Module code: EEEM004

Module Overview

Expected prior learning:  Appropriate background knowledge related to the project topic.

Module purpose:  This is an individual student project module giving each masters student an opportunity to gain realistic experience in developing a solution to a problem from its inception to a demonstrable result. It provides a framework as well as a vehicle for exercising all key aspects of project work, from project specification, through literature and technology research, leading to project planning, problem solving as well as design and implementation, culminating in performance assessment, project demonstration, and project evaluation. It also provides a scope for gaining practical experience interpersonal skills, use of IT, project management, project reporting and project presentation. The project can be either of engineering design nature or have a research flavour.  This module is complementary to all other taught modules in order to apply the learning gained into undertaking an independent piece of research and/or development.

Module provider

Computer Science and Electronic Eng

Module Leader

XIAO Pei (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: 598

Seminar Hours: 2

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The MSc project forms an integral and important part of the MSc programme. It is intended to occupy some 600 hours spread over approximately 100 working days, of which 25 are for planning and preparation. The normal arrangement is that students may carry out a project either in the School or in industry. The duration of full time aspect of the project work is nominally 14 weeks, but there is also preparatory work performed  in the previous semester semesters. For University based projects there may be a need for students to visit companies, especially if there is an industrial link in the project.

The different environments where a project can be carried out are as follows.

University: Projects are usually carried out in association with one of the research centres - a full time academic or experienced research worker will be appointed as academic supervisor though day-to-day supervision may sometimes be by a researcher working in the project area.

Industry: Arrangements exist for students, if a sponsor is available, to undertake a project in industry or one which is carried out in collaboration with industry. Students who are voluntarily carrying out an industrial project away from the university are normally paid a bursary by the company for the duration of the full-time project work. The research groups also have several industrially funded research projects and MSc projects often contribute to this activity. Part time students are encouraged where possible to undertake an industry based project if they are working within a suitable job.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Project Report and Technical Analysis 40
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Presentation and Technical Achievement 60

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable: students failing a unit of assessment resit the assessment in its original format.

Assessment Strategy

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the following:

•           Command of the subject and its impact on the world including aspects of sustainability.

•           Subject Specific Skills and Practices

•           Scholarly and Professional Skills and Attitudes that demonstrate a lead into employability.

•           Commitment to developing lifelong continuing professional development (CPD)

•           Ability to communicate findings of work carried out and demonstrate contribution to both a research team and wider research community that evidence a resourcefulness to the subject.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of the following: 

  • A 40% unit of assessment called ‘Project Report and Technical Analysis’ based on assessment of the final MSc report focussing on (i) the structure and quality of the report (abstract, literature review, written description of approach taken, presentation of results - layout, figures, tables and citation coverage) and (ii) assessment of the technical analysis as described in the report.

  • A 60% unit of assessment called ‘Presentation and Technical Achievement’, based on assessment of the technical aspects of the project with an oral presentation and viva by the student. This viva would address how the student approached the project’s objectives, the validity of the methods used, analysis, verification, and validation of the results. The oral presentation and related questioning are used as a measure of student technical achievement, and on the quality of the performance.


Formative assessment and feedback:

Students will primarily receive formative assessment/feedback during meetings with his/her project supervisor. The student will also complete a training needs analysis which will help them in understanding specific training needed for their project.

At the initial stage when the project is allocated, students will also submit a short first report at the start of their project, which though not assessed will be an important mechanism for the supervisor and student to agree on a project plan and establish clear objectives. Students will seek formative feedback from their supervisor in forming their project plan before submission.

After the first 100 hours of the project in the planning and preparation phase, students will be required to complete a progress review form. This will be submitted, after which a meeting with the supervisor is to be arranged and the supervisor will complete the form at that meeting giving clear formative feedback on the direction of the project and where there is need for change or improvement in technical progress.

Other mechanisms to facilitate regular reporting to the supervisor and interaction on progress throughout the project will be applied.

Module aims

  • The module aims to provide an in-depth understanding of, and experience of, research and development, often within a research institute or centre with regular meetings with their academic supervisor.
  • The module also aims to provide opportunities for students to learn about the Surrey Pillars listed below.
  • To provide an opportunity for the student to plan and tackle an extended masters-level research and/or development problem, and to gain experience of the process of doing this, including experience in having to work independently on project-related activities, and experience of needing to produce a report and defend their work under viva-voce examination conditions.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Apply a comprehensive knowledge of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles to the solution of complex problems. K M1
002 Formulate and analyse complex problems to reach substantiated conclusions. KC M2
003 Select and apply appropriate computational and analytical techniques to model complex problems, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed KCT M3
004 Select and critically evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to solve complex problems CPT M4
005 Communicate effectively on complex engineering matters with technical and non-technical audiences, evaluating the effectiveness of the methods used PT M17

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 allow students to achieve the specified learning outcomes by means of study and research & development work, all of which is supervised by a full-time academic or an experienced research worker. In this way, a student can gain mentored experience in applying knowledge achieved during academic studies to particular theoretical or practical problems. As part of this process, the student will need to critically evaluate the relevant literature, marshal ideas for research or lab evaluation, and produce a reliable and coherent report. The experience of the intense project completion will demonstrate a wide range of professional skills that contribute to students’ employability as well as their resourcefulness and resilience. The practical element will involve either the coding of software or the post processing of data obtained by measurements or otherwise to form and document results that will utilise crucial digital capabilities of the student.

 Learning and teaching methods include the following.

  • Training sessions delivered by the University library and introductory lectures/presentations delivered by the department (6h)

  • Training needs analysis undertaken by the student and supervisor at the outset when starting a project and completing a project plan.

  • Bespoke training on equipment or software for the student organised by the project supervisor, where relevant.

  • Student centred information retrieval from the current state of the art literature.

  • Research by the student on hardware, software, information or science, as relevant to the nature of the project,

  • Validation and verification testing undertaken by the student including trial-and-error methods

  • Individual supervision meetings (20h)

  • Supervised study and research, guided by a full-time academic or experienced research worker.

  • Experience of the project-management process.

  • Work on projects begins after allocations have taken place and ends in the following August. Reporting and contact time should be arranged between the student and supervisor. The student is responsible for making regular contact with the supervisor in order to gain feedback on their progress as well as bring to the supervisors’ attention any matters of concern in relation to project progress.

  • Experience of preparing both a written project report and an associated oral presentation, and of being subject to viva-voce examination.


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: EEEM004

Other information

The following of the Five Pillars of the Surrey Curriculum Framework are embodied by this module:

Sustainability – One or more of the 17 of the United Nation’s goals of sustainability could be met by the specific project set. The extend to which the goals are supported will depend on the extent of the uses of the outcomes of the work. Students will be encouraged by supervisors to identify where these benefits lie in their chosen topic.

Global and cultural intelligence – Students will take on a body of work for their 600 hour dissertation and to meet the objectives successfully, they will develop independently some contribution to knowledge under the guidance of a supervisor. High quality results have the potential to contributed to a publication, patent or report that would benefit the work of both the supervisor and wider community while substantially enhancing the student’s track record. Such outputs will have the potential for global impact as will be accessible on such a scale. Achieving such successes is found by the student forming independent research and the ability to work with a supervisor they have previously not known, but also it will often require intercultural exchange in an academic environment.

Digital capabilities – Dependent on the project it will in the majority of cases include skills in programming and/or processing of data to generate meaningful results and present them in a dissertation. Furthermore the dissertation will be written electronically and will require competent use of a word processor or LaTeX compiler to neatly and clearly present a body of work as an academic document. Other skills in use of spreadsheets and data files would be likewise required to assist documentation.

Employability – The ability to take on a body of work as well as independently produce and defend a set of results are all crucial to the employability that a student will develop throughout the course of completing a dissertation. Successful completion will lead a supervisor to have the willingness to provide a letter of reference that will assist the employment potential a graduate could exhibit in an interview for a job post.

Resourcefulness and resilience – To complete 600 hours of work within an intensive degree programme alongside other work in taught modules will demonstrate a level of resilience that has exhibited the ability to handle substantial pressure. The need to draw information and knowledge from many sources, develop a competence in a software based or practical tasks to reach the required level of technical achievement is a primary way in which a successfully completed dissertation will form resourcefulness.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
RF and Microwave Engineering MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Communications Networks and Software MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Artificial Intelligence MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Space Engineering MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Electronic Engineering MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Nanotechnology and Renewable Energy MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
5G and Future Generation Communication Systems MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Satellite Communications Engineering MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Computer Vision, Robotics and Machine Learning 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 2024/5 academic year.