|Module Title:||Research & Project Management|
|Module Tutor Name(s):||Shelagh Keogh|
|Academic Year:||2018-19– Semester two|
|% Weighting (to overall module):||80%|
|Coursework Title:||Assignment 1 – Research Proposal|
|Average Study Time Required by Student:||160 hours which includes all contact time in ALS and with lectures/workshops|
Dates and Mechanisms for Assessment Submission and Feedback
|Date of Handout to Students:
Week 1 commencing 5th February 2019
|Mechanism for Handout to Students:
eLP– first lecture slot
|Date and Time of Submission by Student:
Proposal – 20thmarch 2019, by no later than 23:59 hours
Ethical approval process for low to medium risk projectsmust be drafted prior to submitting your proposal but may be completed by the supervisor and or second marker after the review meeting has been held. Any project which is flagged as high risk will need to be considered by a committee, this could delay project approval.
|Mechanism for Submission of Work by Student:
Electronic submission via Blackboard
|Date by which Work, Feedback and Marks will be returned to Students:
Proposal review with the supervisor and second marker to be concluded by no later than 3rdApril 2019. Following this review, feedback and grade will be sent by email.
|Mechanism for return of assignment work, feedback and marks to students:
No physical scripts will be available all comments and feedback will be sent via email.
Learning Outcomes tested in this assessment (from the Module Descriptor):
Knowledge & Understanding:
- Deploy comprehensive knowledge and understanding of appropriate techniques and tools to plan, research and manage a computing technical project
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
- Systematically identify and analyse a complex computing problem and produce a project proposal to solve it, considering professional, ethical, social and legal issues
- 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):
- Demonstrate independent research and enquiry skills at an appropriately advanced level in the construction of a computing project proposal
Assessment Criteria/Mark Scheme:
See attachment to specification
Nature of the submission required:
All submission are 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.
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.
Expected size of the submission:
Be succinct – maximum 2500 – 3000 words, excluding appendices, title page, contents list, abstract, references and appendices
You must adhere to the university regulations on academic conduct. Formal proceedings will be instigated if there is any suspicion of misconduct or plagiarism in your work. Refer to the University’s regulations on assessment if you are unclear as to the meaning of these terms. The latest copy is available on the university website.
For the KF7028assignment, 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 research project will account for 60 credits (one-third) of your programme of study. Typically, you will spend 600 hours on this project.
Your research proposal will be approximately 2500 – 3000 words and specify the projectbackground, 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 supervisor and second marker in a short meeting, during which they will giveverbal feedback and provide suggestions and comments on how to improve the project.
This proposal should be based on the outcome of your own research and of the meetings; you must have with your research projectsupervisor. This supervisor will be confirmed with you by the end of week 6. Your supervisor will provide individual support and formative feedback during the preparation of your research proposal.
Your supervisor and another lecturer (referred to as the second marker) will mark this proposal following a review session arranged by you.
The Proposal Structure
You are advised to following the structure outlined below. A template is available on Blackboard under the Assessment tab.
- 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
- Date arranged by you with your supervisor and second marker for the review of the proposal, failure on your part to arrange this meeting will result in a 5% reduction in marks.
- Confirmation that you have submitted the project for ethical approva
- Word Count
Produce a summary of what your project will achieve in one or two sentences, ideally construct a research question.
Ideally,you should aim to outline a research question.
Background, Motivation and Relevance – literature review
- Set out and justify, using supporting literature, where your work will fit in the computing body of knowledge. Provide a diagram such as a mind map illustrating your position in the computing body of knowledge.
- Outline and critically discuss what relevant research has been 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.
- Outline why you want to undertake this work, some areas to consider are, personal motivation, skills set and career choices, a gap in the knowledge base.
Scope, Objectives and Risk
- Outline and justify the scope of your project – what you intend to do, what you will not include but might be expected by others to be incorporated.
- Outline numbered steps (SMART Objectives) you will have to complete in order to achieve the aims. After each objective outline the deliverable or outcome that will be produced. Outline how you will assess and or measure the quality for that objective. Outline what research method/design you will adopt for each objective and how each method will support one another.
- Produce a task list for all objectives that defines, task, deliverable, resources (all types) required, skills required, time required.
- Produce a risk log (see example on your Blackboard Assessment tab) for you 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.
- 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
Write out a section that discusses, explores and defines all of the ethical, legal, social and professional 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.
Schedule of Activities
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.
References: these should be primarily used to support your background section and include the latest relevant research in your chosen topic area. 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.
Date and Time of Review meeting: Include the date and time of your review meeting. This should be agreed with your supervisor and second marker. Remember failure on your part to do this will result in a 5% reduction in marks.
Ethics process – every project must be ethically approved you should complete a draft of your ethical approval process before submitting your proposal, the supervisor will conclude this after the review meeting? Failure to carry out the ethics process will result in you not being able to start your project; it will also mean a 5% reduction in marks. Process for ethics approval will be outlined 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 plagiarism or collusion 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.” 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 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
· Computing context and previous research areas of interest and possible impact
· A diagram outlining the relevant body of knowledge
· Why you intend to do it, i.e. why the project is worthwhile and relevant to the student and to computing
· What you intend to do, i.e. a brief summary of what activities will be undertaken in the project
· How you will proceed, i.e. what research method/design you will use in order to achieve the aim and each objective.
· Identification of relevant authors and journals,
· Selection and justification of one relevant journal for possible publication of your work.
|Scope, Objectives and Risk
· The aim summarises what the project should achieve overall.
· The SMART objectives, with outline of deliverables and measurement criteria for quality
· The project plans (Gantt and Monitoring and Control Table) 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.
· Risk management log using template provided
|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.
Academic style, spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax
Standard of referencing style
|Confirmation of ethics process completion
(Delete as appropriate and if necessary extend the section for further comments.)
|Feedback: (extend as needed)