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Selecting Your Masters Project David A Watt 2010 11

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1 Selecting Your Masters Project David A Watt

2 2 Masters projects Your project will be the single most important component of your Masters programme. Your project will be preceded by a proposal stage, in which you will do the necessary background work. You will be individually supervised throughout the proposal and project. Each class has a different type of project: –MRes: research project –MSc: development project (application or system) –MSc-IT: development project (application).

3 3 MSc development projects overview Development Project 60 credits semester 3 (summer) Development Proposal 10 credits semester 2 semester 1

4 4 MSc Development Proposal Meet your supervisor once per week in semester 2. Study the problem domain. Survey literature (articles, books) and existing software systems relevant to your project. Prepare a problem statement. Develop a suitable approach and work-plan. Submit a written report of about 15–25 pages. Deadline: 25 March 2011 at 12:00.

5 5 MSc Development Project Meet your supervisor once per week in semester 3 (summer). Design, implement, test, and evaluate software to solve the problem. Submit a written dissertation of about 60–100 pages. Deadline: 7 September 2011 at 12:00.

6 6 semester 1 semester 2 Research Proposal 20 credits MRes research projects overview Research Project 60 credits semester 3 (summer)

7 7 MRes Research Proposal Meet your supervisor once per week in semester 2. Study the problem domain. Survey research literature relevant to your project. Prepare a problem statement. Develop a suitable approach and work-plan. Submit a written report of about 20–30 pages. Deadline: 25 March 2011 at 12:00.

8 8 MRes Research Project Meet your supervisor once per week in semester 3 (summer). Perform your investigation of the research problem. Submit a written dissertation of about 60–100 pages. Deadline: 7 September 2011 at 12:00.

9 9 Selecting your project (1) Projects suggested by staff are listed at: ClassesSpec- ialism Project TitleSupervisorProject- id MSc, MSc-ITMUSA Hypertext WidgetSteve BrewerBrewer-1 MSc, MSc-ITMUSA Hypertext SprocketSteve BrewerBrewer-2 MRes, MScSemiotics of PythonSimon DayDay-1 MSc-ITWebsites for Blind PeopleCarron RenoReno-1 allIS, SEFacial RecognitionPaul SevereSevere-1 Click to . Click to see the project outline. You must select projects suitable for your class and your specialism (if any).

10 10 Selecting your project (2) Study the list of projects. Make a short-list of projects that interest you. For each short-listed project, arrange to meet the supervisor. Use the meeting to: –ensure that you understand what the project entails –decide whether you have the knowledge and skills needed to do the project –get to know the supervisor.

11 11 Selecting your project (3) Ensure that the project is within your capabilities: –Do you have some knowledge of the problem domain? –Do you have the necessary technical skills? –If not, are you confident that you will acquire the necessary knowledge and skills before the project starts? MSc-IT students should be especially careful about projects that demand advanced technical skills.

12 12 Selecting your project: specialisms You must select projects marked as suitable for your specialism (if any): –MRes-CS, MSc-CS, or MSc-IT: any projects –MRes-IRS or MSc-IRS: only projects marked IRS –MRes-IS or MSc-IS: only projects marked IS –MRes-MUS or MSc-MUS: only projects marked MUS –MRes-SE or MSc-SE: projects marked SE, or other projects with a strong software engineering content.

13 13 Recording your selection Select four preferred projects. your selection to me* in the following format: Deadline: 13 December 2010 at 09:00. NameClass1 st choice2 nd choice3 rd choice4 th choice Jane DoeMSc-ITSevere-1Brewer-2Brewer-1Reno-1 *

14 14 Allocation of projects I will allocate projects to students within two working days. I will aim to satisfy your preferences as well as possible. I will also aim to spread the supervision load on staff. –No member of staff will be expected to supervise more than 6 undergraduate or postgraduate projects.

15 15 Defining your own project You can define your own project, provided that: –it is suitably challenging (of Masters standard), but feasible within the time available –you can find a member of academic staff who is able and willing to supervise it –any necessary special resources (e.g., specialised software or hardware) are already available. Send me a written outline of your self-defined project, the supervisors name, and details of any necessary special resources. I will make a final decision on whether your self- defined project can go ahead.

16 16 Conclusion Your project is very important. Select it carefully. Use the proposal stage to do all the necessary background work. Then you can hit the ground running when you proceed to the project itself. Your supervisor will guide your proposal and project work, and will help with any difficulties. I will help with any other problems.

17 17 Further seminars Look out for further seminars: –Conducting Your Masters Proposal (12 January 2011, provisionally) –Writing Your Masters Proposal Report (23 February 2011, provisionally) –Conducting Your Masters Project (6 June 2011, provisionally) –Writing Your Masters Dissertation (29 July 2011, provisionally) I will you the exact date, time, and location of each seminar at least a week in advance.


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