KF7004 - MComp Computing Research Project

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What will I learn on this module?

This module will give you the opportunity to engage with a current hot research topic in computing. You will experience the full life cycle of a research project and be tasked with producing a tangible research output, i.e. aiming to complete a conference or journal publication. This will involve identifying a research question from computing literature or ongoing research within the Department of Computer & Information Science. You will learn how to write a research proposal, design and carry out a piece of research in accordance with ethical guidelines and good practice, analyse results, forming conclusions and writing a professional research paper. In the process, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the chosen topic area and extend your knowledge of research methodologies as well as develop critical thinking, independent and group research skills. Although projects involve the realisation of a tangible research publication, practical work will be required and will involve the development and evaluation of a testable computing product/prototype of some kind to support research findings. You will be require to provide a brief individual report and portfolio as part of the prototype development.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be primarily responsible for your own learning in the topic area, and will source appropriate literature to support your learning. Building on the knowledge gained at undergraduate level, you will extend your understanding of research methods, using recommended material and material identified by yourself, with guidance from your supervisor and module tutor. However, students will be required to meet formally and informally work collaboratively to share experiences and approaches to solving problems. Normally students in a learning set will be supervised by the same project supervisor but the module leader will oversee all aspects of work as well as holding group discussions on research practice. Additionally, the students will be tasked with actively engaging with the research literature by attending and presenting at weekly or fortnightly journal clubs. These will be typically one hour in duration where student sets will be asked to lead the discussion on a key paper within their subject area, a brief 1 or 2 minute presentation summarising the paper will be required. Interactive lectures and tutorials (1-hour duration each) will also be provided to guide the student on best research practise as well as opportunities to strengthen and broaden their skillset from academic writing, literature searches and statistical analysis. Opportunities for professional development will also be included.

Dynamic and diverse lectures and tutorials will be provided to get the student up to speed on the latest in academic research where benchmarking on standards and skills will be defined. Useful practical sessions will be complemented with workshops to ensure the student can learn with a hands on approach to research as well as gain support from within peer group sessions. The module tutor will facilitate all sessions, using own research and department work to inform research rich learning sessions aided by guest lectures from department/university staff and external collaborators. There may also be the opportunity to visit a design sessions (or other) at the Northern Design Centre (Gateshead) to work with collaborators on industry-based projects.

All module material will be available on the eLearning Portal (ELP) so that you can access information when you need to and we operate an open door policy to help support your learning. The university library offers support for all students through its catalogue and an Ask4Help Online service. You will be required to keep a detailed and up-to-date portfolio of all your research activities, ideally through a web-based platform such as ePebblePad or eXe. The portfolio will be checked regularly by the module tutor as it will be useful to inform the research being undertaken as well as achieving publication goals.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module team will provide you with briefing material on the project and other literature giving guidance on the research paper and the project process. You and other students will have regular meetings with the module tutor and supervisor throughout the project period to help guide you. You can request appointments with the module teaching team outside of scheduled class time to ask questions and seek advice.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Develop a hypothesis and/or research question that can potentially be addressed by the application of knowledge at the forefront of the computing discipline.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Plan and conduct a piece of computing research using appropriate research methodology, tools and techniques individually or as part of a research team
3. Analyse and critically evaluate project results using suitable techniques and tools.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Analyse and determine the relevant ethical, legal, social, political and cultural aspects of a research proposal.
5. Effectively communicate the results of research in an appropriate format (e.g. presentations, abstract papers and poster).

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment
You will produce a research proposal (including a full justification of the research question based on literature). This assignment will assess MLOs 1 and 2. Written feedback will be provided.

You may need to gain ethical approval before commencing your practical work. This will assess MLO 4. Feedback will usually be provided by your supervisor or second marker.

Individual team members will be assessed on a brief project report and portfolio of research undertaken during the academic year. This assignment will assess MLOs 2 and 3.

The team will write a formal research paper that reports on the aims, methods and outcomes of the research. The project work will primarily be assessed through the paper and by discussion of the work in a viva. This assignment will assess MLOs 3 and 5.
Written feedback will be provided.

Formative assessment and feedback
You will have regular meetings with a project supervisor and module tutor throughout the project period, who will give advice and feedback on your work.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

This module will give you the opportunity to engage with a topic at the forefront of the computing discipline. You will experience the full life cycle of a research project. This will involve identifying a research question from academic literature or ongoing research within the Department of Computer & Information Science. The latter will involve liaising with department staff and identifying suitable areas of project development and collaboration. Thus, as your project may be closely linked to one of our research groups you may be required to attend their research meetings. You will write a research proposal, designing and carrying out a piece of research in accordance with ethical guidelines and good practice, analysing the results, forming conclusions, and write a research paper using a research/enquiry based learning approach. In the process, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the chosen topic area and extend your knowledge of research methodologies. Although you will complete this project as a team of students, each member will investigate different aspects of the project for his/her own brief (individual) project report. Team members will be required to keep an up-to-date portfolio of their section of the project. Working in groups will require careful planning and allocation of work as well as more in-depth analysis, cumulating in a paper to target a conference or journal of significant standing in the field.

Course info

UCAS Code G401

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

Fee Information

Module Information

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