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MSc Computer Science MSc Advanced Computer Science
Research & Project Management
Referral/Deferred Assignment 1 – Project Proposal
February 2021, Semester 2 2020-21
Submission Time and Date:
6th may 2021 23:59 hours Draft ethical approval submitted no later than TBC, by 23:59 hours. No project may be started unless ethical approval is given, in accordance with the regulations under Northumbria University. Ethical approval process for low to medium risk projects must be drafted prior to submitting your proposal. The drafted ethical approval PDF must be submitted via blackboard in the indicated submission portal. Any project which is flagged as high risk will need to be considered by a committee, this could delay project approval; high risk projects are not encouraged as a master’s project.
3000 words, excluding appendices, title page, contents list, references list and appendices.
This is an INDIVIDUAL piece of work contributing 80% towards the module assessment. T
Submission of Assessment
Soft copy only, via Blackboard assessment portal Electronic Management of Assessment (EMA): Please note if your assignment is submitted electronically it will be submitted online via Turnitin by the given deadline. You will find a Turnitin link on the module’s eLP site. It is your responsibility to ensure that your assignment arrives before the submission deadline stated above. See the University policy on late submission of work.
Learning Outcomes tested in this assessment (from the Module Descriptor):
Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Deploy comprehensive knowledge and understanding of appropriate techniques and tools to plan, research and manage a computing technical project
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Systematically identify and analyse a complex computing problem and produce a project proposal to solve it, considering professional, ethical, social and legal issues
3. Appreciate and apply appropriate techniques, tools and knowledge to support effective project management, research and advanced scholarship
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Demonstrate independent research and enquiry skills at an appropriately advanced level in the construction of a computing project proposal
Nature of the submission required:
All submission is electronic, paper copies are not accepted.
Instructions to students:
This is an individual piece of work and you must not work with others to construct your report. During the semester there are numerous opportunities to seek and get advice and support on your work, from tutors and peers but you must ensure you do not do work for others or copy work from others, to do so would constitute academic misconduct.
Referencing Style: Assessment
You must use the reference style of the journal you have identified as relevant to your area of work, see “Sources and Knowledge” later in the assignment brief.
For the KF7028 assignment, you must produce a proposal for a short research project. The proposal is the foundation of the 60-credit project that you will study as part of your postgraduate programme, KF7029 MSc Computer Science & Digital Technologies Project.
This assignment is therefore doubly important:
It accounts for 80% of the marks for KF7028.
It is essential preparation for your research project.
As stated, the KFG7029 research project will account for 60 credits (one-third) of your programme of study. Typically, you will spend 600 hours on this project.
Your KF7028 research proposal will be approximately 2500 – 3000 words and specify the project background, motivation and relevance to your programme of study; its scope, aims and objectives; a plan of the major activities. Your proposal should draw on current and recent research and other appropriate sources of information and cite these sources using a consistent standard referencing system. The proposal will be assessed by your allocated module tutors for the module or by your supervisor and a second marker, feedback will be provided, consisting of suggestions and comments on how to improve the project.
You will be allocated your project supervisor in semester two of your study period. If you start your study in September, you will be allocated a project supervisor in second semester January – May. If you start your study in January, you will be allocated your supervisor in your second semester September – January.
This proposal should be based on the outcome of your own research and of the meetings with your tutors, peers and supervisors. This supervisor/tutors will be confirmed with you by the end of week 6. By this time, you should have produced a draft copy of your proposal. Your supervisor/tutor will provide individual support and formative feedback during the preparation of your research proposal.
The Proposal Structure and word count – You are advised to adhere to the word count and structure outlined below.
Project Details – Front Cover
Module: KF7028 – Research and Project Management
Module tutor: Shelagh Keogh
Assignment title: MSc Research Proposal’
Student name + university identifier (always underline the surname/family name by which you are recorded in the university systems)
Programme or course of study
The name of your supervisor, and the name of your second marker
Confirmation that you have submitted draft outline of the project for ethical approval.
Background, Motivation and Relevance – Support this section with sources from literature – 1500 words.
Outline what you want to do and why you want to undertake this work, some areas to consider are, , a gap in the knowledge base, continuation of previous research, personal motivation, skills set and career choices.
Outline and critically discuss what relevant research has been previously undertaken, in the past, in your area of interest and why this project is necessary.
Outline and critically discuss why the research will be of value, in the future, and what the anticipated impact of the outcomes will be.
Set out and justify, where your work will fit in the computing body of knowledge. This is not a literature review.
Provide a diagram such as a mind map illustrating the position in the computing body of knowledge.
Research question, Aims, Objectives Task list, Risk Assessment. – 1000 words (This section drives all the content of the execution of your project, you are measured against this in the judgment of your project.)
You should aim to outline a research question. Your research question is the primary question your project sets out to answer, or the problem you are trying to solve.
Produce a summary of what your project will achieve in one or two sentences, expands the research question.
Scope, Objectives and Risk
Set out the project objectives. These are the steps you will carry out to achieve the aims and to accomplish what you have set out to do in the research question.
In this section you should be mindful of how you are going to be judged when you submit your project report, see the marking scheme in the KF7029 Digital Technologies Project Handbook (located under Blackboard assessment tab for KF7028).
For example, part one of the marking scheme requires a literature review hence your first objective should be, “Construct a literature review (in a subject linked to the proposed area of investigation). A further objective needs to reflect the practical work that you will carry out in the execution of the project.
For each objective outline, ensure your objective is specific and you can outline what will be delivered either to the project report or as a project artifact, estimate how long the objective should take in terms of days/weeks. Outline what research method/design you will adopt for each objective and how each method will support one another. Construct a statement that identifies how you will measure the quality of the contribution to the project. For example:
Construct a literature review in the use of AI and predictive systems.
Deliverable – Chapter 2 in the project report, recommendations to be incorporated into either the practical work or in future recommendations.
Duration 4 weeks
Approach will be to thoroughly explore research in the AI and predictive systems, focusing on research in the last 5 year.
Quality of the work will be judged on the use of literature, strength of the discussion, in terms of relevancy, logic, balance of the deliberation.
Break down the objectives into tasks and produce a task list, each task should outline, deliverable, resources (all types) required, skills required, time required.
Produce a risk log (see example on your Blackboard Assessment tab) for you project. Each objective should be assessed based on risks, such as technical, personal, resources, time, and costs etc factors.
Gantt Chart/Monitoring and Control Table
Using your task list, construct a Gantt chart and a Monitoring and Control table (see examples given your Blackboard Assessment tab. The monitoring and control table is set up in this proposal but used during the execution of your KF7029 project.
Sources and use of Knowledge.
Identify and justify a journal where your work would be relevant for publication.
Identify and apply aspects of the standards for publication in the target journal that you can incorporate into your project proposal, so for example the referencing system, font style and pitch etc, instructions usually found under the journal’s advice to authors.
Identify, justify and critically discuss any authors, journals where previous relevant research has been published within the last 5 years.
Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues. 500 words
Using literature, write out a separate section for Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues. In your deliberations discuss, explore and define all of the issues associated with your project, including how you will consider security issues. If you think an area of this section is not applicable to your project, you should justify why this is the case; leaving any section blank will result in a loss of marks.
References: these should be primarily used to support your Background, Motivation and Relevance section and your Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues sections All references in the reference list must also appear within the body of the report. There is no ideal number of references recommended but a guide might be no less than 10 – 15 sources should be used.
Any work which is submitted without in-text citations will be investigated for an infringement of the academic misconduct regulations.
Ethics process – every project must be ethically approved you should complete a draft of your ethical approval process before submitting your proposal, you will conclude the ethical submission after receiving your feedback from your proposal. Failure to carry out the ethics process will result in you not being able to start your project; it may also mean a 5% reduction in marks. Further instructions on processing ethical approval will be posted on Blackboard.
Notes on presentation & submission:
The research report must be written and presented to an appropriate academic standard for a postgraduate programme of study.
The proposal will be assessed in terms of style, meaning, and the accuracy of spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax.
Correct and thorough referencing of your sources of information is required. You should follow a consistent referencing system and provide a full reference list and brief references in the text of your answer. ‘Cite them Right’ advises direct quotations should be indicated by quotation marks or indentation and referenced. Failure to acknowledge your sources or to indicate when you are quoting constitutes plagiarism. You are encouraged to work with each other to discuss the challenges encountered, but you must not work with each other to construct your answers. Action will be taken in accordance with the University regulations if academic misconduct is suspected. This may result in a loss of marks for the assignment or module.
Further advice on these issues can be found on:
Northumbria University (2016) Skills Plus help guides, online. Available at: http://nuweb2.northumbria.ac.uk/library/skillsplus/index.html. (Accessed 05.09.16)
Northumbria University (2015) “Regulations and procedures applying to cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.” Online. Available at: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/static/5007/arpdf/accmisprocedure (Accessed 05.09.16)
Northumbria University (no date), A student guide to avoiding academic misconduct, http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/static/worddocuments/ardocs/amstudentguide.doc (Accessed: 05.09.16)
Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2013) Cite Them Right: the essential referencing guide, 9th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Online. Available at: http://www.citethemrightonline.com/
available from the university search facilities: – http://librarysearch.northumbria.ac.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/search.do?vid=northumbria.
KF7028 Project Proposal – Feedback and Marks (80% for module)
Background, Motivation, Relevance, Sources of Knowledge Setting out of the discipline context and previous research in the areas of interest and possible impact (20 Marks)A diagram outlining the relevant body of knowledge (5 Marks)Why you intend to do this project, i.e., why the project is worthwhile and relevant to the student and to computing (10 Marks)Selection and justification of one relevant journal for possible publication of your work. (5 marks)
Scope, Objectives and Risk The aim/research question summarises what the project should achieve overall. (10 marks)The SMART objectives, with outline of deliverables and measurement criteria for quality (10 marks)How you will proceed, i.e., what research method/design you will use in order to achieve the aim and each objective. (5 marks)The project plans (Gantt Chart) and task lists should link back to the objectives and highlight, deliverables, resources, skills, time, millstones, methods to be used, costs of time and resources. (10 Marks)Risk management log using template provided (5 Marks)
Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Consideration A discussion that explores all of the issues that have to be considered covering each item in this section title.
Presentation Academic style, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax Standard of referencing style
Appropriate draft ethics process completion, delete as appropriate – see separate submission in Blackboard
Completed and accepted. Completed and accepted when changes are finished. Not completed Not acceptable
Feedback: (extend as needed)
You are advised to read the guidance for students regarding assessment policies. They are available online here.
Late submission of work
Where coursework is submitted without approval, after the published hand-in deadline, the following penalties will apply.
For coursework submitted up to 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline without approval, 10% of the total marks available for the assessment (i.e.,100%) shall be deducted from the assessment mark.
Coursework submitted more than 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline without approval will be regarded as not having been completed. A mark of zero will be awarded for the assessment and the module will be failed, irrespective of the overall module mark.
These provisions apply to all assessments, including those assessed on a Pass/Fail basis.
The full policy can be found here.
Word limits and penalties
If the assignment is within +10% of the stated word limit no penalty will apply.
The word count is to be declared on the front page of your assignment and the assignment cover sheet. The word count does not include: appendices, glossary, footnotes, tables or references in the reference list.
Please note, in text citations [e.g. (Smith, 2011)] and direct secondary quotations [e.g., “dib-dab nonsense analysis” (Smith, 2011 p.123)] are INCLUDED in the word count.
Students must retain an electronic copy of this assignment (including ALL appendices) and it must be made available within 24hours of them requesting it be submitted.
The full Word Limit Policy is available here.
The Assessment Regulations for Taught Awards (ARTA) contain the Regulations and procedures applying to cheating, plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.
The full policy is available at here
You are reminded that plagiarism, collusion and other forms of academic misconduct as referred to in the Academic Misconduct procedure of the assessment regulations are taken very seriously. Assignments in which evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct is found may receive a mark of zero.
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