allocating and undertaking this module 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:1. 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).2. Demonstrate a clear understanding, as appropriate to the problem, of techniques, technologies and tools for the chosen area of work.3. Demonstrate literature review, analysis, synthesis and critical evaluation skills appropriate to an Honours level award.4. Evaluate the success of the project work and the corresponding project process.5. Analyse the professional and ethical issues which apply within the context of the project.6. 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 Assessment: Interim/Progress Report 20% Final Dissertation 70% Presentation 10%. The Final Dissertation will have an upper word limit of 10,000 words.

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

Specialist knowledge and application Critical thinking and problem solving Critical analysis Communication skills, written, oral and listening Effective information retrieval and research skills Computer literacy Self-confidence, self-discipline & self-reliance (independent working) Awareness of strengths and weaknesses Creativity, innovation and independent thinking Appreciating and desiring the need for continuing professional development Reliability, integrity, honesty and ethical awareness Ability to prioritise tasks and time management 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 1 n/a 100.00 35% Honours Project