MSc Project Handbook | My Assignment Tutor

MSc Project HandbookDepartment of Computer ScienceAuthored by Dr Olga AngelopoulouTable of Contents1. Introduction 51.1 Useful information on the module 51.1.1 Recommended reading 51.1.2 Canvas 51.2 Supervision 62. The Process 72.1 Getting started on your project and how it is assessed 72.1.1 Investigative project 72.1.2 Development project 82.2 Ethics approval 92.3 Project management 9MSc Project Handbook12.3.1 Further guidance 102.3.2 Project Journey 103. The Project 113.1 Instructions on the Detailed Project Proposal (DPP) 113.1.1 Detailed Project Proposal (DPP) presentation 113.2 Instructions on the Interim Progress Report (IPR) 113.2.1 Section 1: Introduction and overview 123.2.2 Section 2: Progress to date 123.2.3 Section 3: Planned work 123.2.4 Bibliography 123.2.5 Appendices 123.2.6 IPR report presentation 133.3 Instructions on the Final Project Report (FPR) 133.3.1 FPR report presentation 133.3.2 Assessment process 143.3.3 Marking process 143.3.4 Plagiarism checking 143.3.5 Project Demonstration 143.3.6 Late submissions 153.4 Final project report supporting structure 153.4.1 Title Page 153.4.2 Abstract 153.4.3 Acknowledgements (if any) 153.4.4 Contents page 153.4.5 Chapter 1: Introduction to the project 163.4.6 Collection of main chapters 163.4.7 Chapter X: Discussion and evaluation chapter 163.4.8 Bibliography and referencing 173.4.9 Appendices 173.5 Issues for the assessors and characteristics of each grade 173.5.1 For a numeric grade of 80 or above 183.5.2 For a numeric grade between 70 and 79 183.5.3 For a numeric grade between 60 and 69 183.5.4 For a numeric grade between 50 and 59 18Appendix A: Detailed Project Proposal (DPP) Template 21MSc Project Handbook2Appendix B: Sample Title Page 22Appendix C: Sample – MSc Interim Progress Report (IPR): feedback and Scores 23Appendix D: Sample – Final Project Report (FPR) Marking Sheet26Appendix E: MSc Project Journey Template 26MSc Project Journey 281. Meeting objective 282. Preparation (reading material, completed work etc.) 28MSc Project Handbook33. Action Items for next meeting 285. Planned next meeting 28MSc Project Handbook4This page is intentionally left blankMSc Project Handbook51. IntroductionThe purpose of the handbook is to accompany you during the preparation of your project forthe completion of your Master’s programme in the Department of Computer Science at theUniversity of Hertfordshire. The successful completion of your MSc Project, your finalproject report and demonstration is worth 60 credits.It is necessary for the award of a Master’s level qualification to demonstrate your ability tobring together a variety of skills, experience and knowledge derived from different sources.The main purpose of the Master’s project is to allow students to extend the principles andconcepts they have learnt during study of advanced modules, and apply that knowledge in thecontext of a substantial piece of independent work.You are expected to work on a practical investigative or development project. You should betrying to answer some research questions. There needs to be an appropriate balance betweenresearch and development and you should demonstrate you have acquired the skills to applythe knowledge gained from your research to your practical work.The project is a showpiece opportunity for you to demonstrate what you know about currentresearch and practices in your field of study and show off your skills in selecting and usingappropriate techniques and tools employed in these areas to conduct a practical investigationinto a particular problem. It is a self-directed piece of work, conducted with minimumsupervision that demonstrates your ability to plan and manage a substantial piece of work,and steer your own efforts. You are expected to be thorough in your work, and particularly,identify and tackle any difficult or challenging aspects of the problems they are trying tosolve. It is not just the quantity, or even the quality of work that is considered when gradingthe project, but the level of difficulty and the scope of the problem being addressed.The aims of the MSc Project are to enable the students to1. Select and use appropriate tools and techniques in order to conduct a practicalinvestigation or solve a problem, and critically evaluate their own work.2. Demonstrate that they can work independently with minimum supervision, plan theirwork effectively, and present the outcome of their work in written and oral form.3. Draw on what they already know about the subject area to identify further areas ofstudy, and extend their knowledge by making critical use of the technical andscientific literature and other materials, and conceive original ideas of their own.1.1 Useful information on the module1.1.1 Recommended reading• “Projects in Computing and Information Systems: A Student’s Guide”, any Edition,Christian W Dawson, Addison Wesley.• “Thesis Projects: A Guide for Students in Computer Science and InformationSystems”, any Edition, Mikael Berndtsson, Jörgen Hansson, Björn Olsson and BjörnLundell, Springer.1.1.2 CanvasWhere possible, distributed materials for this module will be put onto Canvas in the modulearea for 7COM1039 Advanced Computer Science Masters Project. All the other masters’project modules are slaved to this site, so those students registered on other project moduleswill be redirected automatically to this site.MSc Project Handbook61.2 SupervisionYou must advise the module leader if you’ve agreed supervision with a staff member.Otherwise the module team will assign you to a supervisor.A typical meeting with your supervisor should approximately last 15 minutes each week forone-semester (full-time) projects and every fortnight for double-semester (part-time) projects.However, there are variances that depend on your needs. Your supervisor may take someannual leave during your project. Supervision meetings could be scheduled with individualsor as a group.Your individual project supervisor will advise and support you on the project. However, theywill not tell you what to do, nor will take responsibility for your mistakes. The supervisor’srole is not to contribute to any part of the project for you. The individual project supervisor isa valuable resource and you should use them wisely since the resource is limited. Therefore,you should make sure you meet with them every week (or every two weeks for part-timestudents) for during term time, at a time that is mutually convenient for both of you. For thesemeetings to be beneficial, you will need to do some work every week, or else you won’t haveanything to discuss with your supervisor.It is a general observation that students who do not meet with their supervisors regularly donot achieve good results in their projects.MSc Project Handbook72. The Process2.1 Getting started on your project and how it isassessedThe project is an individual, rigorous, critical and complex piece of work. It is not anassignment set by a tutor, where you mainly provide information that is coming fromsomeone else’s research with your personal critical thinking. It is not just a piece of softwaredevelopment. You are expected to study what other people have done, and more importantlygenerate information yourself and develop expertise in your area of study.Depending on your study mode, the MSc Project is carried out over an extended period andyou should dedicate approximately 600 hours over one or two semesters — the equivalent of43 hours a week for one-semester (full-time) projects; for double-semester (part-time)projects, the equivalent of 21.5 hours per week on your project work. It is very important toplan ahead your work and not leave it to the last few weeks. Your participation is imperative.You should never forget to be working full time on your project. Please avoid taking leave ingeneral. If you are absent, then plan with your supervisor and adjust your schedule.Always keep in touch and keep up!There are eight different project modules, but only TWO really different kinds of project,investigative or development. You must do the type of project specified by the award youseek.Learning outcomes for ALL students1. be able to plan and manage a substantial body of work, identify any risks inherent intheir chosen approach, and work independently with minimum supervision;2. be able to both critically evaluate and discuss the outcome of their project work inwritten and oral form3. be able to articulate the broader contexts of their work in relation to legal, social,ethical, and professional issues, and assess the economic impact of their project.2.1.1 Investigative projectThis type of project requires you to work on an investigative and practical project. It appliesto those of you who study Software Engineering, AI with Robotics, Networking, CyberSecurity, Data Science with Analytics or Advanced Computer Science.“This type of project involves a thorough investigation of a particular area; improving yourunderstanding of that area, identifying strengths and weaknesses within the field, discussinghow the field has evolved, and acknowledging areas suitable for further development andinvestigation. This kind of project will involve some form of literature search and review. Aresearch-based project may well have to do more than establish the field of study.” (Dawson,2009)You need to have a research question or hypothesis to investigate.Investigative project learning outcomes• be able to critically evaluate advanced literature in topics relevant to their chosenproject.• be able to refer to the findings of other academic writers to justify their chosen approach tothe development of a solution, and to evaluate the outcomes of their project work;• be able to combine their knowledge of the subject, their reading of research papersand the outcome of their own investigations to conceive original ideas of their own.MSc Project Handbook8AI with/and Robotics project (7COM1036/86)• be able to undertake a practical piece of work that demonstrates that they can applytheir knowledge and skills to the design and development of computerised solutions toa particular problem within the domain of computer science.Computer Networking Principles and Practice project (7COM1037)• be able to select and use appropriate techniques and tools employed in computernetworking, distributed systems, and system security in order to conduct a practicalinvestigation into a particular distributed systems or system security problem.Software Engineering project (7COM1038)• be able to select and use appropriate software engineering models, methodologies,measures and tools in order to conduct a practical investigation or solve a particularsoftware engineering problem.Advanced CS project (7COM1039)• be able to select and use appropriate techniques and tools employed in computerscience in order to conduct a practical investigation of a particular advancedcomputer science problem.Cyber Security project (7COM1070)• be able to select and use appropriate techniques and tools employed in cyber securityin order to conduct a practical investigation into a particular cyber security problem.Data Science and Analytics Masters Project (7COM1075)• be able to select and use appropriate techniques and tools employed in data scienceand analytics in order to conduct a practical investigation into a particular datascience and analytics problem.Computer Networks and Systems Security Project (7COM1077)• be able to select and use appropriate techniques and tools employed in computernetworking, distributed systems, and system security in order to conduct a practicalinvestigation into a particular distributed systems or system security problem.2.1.2 Development projectIf you are on the “crossover” award, the requirements are significantly different.The development project “includes the development of, not only software and hardwaresystems, but also of process models, methods, algorithms, theories, designs, requirementspecifications, and other interim documents. Examples of software development projectsinclude database systems, multimedia systems, information systems, and web-based systems.For some developments (notably software) you will be required to include requirementsdocumentation, designs, analyses, and fully documented test results along with user manualsor guides. Depending on the nature of your course, the focus for a development project mayvary.Whichever kind of development project you tackle, it is unlikely that the development of aproduct would be acceptable on its own. In addition, you would normally be expected toinclude a critical evaluation of the product as well as the development process used. Criticalevaluation emphasises the distinction between the academic qualities of your work fromtechnical ability alone.” (Dawson, 2009)MSc Project Handbook9Development project learning outcomes1. be able to demonstrate a deep understanding of different approaches to modelling,design and programming;2. show how these approaches might affect the nature of solutions to computationalproblems and critically evaluate their deployment in appropriate contexts.3. be able to refer to the findings of other academic writers to justify their chosenapproach to the development of a solution, and to evaluate the outcomes of theirproject work.4. be able to undertake a practical piece of work that demonstrates that they can applytheir knowledge and skills to the design and development of complex computerisedsolutions to a particular problem within the domain of computer science.2.2 Ethics approvalIf you are planning to use other people in your project, you MUST apply for an ethicsapproval. You will need to get Ethics Approval before running a survey, conductinginterviews, or getting people to evaluate your system. However, if the questions you proposeto ask are noncontroversial, and you promise to keep the responses anonymous, this shouldbe a formality, but not trivial.To get approval, you need to complete some forms, write a statement that explains in detailwhat kind of questions you will ask (– it would be better if you could provide the actualquestions). You should email all the documents to your supervisor to check before submittingfor the Ethics Approval.Your application will be reviewed by the Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee havemany forms to look at, so you need to give them enough information to decide quickly. Youshould apply at least three weeks in advance. For example, do not just say “conduct a survey”or “interview some clients”, because you haven’t told them enough to let them judge whetherthere might be a problem with what you propose to do. You should explain the purpose(s) ofthe survey/interviews (e.g. to determine functional requirements, or to obtain feedback on thequality of the user interface) and say what the questions will be about.Read the Ethics notes on Canvas for further guidance and find the relevant links for yourapplication. Breaching ethics rules can result in failure.2.3 Project managementYou should always have in mind that this is your project and you set the agenda for it. Youshould expect to learn new things while working on your MSc Project and not just completesomething you could have done as an undergraduate. You are responsible for your work andmanagement and you need to manage the time you spend on your project including the timeyou spend with your supervisor.After all your time management is very important for the outcome of your work. You need toconcentrate on your aim, define appropriate deadlines, and also plan on what you are workingon and reading each day. It is important not to be over optimistic and have a simple plan. Youcan divide the time you have available into weeks and keep a note of whether you are onschedule or not. You should expect parallel processes in your project plan and also allowenough time for writing up your report, instead of planning to write up everything at the end.MSc Project Handbook10You could try planning forward at the end of each day, so that you have a diary for thefollowing day. Often you may need to re-plan and re-organise in order to take account of theactual state of your project. However, there is no need to submit revised plans since youshould use this for the organisation and management of your own project.It is a wise idea to consider preparing and maintaining weekly progress reports. A weeklyprogress report will help you to get the most out of your meeting with your supervisor aswell. This might include what you have done, learnt, trouble shouted, planned for next week.It will also help your project supervisor to focus on important issues on your next meeting,while it will force you to be clear about what you have achieved, and to be honest about anyproblems you are having. When the problems are fixed, they can be described under whathave been done and learnt as one of your achievements.It is a good practise to keep it short, so that it fits on one A4 sized page. Small tasks are bestand you should keep it measurable, e.g. I wrote 6 lines of code or I read 270 pages of “C++ in21 days”. Examples of non-reasonable achievements are: reading about VPNs, learning VB,thinking about the design, or started on implementation.Be aware of the Serious Adverse Circumstances (SAC) rules and procedures, as you cannotget extra time to finish (without SACs), nor a better mark than the work deserves (even withSACs). If you are applying for a SAC, do it as soon as possible.2.3.1 Further guidance• If your project involves building a system, make sure you leave time for evaluation.• Planning helps• Also, writing a weekly progress report really helps.• To reach your goal, you do something (a task”), and at the end have something toshow (a deliverable”) that demonstrates you have met your objective.• ALWAYS maintain back-up copies of the most recent version of your work in morethan ONE location.2.3.2 Project JourneyAs part of your project management you are required to maintain a project journey that actsas a journal for your project. A journal that records the details of every meeting you havewith your supervisor, outlines your actions for your next meeting and identifies the work youhave undertaken form your previous meeting aims to provide structure in the way youmanage your work. Your project journey also acts as a measuring item to demonstrate yourengagement on the project. Therefore, you are recommended to share it with the supervisoron a regular basis. Your supervisor could use it to monitor your progress in your projectwork.You can find a template for the project journey in Appendix E.MSc Project Handbook113. The Project3.1 Instructions on the Detailed Project Proposal (DPP)You should select a topic you are REALLY interested in and is relevant to your programme.Don’t forget you will need to dedicate 600 hours on this project. You can find some projectideas on the module site, but you may also propose your own. You could search for ideas inpast dissertations, journal articles, research reports, books, media, discussions with academicsand experts in the field. You are strongly encouraged to discuss your idea with (potential)supervisors. Your proposal can, and maybe should, change after submission. However, themore detailed the better, even if it is guesswork.You should arrange to meet your supervisor as soon as possible and discuss your proposalwith them. It is acceptable to be wrong about a few things during this stage.The project proposal has no marks allocation. However, you are strongly encouraged toinvest quality time in the preparation of your proposal. A complete project proposal will giveyou a structured plan on how to work on your project.The preparation of your proposal should comprise of extensive reading on your chosen topicthat will allow you to develop plans for a literature review. Some questions that will helpanswering while working on your proposal are the following:• Does your project rely on data, information or code that will be difficult to access?• Are you planning to do something that will not help your grade?• Are you expecting the supervisor to tell you what to do for your project?• Is it realistic in terms of time?• Is it the right kind of project?• Does your proposal include some kind of investigation/ development?• What will you learn?• What is your contribution?• What question are you answering?The project proposal also forms a plan to your work. You should be able to tell from yourlists of tasks what you will do on your project, e.g. “I will investigate…”. It should alsoinclude what this will involve, and it should lead you to your Project Plan. A template foryour project proposal can be found in Appendix A.You should make sure you start the work on your project immediately after you submit theproposal and always consult your supervisor about major changes to your plans.3.1.1 Detailed Project Proposal (DPP) presentation• The same font should be used throughout. We would prefer you to use 12-pointTimes, though any reasonable alternative (such as Arial) will be accepted.• Lines should be single-spaced, with between 1/2 a line and a whole line of extra spaceafter each paragraph.• Margins: at least 20mm left and right; 25mm top and bottom.• No more than three pages in length, excluding the cover sheet, contents list,bibliography and any appendices.3.2 Instructions on the Interim Progress Report (IPR)You should have done about 260 hours work on your project by the time you submit yourInterim Progress Report (IPR). In other words, you are nearly half way through your project.We expect you will have made significant inroads into your practical investigation, as wellas carrying out background research. You should prepare a written report on the progress youMSc Project Handbook12have made. This report should not be aimed at your supervisor (who should already knowwhat you are doing), but at a technically competent reader who knows nothing about yourproject, such as the independent marker. Say how far you have got: tell us what you havecompleted, why you have done it. Discuss problemss should be numbered in one continuoussequence.The Interim Progress Report (IPR) weights 5% of your overall grade and you will receivemarks based on the quality of the project, the quality and amount of the practical work, yourreport structure and the presentation of your report.The submission is via Canvas ONLY. You will receive feedback from your supervisor.The IPR should include the following sections:3.2.1 Section 1: Introduction and overviewIt is suggested that this section should be about 2-3 pages long in total, and you may add anyappropriate section or sub-section headings you wish to this list. You may reuse parts of yourproject proposal if appropriate [and in turn you may re-use parts of the Interim ProgressReport (IPR) in your final report]. Describe the research question your project sets out toaddress and the practical investigation you have planned to address that question. Describeany technical work that you are undertaking as part of that investigation, such as theconstruction of data sets or software apparatus. Say what tools and techniques you are usingfor your investigation, experimentation, and evaluation of your work. You should list thespecific deliverables you intend to produce during your project: design, documents,programs, questionnaires, databases, test plans, experimental designs, results, etc.3.2.2 Section 2: Progress to dateAgain, it is suggested that you write about 2-3 pages and add an appropriate section headingand any necessary sub-headings. Describe the progress you have made so far i.e. what youhave done. Be specific. Problems encountered or anticipated and steps taken/to be taken tosolve them. Explain the supporting evidence you can provide for the work you have done, thedocuments that demonstrate your achievements, and include these documents as appendices.3.2.3 Section 3: Planned workThis section is expected to be about half to 1 page in length. Again, add an appropriatesection heading and any necessary sub-headings. List the major tasks that need to becompleted for the project to be a success, from start to finish (including any you have alreadycompleted) with target completion dates. Explain what each task means and whatdeliverables it will produce. Say how you will judge the quality of your project work and howyou intend to evaluate the process you have gone through. Don’t forget to include writing upthe final report and preparing for the demonstration/presentation after submission.3.2.4 BibliographyList any sources that you cite in your report. You should also list any sources that you haveused, even if not cited directly. Use the Harvard system for your in-text citations, and foryour references, producing one list, ordered by author surname (whether the material isdrawn from books, journals, web pages, forums or blogs, or is a piece of software).3.2.5 AppendicesInclude supporting evidence as appendices to your report. These should be numbered(Appendix 1, Appendix 2 etc.) and each should start on a new page and be given a title. Yourtutor is not required to read the appendices but may refer to them for evidence to back upyour claims.Typically, appendices will include evidence of design, investigative or practical work (e.g.ERMs, formal specifications, code, questionnaires, and so on). At this stage, it will mostly beMSc Project Handbook13work-in-progress, and it is fine for this to be handwritten. You may scan documents andinclude them with your submission if you wish; but you may not wish not to spend too muchtime on tasks like scanning handwriting notes. Instead, you could take the materials to yournext project meeting to assure the supervisor about the progress you made.3.2.6 IPR report presentationThe report should be prepared as follows:• The same font should be used throughout. We would prefer you to use 12-pointTimes, though any reasonable alternative (such as Arial) will be accepted.• Lines should be single-spaced, with between 1/2 a line and a whole line of extra spaceafter each paragraph.• Margins: at least 20mm left and right; 25mm top and bottom.• The whole report is expected to be no more than eight pages in length, excluding thecover sheet, contents list, bibliography and any appendices.3.3 Instructions on the Final Project Report (FPR)After your IPR report submission, you should have done another 340 hours of work on yourproject, amounting to about 600 hours of effort by the time you submit your project report.The final project report is worth 95% of the overall assessment for the module; Please allowplenty of the time to the collation, writing, editing and formatting of the report and supportingdocuments, and the preparation and time given to a demonstration and face to face (or online)discussion of your work with your assessors.You should be aware from the outset that the report and your explanation of your work is theprimary evidence used in the assessment, and it is the assessment of your abilities to conductand deliver a project that is key. Assume that your audience has the level of knowledge of agood Masters student who has taken the same modules as you. Keep this in mind whenwriting about background technical information and do not present large amounts of materialthat such a reader would already know or that could be read in a standard textbook. Referencethe textbook in your bibliography and keep the information you present specific to your ownwork.Any software product or model or artefact that you may have produced during your project isnot the focus of the assessment. In an extreme case, a student that submits a well-craftedpiece of work, but fails to submit a report into how it was produced, will fail. The projectmodule is about assessing your abilities as a student in your discipline area.Do not underestimate the time it takes to produce your report, considering that you may wantto get your supervisor to read part of it to comment on your style at least a week before yousubmit, and you may have to redraft it several times. Internet/computing facilities may alsobecome unavailable at short notice at critical times, so allow plenty of time and have backupplans.3.3.1 FPR report presentationThe report should be prepared as follows:• Approximately 10,000 words in length• The bibliography and appendices are not included in the word length.• Do not use the cover sheet (So NO assignment briefing sheet).• The same font should be used throughout. We would prefer you to use 12-pointTimes, though any reasonable alternative (such as Arial) will be accepted.• Lines should be single-spaced, with between 1/2 a line and a whole line of extra spaceafter each paragraph.• Margins: at least 20mm left and right; 25mm top and bottom.MSc Project Handbook14• Pages should be numbered in one continuous sequence.3.3.2 Assessment processThe submission of the final project report is ONLY through Canvas.3.3.3 Marking processThe two markers will independently assess your work.• If the grades they award differ by 10 the most, the grades will be averaged, combinedwith the grade for the Interim Progress Report (IPR), and presented to the Board ofExaminers for approval.• Where the markers differ 11 or more marks, the standard School procedure will befollowed to resolve the difference.3.3.4 Plagiarism checkingThis assignment must be completed individually. You must be aware of the University’spolicies on plagiarism and collusion: these are severe offences with severe penalties.Regulations governing assessment offences including Plagiarism and Collusion are availablefrom:Structure and Assessment Regulations – Undergraduate and TaughtPostgraduate Programmes (AS14) – Apx 3 – Academic Integrity and AcademicMisconductDirect URL: Turnitin facility is enabled on Canvas for you to check the similarity of your report withother resources. A ‘mock’ submission point will be set up to allow you to upload and checkthe similarity report on Turnitin before your (real) final submission. Any ‘mock’ submissionsare not stored in a repository and you may re-submit multiple times.3.3.5 Project DemonstrationYou must give a live demonstration of your work to your supervisor and second marker whowill ask questions about your work. This demonstration is part of the formal assessmentprocess and counts 20% of your final project mark. It is your responsibility to agree a timeand date for this with your supervisor (who would contact the 2nd marker on your behalf). Itshould normally take place after both markers have assessed the report and you must turn upon time and be prepared for your demonstration.Please consider the following project demonstration guide:1. All students are required to give a demonstration or other presentation of the workthey have produced for their project. You will have 10 minutes to show your work.If you go on longer than 10 minutes you may be interrupted. Then there will be 10minutes for answering questions. The time is very short so you will need to plan andshould discuss how best to present your work with your project supervisor. Please donot attempt to do a PowerPoint presentation telling us about what you did: you needto show us the actual work. Suppose, for example, that the main deliverable fromyour project consists of an extensive set of test results and analysis of those results.We would not want to be told what you did, we would want you to present the actualresults, and talk us through them.2. The assessment will be carried out by your supervisor and the second marker for yourproject, who will both attend your demonstration.3. You may use one of the university computers (please make sure the lab is going to befree at the arranged time for your presentation beforehand) or your own laptop.MSc Project Handbook154. We cannot provide networking facilities for your laptop machine beyond what isnormally available in the area where your demonstration takes place. But in general,it is perfectly acceptable to demonstrate a networking, client-server or web-basedproject using the loopback address (localhost). If one or two features (suchas automated email to another machine) cannot be demonstrated for sound technicalreasons that is unlikely to be a problem unless they are at the core of your system.5. If you need to use specialist software that is not installed in the general laboratoryarea then you could consider to approach Library and Computing Services Helpdeskabout getting the software installed on one of the UH machines. THIS NEEDS TO BEDONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Please be aware, however, that we cannot permitthe installation of software for which neither we, nor you, have a valid license (if thesoftware is being installed under your license you will be asked to prove that you haveone).6. If you miss the demonstration this is like missing an examination. If there is a goodreason for missing the appointment for your demonstration, there may be anopportunity to reschedule the demo, but if this happens you will need valid anddocumented serious adverse circumstances (SAC) presented to the Board ofExaminers in the usual way.3.3.6 Late submissionsStandard penalties will apply to late submissions.If you submit your report late, the standard lateness penalty will be applied. If you submitmore than five days late you will get zero for your final submission.If you do not give a demonstration you will be treated as having failed to submit evidence toback up the claims made in your report. If you wish to put forward serious adversecircumstances (SAC) in mitigation of late submission, or failure to attend the demonstration,then you must complete the Serious Adverse Circumstances (SAC) form with documentaryevidence of the circumstances. This should be done as soon as possible, and in any case beforethe meeting of the Board of Examiners who will consider the matter.Even if your serious adverse circumstances (SAC) are accepted, your project cannot bemarked according to the schedule described here unless it is received on time; if it issubmitted substantially later than the due date, demonstrations and assessments may bedeferred to the assessment period at the end of the next semester.3.4 Final project report supporting structure3.4.1 Title PagePlease use the template provided (see Appendix B).3.4.2 AbstractThe abstract should be a statement up to half a page in length describing the subject matter ofthe project report and the main findings and conclusions presented in the report. A readershould be able to decide what the report is about by reading this alone.3.4.3 Acknowledgements (if any)3.4.4 Contents pageThe table of contents must show the chapters of the report, with the title of each and the pagenumber on which each chapter begins. If your chapters are organised in sections, with a titlefor each, show these sections on the contents page as well. Do not go to greater detail thansections, as the table of contents should fit on a single page.MSc Project Handbook163.4.5 Chapter 1: Introduction to the projectThis chapter should introduce the project. Say what the project was about, such as what arethe research questions you were attempting to address, give some brief backgroundinformation (sufficient to ‘set the scene’) and list the objectives you were trying to achieve bydoing the project. These should be based on what you said in your project plan, but they mayhave changed since the plan was submitted; any changes should be explained later in thereport, probably in the overall evaluation of the work.This chapter should also introduce the report. Give a very brief statement of how your reportis structured, including what is in each chapter (and the most important appendices), just tohelp the reader gain an idea of how you have presented your work.3.4.6 Collection of main chaptersHow to present these will depend largely on the subject of the project, but here are a fewpoints of advice:(a) You may assume that your readership has the level of knowledge of a good Mastersstudent who has taken the same modules as you. Bear this in mind when writing aboutbackground technical information and do not present large amounts of material that such areader would already know or that could be read in a standard textbook. Simply reference thetextbook in your bibliography and keep the information you present specific to your ownwork. Explain how any background material you present has been used in your project.(b) The main chapters of your report are where you describe your achievements. Instead ofjust listing the tasks that you carried out diary-style, in the order you did them, it is better toorganize the chapters around topics.(c) In these chapters, you should tell the reader what you have done, why you did it, whatresults you obtained, what you think you have achieved (including the problems you haveovercome), how you calculated the commercial risk for your project and how you managed it,and how you went about evaluating your work (criteria applied, tests performed, and so on).Be sure to present the results of your project work properly.(d) It is important to present in the written report information about your work that will notbe conveyed at the demonstration. As an example, depending on the nature of your projectand the way you approached your work, this might include:• Discussion of methods that were considered and the reasons for choosing one methodover another;• Use of software tools (what inputs you supplied, how you configured them, whatoutputs were produced);• Presentation and discussion of intermediate results, for instance of a program whichwas progressively refined or extended;3.4.7 Chapter X: Discussion and evaluation chapterThe extent to which you demonstrate the ability to reflect upon your work is very important.In this chapter, you should summarise your main findings/results and evaluate what you haveachieved and how you went about it. You may find it more convenient to include anevaluation of your work in the chapters where it is presented and summarise that evaluationhere. What is crucial is to have a critical self-evaluation of the extent to which you haveachieved the things you set out to do. Assess the extent to which you met your objectives.You will not be penalised for acknowledging that you failed to achieve everything you set outto do, and especially not the more advanced things, but you certainly would be criticised ifyou gave the impression of not having noticed that you had failed to meet an objective.You should have a short section on management of the project (usually one to two pages),including how you planned to allocate time at the start of the year and how it worked out inMSc Project Handbook17practice. Additionally, you should demonstrate you have considered the commercial andeconomic context of your project.3.4.8 Bibliography and referencingAfter the final chapter, and before any appendices, list any sources (books, journals, webpages etc.) that you cite in your report. You should also list any sources that you have used,even if not cited directly. Use the Harvard system for your in-text citations, and for yourreferences, producing one list, ordered by author surname (whether the material is drawnfrom books, journals, forums or blogs, or is a piece of software). A guide to the Harvardreferencing system is provided on line at University provides an online “Library SkillUP” tutorial on citing sources and referencing that youshould work through. It is available at AppendicesThe appendices to your report provide supporting evidence of the quality and quantity of thework you have done. Your appendices should contain any, specifications, design documents,survey forms and results, screen shots, and other documentation produced as part of yourproject. Without this supporting evidence, it is possible that the markers will take the viewthat you have not done everything you claim to have done.However, the appendices are only there to back up the claims made in your report. Markerscan only be expected to look at those parts of the appendices you draw their attention to in themain body of the report. They are not obliged to read the appendices in detail, though theymay do so. If you think it is important to draw the markers’ attention to a document, or a partof a document, tell them where to find (don’t just say “the code for this is in appendix 3”, givea page number, and/or other information that makes it clear how to find it; better still, includethe relevant fragment of the code in the body of your report).Any program code written by you must be presented in the appendices. But do notinclude code that is machine generated, or that comes from a different author, unless it isnecessary for the reader to understand the work you have done. If you do include code thatyou did not write yourself, it is your responsibility to make clear which parts of the programare your own and which parts are not. If you present automatically generated code, or thecode of another programmer, as if it were your own, you may be accused of plagiarism.Do not include copies of any web pages that you have referred to, unless it is necessary forthe reader to see them to make your point: just put the citation details in your bibliography.Samples of the work that is presented in the appendices may (and probably should) beincluded in the body of your report to illuminate a point or for discussion purposes.3.5 Issues for the assessors and characteristics of eachgradeThe following factors will be considered in marking projects:• The size and complexity of the task;• Critical appraisal of your own work: the clarity of your explanation of the work youhave completed; the evaluation of the extent of your achievement; the evaluation ofyour management of the project including the use you made of the project plan(s);your assessment of the success of the project overall and your identification ofpossible remaining or future tasks;• Communication skills: structure of the report; coherence; quality of writing; quality ofpresentation.MSc Project Handbook18• Background reading and the results of text-based research;• Problem definition;• Quality of solution: design and implementation; experimental work;• Quality of approach: suitability of method, choice of tools and skill in using them;• Testing; analysis and evaluation of end-product(s) and results.The first three factors are important in any project; the remaining ones may vary in relevance.We expect all students to be able to explain their work and show an appropriate level ofunderstanding of any technical material they have used or developed. Such explanations anddemonstrations of understanding should be evident in the written report and during thepresentation and demonstration: a body of work that is not backed up by evidence ofunderstanding is likely to achieve a poor grade.3.5.1 For a numeric grade of 80 or aboveWe expect the work to be truly outstanding.3.5.2 For a numeric grade between 70 and 79We expect the work to be of an excellent standard. We expect to see evidence that youunderstand how the concepts and principles underpinning the subject area of your degree arerelevant to your project work, that you have made well-reasoned choices of appropriate toolsand techniques and applied them in a thoughtful manner.There should be evidence of substantial achievement of very high quality, and your reportshould demonstrate that you can explain and critique what you have done, why you did it,what you achieved by doing it, and how your work might be improved or extended.We expect all major issues, including the really hard and perhaps un-resolvable ones, to beproperly evaluated and commented upon in the project report. We are not looking for anoriginal contribution to knowledge, but we expect you to have unearthed and addressed allthe complexities of the problem, and not to have avoided any difficulties. We expect thereport to be well-structured, coherent, well-written and free of significant grammatical errors.3.5.3 For a numeric grade between 60 and 69We expect the work to be of a very good standard.We expect to see a broad-ranging and thorough investigation of the project topic, with amethodical presentation of all the main issues. There should be evidence of a substantialquantity of work of a high standard, in which you have brought to bear relevant principlesand practices and chosen and applied appropriate tools and techniques.We expect to see evidence that you appreciate how your project work is related to your otherstudies.We expect you to evaluate properly all the main points arising in the work. We also expectyou to show that you are aware of the limitations of the work, and to recognise and commenton aspects of it that would merit further study. We would expect your report to be wellstructured, coherent, and largely free of grammatical errors.3.5.4 For a numeric grade between 50 and 59We expect the work to be of a good or at least satisfactory standard.We expect to see evidence that you have taken a methodical approach to the work, and thatyou have undertaken practical work of reasonable scale and at least to an average standard.We also expect you to demonstrate an understanding of the principal issues in your projectwork, and to show that you can describe what you have achieved, and that you can explainthe things you have done and why you have done them. We expect your report to becoherent and largely free of grammatical errors.MSc Project Handbook19MSc Project Handbook20AppendicesAll appendices are also separately uploaded on Canvas under the relevant sectionsMSc Project Handbook21Appendix A: Detailed Project Proposal (DPP) TemplateDetailed Project Proposal (DPP)Working Title of the Dissertation1. Hypothesis2. The Problem / Short description of your idea3. The project aim(s)4. The project objectives5. How you plan to conduct your research6. Project plan7. References/ BibliographyStudent Number: Student Name:Course:Supervised by: (if known)Type of Proposal:MSc Project Handbook22Appendix B: Sample Title PageUNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIREDepartment of Computer ScienceMSc TitleModule Code and TitleDatePROJECT TITLENameStudent IDSupervisor: Supervisor’s nameMSc Project Handbook23Appendix C: Sample – MSc Interim Progress Report(IPR): feedback and Scores Student nameStudent registration numberModule code-instanceMSc Project AwardMarker name 1. Background research (maximum 15) 0481215ScoreLittle or noevidence ofliterature reviewLimited review,overview of fewrelevant paperswith no criticalappraisalSatisfactoryreview, concisereview ofrelevantpapers, limitedcriticalappraisalGood, concisereview ofrelevantpapers, somecriticalappraisal, setinto context ofprojectExcellentreview, concisecritical review,set into contextof project 2. Summary of progress to date (maximum 15) 0481215ScoreLittle or noevidence ofprogressInconsistent,some evidenceof progress butlackingcontinuitySatisfactorysummary ofprogress, littleimplementationworkGood summaryof progress,someimplementationof workExcellentsummary ofprogress,substantialimplementationwork 3. Consideration of ethical/legal/professional and social issues (maximum 20) 05101520ScoreNonesubmitted,orirrelevantNaïve/superficialconsideration ofethical/ legal/professional/socialissuesMost but not all ethical/legal/professional/socialissues consideredVery goodconsiderationof legal/professional/social issues.Someawareness ofUniversityprocedures inrelation toethicsapprovaldemonstratedExcellentconsideration oflegal/professional/socialissues, andknowledge ofUniversityprocedures inrelation to ethicsapprovaldemonstrated MSc Project Handbook244. Project plan (maximum 10) 025810ScoreLittle or noevidence ofproject planningSome evidenceof projectplanning but toovagueSatisfactory,concise andcoherentproject planningwith somedefined tasksand timelinesGood, conciseand coherentproject plan.Clearly definedtasks andtimelines withminor errorsExcellent,concise andcoherentproject planwith clearlydefined tasksand timelines 5. Appendices (maximum 10) 025810ScoreNo appendicesAppendicesprovide littleevidence ofprogressAppendicesprovide someevidence ofprogressAppendicesprovide goodevidence ofprogress e.g.record ofsupervisorymeetings,source code,screenshotsAppendicesprovideexcellentevidence ofprogress e.g.record ofsupervisorymeetings,source code,screenshots,version control,test plans 6. Referencing (maximum 10) 025810ScoreLittle or nocoherentreferencing anduse of technicaltermsIncompletereferencing anduse of technicalterms, frequentmistakesSatisfactoryreferencing anduse of technicalterms, minormistakesGood use ofreferencing andtechnical terms,occasionalmistakesExcellentreferencing anduse of technicalterms, 7. Report structure and coherence (maximum 10) 025810ScoreNo discerniblestructure. Nopresentation ofideasLackingstructure, Fewclear ideaspresentedWriting ismainly clearwith somestructuralissues. Ideaspresented withsome issues inclarityFluently writtenwith very fewerrors. Veryminor structuralerrors. Ideaspresented withexcellent clarityLucidpresentationhigh clarity. Nostructuralerrors. Ideaspresented withexceptionalclarity 8. Readability, grammar and spelling (maximum 10) 025810ScoreVery difficult tofollow. Manygrammar/spelling errors.Argumentdifficult tofollow. Patchypresentation,frequent errorsSatisfactorypresentation,minor errors inspelling/grammar andHigh standard ofproduction,infrequentproductionerrors, clear andOutstandingstandard ofproduction,report set out inclear and MSc Project Handbook25 in formattingcompromisingmeaning andreadability.Poor spellingand grammar.formatting, buttext conveysmeaning.labelleddiagrams. Veryminorgrammar/spellingerrors.attractiveformat. Nogrammar/spelling lerrors. TOTAL SCORE Please note, the Interim Progress Report is worth 5% of the overall assessment for the module.Marker’s commentsMSc Project Handbook26Appendix D: Sample – Final Project Report (FPR) Marking SheetMSc Project Handbook27Appendix E: MSc Project Journey TemplateDepartment of Computer ScienceDon’t forget to upload your project journey on Canvas after your meeting!MSc Project Journey Project title:Student’s name:Date of Meeting:(MM/DD/YYYY)Supervisor’s nameLocation:(on campus/ online) 1. Meeting objective 2. Preparation (reading material, completed work etc.)Description 3. Action Items for next meetingActionDue Date 5. Planned next meetingDate:(MM/DD/YYYY)Time:Location:


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