University of Birmingham School of Computer Science
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Programme Specification for the MRes in Natural Computation

Final Award MRes
Interim Awards None
Programme Title Natural Computation
School/Department School of Computer Science
Banner Code 9048
Mode(s) of Study Full-time
Length of Programme 1 year
Total Credits 180
UCAS Code N/A
Awarding Institution The University of Birmingham
Teaching Institution The University of Birmingham
Designed for accreditation by -
QAA Benchmarking Groups Computing
Completed by Prof X Yao
Date 14 January 2011
Educational Aims of Programme

Natural computation is the study of computational systems that use ideas and gain inspiration from natural systems, including biological, ecological and physical systems. It is an emerging interdisciplinary area in which appropriate techniques and methods are studied for dealing with large, complex, and dynamic problems. The aims of this programme are to:

  1. Meet the increasing need from industry for graduates equipped with a knowledge of natural computation techniques.
  2. Provide a solid foundation in natural computation for graduates to pursue a research and development career in industry or to pursue further studies (e.g. PhD).
  3. Give up-to-date coverage of current topics in natural computation (such as evolutionary algorithms, co-evolution, evolutionary design, nature-inspired optimisation techniques, evolutionary games, novel learning algorithms, artificial neural networks, the theory of natural computation).
Reference Points used to inform Programme Outcomes
Computing Benchmarking Statement, the University and School Teaching and Learning Strategies.
Special features of the Programme
None.

 

Programme Outcomes and Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategies

Knowledge & Understanding

Ref A. Students are expected to have knowledge and understanding of... Teaching, Learning & Assessment Strategies to enable outcome to be achieved and demonstrated
Learning & Teaching Methods Assessment Methods
1 The ideas and concepts underlying a variety of natural computation techniques. Lectures, seminars and project work, mini-project and the major project Formal examinations; presentations, demonstrations and reports
2 The strength and weakness of natural computation techniques and the similarities and differences between these techniques and other existing techniques. Lectures, seminars and project work, mini-project and the major project Formal examinations; presentations, demonstrations and reports
3 Applications of these techniques to solve large and complex problems in industry. Project work, particularly the major research project Presentation/demonstration of project and final dissertation

Skills & Other Attributes

Ref B. Students are expected to have attained the following skills and other attributes: Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategies to enable outcome to be achieved and demonstrated
Learning & Teaching Methods Assessment Methods
1 Given a real-world problem, identify whether natural computation techniques are likely to provide a good solution and then select appropriate techniques from those available. Lectures, seminars and project work, mini-project and the major project Formal examinations; presentations, demonstrations and reports
2 Derive efficient solutions to appropriate non-trivial problems using natural computation techniques alone or in combination with other techniques and implement these solutions using both 'off the shelf' software and software they themselves write. Lectures, seminars and project work, mini-project and the major project Formal examinations; presentations, demonstrations and reports
3 By the end of the programme, carry out original research and development (e.g. in industry or for a subsequent PhD) with limited supervision, both in the field of natural computation and in allied fields Project work, particularly the major research project Presentation/demonstration of project and final dissertation
4 Use appropriate methods for literature searching and information retrieval Project work, particularly the major research project Presentation/demonstration of project and final dissertation
5 Know and apply a variety of research methods, including experimental design and the analysis of data. Project work, particularly the major research project Presentation/demonstration of project and final dissertation
(transferable skills)

Footnotes

  1. The Learning & Teaching and Assessment Methods above are not intended to be exclusive, but to indicate the main methods in use. Module Descriptions contain more detail.

See also: