Software Engineering BSc/MSci

Research Methods And Techniques (M) for MSci COMPSCI5025

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Computing Science
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course covers the fundamental principles, of the scientific method. Students will learn the core skills of planning, designing, executing, evaluating and presenting research.


2 hours per week

Excluded Courses

Research Methods and Techniques (H)




Examination 60%, Coursework 40%.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


The coursework cannot be redone because the feedback provided to the students after the original coursework would give any students redoing the coursework an unfair advantage.

Course Aims

Introduce students to critical research techniques through paper reviews, bibliographies, project proposals and presentations; Introduce students to core scientific principles and methods for conducting and evaluating scientific investigations;  Introduce students to the use of controls and statistical power in experimental design; Introduce students to important techniques for planning and managing a research project; Give guidance on how to structure theses and papers.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to:

1. Critically review research papers;

2. Perform a comprehensive literature search;

3. Write a comprehensive literature survey;

4. Write a convincing and appropriate experimental design for a chosen CS research problem;

5. Write a convincing project proposal;

6. Perform critical analysis of experimental designs;

7. Explain the importance of controls and sample sizes in experimental design;

8. Discuss issues of ethics approval of experiments.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.