Module code: COMM056

Module Overview

This module provides an extension to the Masters dissertation through an evaluation of the business rationale and anticipated use of its results. The purpose of this evaluation is to demonstrate how to align business value with research and development activities. Students will use the Treasury approved Five Case Model to evaluate the Business Case relevant to the dissertation, and clarify the extent to which broad freedom-to-operate exists with the results. The analysis will be formulated into a report of about 20-30 pages comprising 3 sections with relevant subsections as follows:

1. The Five Case Model will be used to appraise the value that might be gained by direct use and further development of the activity embodied on the dissertation with respect to a) Strategic Case, b) Economic Case, c) Commercial Case, d) Financial Case and e) Management Case, with feedback captured from the placement company on this part.

2. Freedom-to-operate will address a) patent search and patentability, as well as b) copyright and licensing issues on software, data, and other relevant materials, c) privacy and confidentiality, and d) any other relevant professional, legal, and ethical dimensions as would need to be addressed in order to fully use or commercialise the results.

3. A brief summary evaluation of the commercial value of the work undertaken. The purpose of the module is to understand whether the 5 Case model helps businesses with investment decisions, and whether the work undertaken for the dissertation has value, as well as whether it would be commercially viable.

Module provider

Computer Science

Module Leader

GUERIN Frank (Computer Sci)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Practical/Performance Hours: 300

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Co-requisite: COMM057, Professional Postgraduate Year Report Pre-requisite: COMM002, Dissertation

Module content

Indicative content includes:

• The module focuses on achieving the learning outcomes by offering, via the placement experience, the opportunity for students to appreciate the commercial environment in respect to research and development. Development of the Five Case Model analysis takes place in specified professional environments where work undertaken is directly relevant to the Masters degree that features this module, although the analysis will address a dissertation which may not be relevant to the company per se. All programmes including this module offer the same opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes.

Students will need to develop an understanding of the Five Case Model and relevant freedom-to-operate issues.

For the Five Case Model, they will need to appreciate:

• Strategic Case: the strategic objectives that such research and development would be aligned to in a relevant organisation.

• Economic Case: a value-for-money assessment as would support commissioning such research and development in a commercial environment, and alternative options.

• Commercial Case: explanation of any required procurement or commercial dependencies • Financial Case: the costs of the dissertation, and likely future cost of getting to a further advanced state.

• Management Case: the plans that an organisation should put in place to project manage it. This may reference frameworks such as PRINCE2, and methodologies such as Agile. It is expected that this would differ to the management involved with a dissertation in an academic environment.

For broad freedom-to-operate:

• Existing patents, patent search, and patentability of inventions

• Copyright and licensing issues as exist for software, data, and other relevant materials

• Protecting privacy of individuals and confidentiality involved with business (trade secrets)

• Other relevant professional, legal, and ethical dimensions

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework REPORT 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the learning outcomes regarding commercial competencies that support students’ employability outcomes.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module assesses all LOs and consists of a report of about 20-30 pages comprising 3 sections with relevant subsections addressing the Five Case Model, broad freedom-to-operate, and a brief summary evaluation of the commercial value of the work undertaken.

Formative assessment Students are expected to seek guidance on commercial issues from their employer as their placement progresses and in respect to their dissertation, and from the University’s Visiting Professional Training Tutor during the placement visits.

Module aims

  • This module aims to:
    Enable students to acquire and develop knowledge of commercial concerns in professional practice.
  • Enable students to mature through the evaluation of their placement experiences.
  • Support students to develop and apply new skills appropriate to their professional setting in which they are working.
  • Enable students to develop the commercial understanding that employers look for and are required of a person working in a professional capacity.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: Critically evaluate business opportunities CKPT
002 Formulate and evaluate business cases CKPT
003 Evaluate extant intellectual property and related legal, ethical, and professional matters as govern commercialisation activities CKPT
004 Professionally present their findings and argumentation CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience covering the module aims and learning outcomes.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• The learning and teaching methods are predicated on background reading and will be informed by experiential learning through the placement experience itself.

• The mentoring, coaching and assessment role of both the workplace supervisor and the University’s Visiting Professional Training Tutor are focused on ensuring that students are able to achieve the learning outcomes for the module.

• The learning and teaching is supported by placement visits to the students on placement by a Visiting PT Tutor to support students’ learning.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: COMM056

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Data Science MSc(CORE) Year-long Core A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Data Science MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.