Software Engineering BSc/MSci

MSci Research Proposal and Project COMPSCI5073P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Computing Science
  • Credits: 80
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

The aim of this course to enable students to prepare and undertake a substantial, independent, individual research-oriented project at level M. It will include a literature survey, indentifying and refining a research problem in Computing Science, then carrying out an investigation of the problem and writing up the results.


Weekly supervisory meetings at times to be arranged.

Excluded Courses



Research Methods and Techniques (can be taken in either level 4 or 5)


Dissertation 75%, Report 19%, Practical Skills Assessment 6%.


The course is assessed by a project proposal (15 credits), an oral presentation to the relevant research group (5 credits) and a final scientific paper (60 credits).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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. 


Reassessment is not available for the final dissertation (scientific paper) nor the oral presentation as this course incorporates a year of continuous work.

Course Aims

The aim of the course is to provide students with an opportunity to identify and refine a research problem in Computing Science of a suitable degree of difficulty while carrying out a literature survey of the problem and then undertake a substantial, independent, individual research-oriented project at level M including the writing up of the results.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Specify and justify a well-defined research problem in the area of their MSci specialism;

2. Articulate and justify a feasible approach for tackling this problem;

3. Produce a comprehensive literature survey covering their research problem, offering a critical review of the key relevant work in this area.

4. Formulate a research plan for the research problem;

5. Carry out a coherent and well-executed investigation of a research problem in Computing Science, using appropriate methods and producing valid results;

6. Write up their research in the form of an academic paper, including the expression of a well-defined thesis and argument, a clear statement of the research methods and results, a critical evaluation of the research results, a consideration of their significance and of their relationship to other relevant work.

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.


Regular attendance at supervisory meetings, submission of proposal report and final report.