Final Year Projects

Module summary

Module code: COMP1682
Level: 6
Credits: 60
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Computing and Mathematical Sci.
Module Coordinator(s): Georgios Samakovitis

Specification

Pre and co requisites

To have passed Level 5 of an appropriate programme

Introduction and rationale

The Final Year Project requires students to work independently, abstract the essentials of a problem, obtain solutions by appropriate methods, and present their arguments through a user acceptance testing of the end-product/artefact as well as a well-reasoned formal dissertation report.
Prospective employers often require that the student is able to tackle a non-standard problem, organise their work, show a high level of commitment with an awareness of their target audience and present their conclusions in a number of forms. Projects develop practical, analytical and communication skills, and are specifically designed to encourage students to initiate, plan and execute research programmes. Similarly, admissions tutors for Postgraduate courses and Research awards need to be reasonably certain that an applicant will be able to employ these same skills in order to carry out research and put those results in a thesis.
This core course for all final year programmes is designed to provide students with the opportunity to carry out an individual piece of supervised work, a pre-determined, template project or an industry work practice project with an agreed topic relevant to their degree.

Aims

The aims of the course are to:
• Provide the student with the opportunity to research, specify, design, implement and test a software product to an appropriate level of professional competence.
• Encourage the student to evaluate critically the work of others and relate it to their own work where appropriate.
• Develop a student's ability to create, plan, organise and work independently on an appropriate product, drawing on and extending ideas, skills and techniques encountered during the programme of study.
• Develop the student's ability to evaluate critically the work of others and relate it to their own work where appropriate.
• Develop the student's ability to critically appraise their own academic, creative and technical practice, by means of a written report, the product outcome and the process of its production.
Lectures cover; project proposals, research skills and methodologies, project planning, requirements analysis, appropriate testing and implementation. Other skills covered include communication skills (project pitch), record keeping, report writing, appropriate referencing, subject-specific Legal, Social, Ethical laws and professional practice

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
A. Produce a formal Project Proposal including a critical justification for the project and an appropriate set of objectives and estimates for the project.
B. Critically evaluate and use appropriate project management tools and techniques to plan, organise, schedule and control their project.
C. Undertake a critically evaluative and appropriate literature search, using a variety of sources and methods for collecting reference material.
D. Carry a software development project through to a logical conclusion.
E. Document a project with evidence of appropriate research, development methodology, technical documentation and critical refection on their progress and response to changing circumstances.
F. Satisfy any professional requirements specific to the student's programme.

Indicative content

Investigation, Research and Planning Methods, producing a project proposal
• Literature searching, primary secondary and tertiary sources, referencing, annotated bibliography, literature review.
• Primary and secondary research, primary and secondary data.
• Primary research methods, experiment, prototype, observation, surveys, questionnaires.
• Legal, social, ethical and professional issues and considerations.
• Research ethics, system and information security, data protection.
• Technical and commercial risk.
• SMART objectives, activities, estimates, critical path analysis, task scheduling.
Output:
Project Proposal

Information Retrieval and Requirements Analysis, producing a literature review
• Literature Review
• Requirements Specification
o Requirements Gatherng and Analysis
o Functional and Non-Functional requirements
o Analysis Tools and Techniques ( Development Frameworks and Methods)
o Outline Prototyping Plan
o Mapping Requirements to Prototypes
o Iterative and Incremental Prototyping
• Legal, social, ethical and professional issues, Professional Code of Conduct
• Security Implications, Acts and Standards
• Commercial and Technical Risk
Outputs:
Initial report of the literature Review
Requirements Specification
Commercial and technical risk implications,
LSEPi

Technical Project Development
• Product development
• Software Design
• Tools, Practices and Environments
• Software Security and Reliability
Output:
Design Documentation plus artefact
Acceptance Testing and Evaluation

• Verification and validation concepts
• Inspections, reviews, audits
• Testing types, including human computer interface, usability, reliability, security, conformance to specification
• Testing fundamentals, test plan creation and test case generation, black-box and white box testing, test-driven development, object-oriented testing, system testing
• Limitation of testing
Output:
Critical Reflection
System testing and evaluation documentation
Final Report

Teaching and learning activity

This course will guide students through the stages of an individual substantive project through personal supervision and tutorials. During these tutorials and personal supervisions, students will be directed to undertake a student led project, which originates from within the department, from a sponsor, or from their own interests. Acceptable projects lead to the design and implementation of a software product and a written report of the project and the development process. This course is to be delivered via several complementary activities: lectures, tutorials, practical work and directed unsupervised learning. The rationale for this mix of activities is to give the students an interesting and varied learning experience combining theory and analysis to underpin the core practical work. Weekly tutorials and meetings with supervisors where verbal feedback is given. Seminar sessions with verbal feedback from peers and lecturers.

Assessment

Method of summative assessment: Proposal
Outcomes assessed:A
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :10
Passmark: 40
Outline Details:Project Proposal with clear statement of aims, objectives and activities. Supported by academic references, project plan, initial risk analysis and an outline of any potential legal, social, ethical or professional issues that may arise.

Method of summative assessment: Report including evidence of the artefact and user acceptance testing of the artefact.
Outcomes assessed:B-F
Grading Mode (e.g. pass/ fail; %): %
Weighting % :90%
Passmark: 40%
Word Length: 10,000 - 12,000
Outline Details:The report will include the literature review; documentation of contextualising the research, requirements specification and development work including any methodology used; a critical reflection of the work undertaken. The delivery of the artefact as a supplemental piece of evidence. Note: the user acceptance testing of the artefact must be conducted successfully in order to permit successful completion of the project.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Initial Project Pitch to approve the project idea
Initial Contextual Report (Literature Review)
Interim Requirements and Product Development
Written element covering critical reflection of project work