Module code: COMM002

Module Overview

The dissertation consists of a substantial written report. This report is based on a major piece of work that involves applying material encountered in the taught component of the degree, and extending that knowledge with the student's contribution, under the guidance of a supervisor. The dissertation usually involves software development, experimental or theoretical research, or a substantial literature survey on a specific topic.

Module provider

Computer Science and Electronic Eng

Module Leader

GUERIN Frank (CS & EE)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 588

Lecture Hours: 2

Tutorial Hours: 10

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Some project titles may require the student to have taken specific modules from the MSc programme.

Module content

The dissertation is the result of an expected 600 hrs of work. Most of this is done individually by the student, in locating and reading relevant sources, working on the technical contribution that is the main part of the dissertation, and writing up the final report. Some time is also spent in regular discussions with the supervisor. Further details are given in the module handbook.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) REPORT 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have achieved the module learning outcomes.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Grades for the final report against previously published assessment criteria.

  • Final submission is tentatively due in late summer.


Formative assessment and feedback

Formative feedback is given by the supervisor during regular meetings.


Module aims

  • Provide an opportunity for students to pursue a single topic in depth and to demonstrate evidence of research ability at a Masters level. The topic is typically a current problem in the broad area of their MSc programme. Students are encouraged to either research a new concept or apply existing technology to a new field

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Be able to approach an open-ended topic, to research new ideas and experiment with new technologies. KC
002 Be able to locate, select, and interpret sources relevant to their topic. KT
003  Integrate and build upon the concepts, theories, and knowledge gained in the taught component of their MSc programme. KC
004 Demonstrate their command of the subject matter of their dissertation in a written report. KC
005 Demonstrate independent, critical and analytical skills, and an ability to evaluate evidence. The exact nature of this depends on the topic of their dissertation, and is typically demonstrated by: KCP
006  For software development projects: a justification of the software design, algorithms, and development methodology chosen, and a critical evaluation of the final solution and its comprehensive testing CP
007 For experimental research: a justification of the experiments to be performed and the experimental methodology used, and a critical evaluation of the results obtained CPT
008 For empirical analysis: a justification of the data to be collected and the methodology used, and a critical evaluation of the results obtained KCP
009 For theoretical research of a mathematical / technical nature: complete proofs and derivations, as necessary, for a novel problem . KC
010  For a literature survey / comparison / review / evaluation: a comprehensive critical comparison of published systems, based on published results; includes a structured comparison and evaluation putting the different viewpoints from the literature into context, clarifying disagreement and consolidating where possible.  Generally includes a well-justified recommendation or other conclusion. KC

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:

  • Regular meetings with the allocated supervisor to discuss progress. (approximately 18 meetings of ½ hour each)

  • Lecture on research methods (2 hours)



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: COMM002

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Information Security MSc(YEAR LONG) 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 2022/3 academic year.