RESEARCH AND PROJECT METHODS

SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMI123178
Module Leader Hadi Larijani
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Cyber Security and Networks
Trimesters
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • S-B (January start)-A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to provide students with the background knowledge and skills that, in combination with the technical skills acquired in other taught modules, will enable them to carry an MSc Dissertation through to a successful conclusion. Students will study all aspects of the processes underlying both capstone projects and research projects, and will relate these to available tools, ethical considerations and professional issues. By the end of the module the student will have produced a viable proposal for a 12 person-week full implememntation of a dissertation project that when successfully completed will be worthy of the award of an MSc.

Syllabus

TRIMESTER A 1.Innovation, Evaluation and Research: Advancing professional learning by doing and critical analysis. Kinds of project: Capstone Projects and Research Projects; relation of research to a Capstone project 2.Establishing the Baseline a.Assessing the quality and relevance of information sources b.Search tools c Managing search process and results d.Literature search and review e.Assessment of Tools and Environments for Modelling and/or Development f. Research questions, motivation and gaps of knowledge. 3. Defining research and devising research 4. Identifying and formulating a research question 5. Evaluation Methods a.Formative and Summative Evaluation b Sensitivity Analysis for Simulations and Experiments c.Design Rationale and Claims Analysis d.Hypothesis Testing e.Usability Labs 6. Ethical Considerations a.Intellectual Property and Plagiarism b.Research Involving Human Subjects c.Vetting for access to minors and vulnerable people d.University's procedures for ethical approval 7.Professional Issues a.Characteristics of a Profession: Standards and Codes of Conduct; Professional Bodies in Computing b.Continuous Professional Development and its relation to learning, teaching, R&D c.Data Protection, Privacy and Freedom of Information TRIMESTER B 1. Project Paradigms a.Experiments b.Modelling and Simulation c. Case Studies d. Develop and Evaluate e. Guest lectures on approaches/techniques specific to programme areas 2. Project Definition a Discussion of possible Project Topics b Scoping a project c How to organise project Proposal development d How project Proposals will be evaluated e Defining Project Deliverables f Work Breakdown: Aim, Objectives, Activities 3. Project Planning and Progress Monitoring a Estimating and Scheduling Activities b Identifying and scheduling, Milestones and other Events c Project Planning Software: Gantt Charts and PERT/CPM diagrams d Planning for Resources and Access e Managing Risk f Progress monitoring and adaptation 4. Report Writing a Structure, Style, Register and Presentation b Structure of a Research Report c Structure of a Develop and Evaluate Project Report d Citation and Referencing e Abstracts and Executive Summaries 5. Oral and Visual Presentations a.Structuring a Presentation b.Audience Rapport c.Designing OHPs and other media d.Presentation in practice 6. Drop-in sessions to support proposal development

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module, the student should be able to:- demonstrate an understanding of professional and academic standards of writing and documentation of results, in particular the correct use of references and the avoidance of plagiarism whether intentional or accidental;- demonstrate an understanding of basic research methods and search tools and their appropriate use to underpin a capstone project or to extend knowledge through a research project, and in the critical evaluation of project results and processes;- define an MSc project, on an appropriate topic within his/her programme area, which is scoped so that it can be completed with 12 person-weeks of project implementation effort and develop a project plan capable of orderly execution with effective progress monitoring;- master the writing, speaking and organisational skills required for the production of a high-quality final report and presentation;- deal appropriately with ethical issues, professional issues and project risks arising within the selected project area, and relate these specific issues to professional issues and professional development more generally;- act constructively upon feedback provided on a draft dissertation project proposal, and produce a revised acceptable final proposal for an MSc Dissertation project.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered by means of lectures supported by tutorials, problem-solving reading and writing exercises, unsupervised laboratory work, directed reading, literature search and analysis, oral presentation exercises, project planning and proposal writing exercises. Leaders of programme teams will give presentations on project types suitable to their programmes. Workshops will be held early in Trimester B for students to discuss specific proposals with potential supervisors. Students will be directed to study appropriate texts and articles, both print and web based, to consolidate and extend their knowledge of the topics covered. Students will be provided feedback via a combination of written feedback on coursework, generic feedback via GCU Learn and verbal feedback during tutorial

Indicative Reading

Dawson, C (2005) Projects in Computing and Information Systems. Addison-Wesley. Jain, R (1991) The Art of Computer Systems Performance Analysis: Techniques for Experimental Design, Measurement, Simulation and Modeling. Wiley. Additional Reading Ambler, S (2002) Agile Modeling: Effective Practices for eXtreme Programming and the Unified Process. Wiley. Ayres, R (1999) The Essence of Professional Issues in Computing. Prentice Hall. Kroll, P & Krutchen, P (2003) Rational Unified Process Made Easy. Addison Wesley. Moran, T (1996) Design Rationale. Sage. Newman, J (forthcoming) Practical Investigation in the Computing Sciences. Book2Print.. Oates, B J (2006) Researching Information Systems and Computing. Sage. Simon, H A (1996) The Sciences of the Artificial. 3rd ed. MIT Press. Anderson, E (2009) Goal Directed Project Management: Effective Techniques and Strategies, 4th Ed. Kogen Page Jenkins N, (2005) A Project Management Primer

Transferrable Skills

Thinking skills: Critical thinking and problem solving Cognitive/intellectual skills Knowledge and understanding in the context of the subject Key life skills: Learning style and orientation to learning Time management: organising and planning work Independent working Practical skills: Communication skills, written, oral and listening Numeracy skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 16.00
Independent Learning (FT) 86.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Tutorials (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 50% Dissertation project proposal (7000 word count)