Project (CompSci - MSc)

Level 4/M

Syllabus Page, 2010/011


Project (Conversion-MSc)

Level 4/M

Syllabus, 2010/2011


MSc Projects Coordinator: Dr Rami Bahsoon










School of Computer Science, The University of Birmingham, MSc Projects 2011


About this page:

The MSc projects described here are meant for all MSc projects of the below programmes:

  • MSc Advanced Computer Science (without two mini-projects),
  • MSc Internet Software Systems
  • MSc Computer Security
  • MSc Computer Science- Conversion and
  • MSc Intelligent Systems Engineering.

Note: For projects following from a mini-project, there is a separate projects page for 02637 Project - Advanced MSc, which is meant for students of MSc Advanced Computer Science (research stream with mini-projects) and MSc Natural Computation. Advanced MSc projects webpage

Getting Started:

Important Dates:


MSc Students

To graduate in December 2011*

Presentations of topics by lecturers

30th March 2011 (1:00-5:00)

Every student has a working title and a supervisor

6th May 2011(Extended 18th May 2011)

If you have exhausted all the means in finding a supervisor, please fill in this form and post it to the reception by 23 May 2011, 3:00 p.m the very latest.

Download the: Allocation form for unallocated projects students

Deadline for submitting detailed Project Proposals

17th June 2011 ** (See the below note) extended June 22/2011

Beginning of inspection week

27th June-1st July 2011 *** (See the below note)

Beginning of presentation week

29th August to 2nd September 2011. Some demos may take place in the week commencing by the 5th September ***

NEW! Updated August 24/2011: Demo Schedule

Deadline for handing in dissertation

15th September 2011, 12 noon, after which late penalties will be applied. 

Final cut-off date: 23rd September 2011, 12 noon. No dissertations are accepted after this date.

* For detailed MSc project deadlines and assessment opportunities, please see also section 8 of the Project Guidance Notes

** Project Proposals: Submit 2 pages-A4, Font 10 proposal. Discuss the content with your supervisor. The proposal should include brief yet precise specification, statements on the aims, and a sound plan for completion. Submit a copy directly to your supervisor and another copy to Ms. Sharon Powel at the reception with a receipt by 2:00 p.m. the latest (above date). Important: It is your responsibility to make your proposal available to your inspector a week before your inspection meeting (either by e-mail or by post).

*** IMPORTANT: Project demonstration and presentation are essential parts of the project assessment. Students who do not turn up for their demonstration or presentation will receive a fail mark (unless there are mitigating circumstances confirmed by the welfare team).

Projects Presentations by Academics 30th March 2011

Inspection/demonstration Meetings Schedule for summer 2011:

* NEW! Updated August 24/2011: Demo Schedule

* Updated June 21/2011: Inspections will take place between June 28th to July 7th 2011. Please download the Inspection Timetable

* A note on Inspection Structure and preparations note

* A note on Demo Structure and Preparation note

MSc Projects Orientation Programme for 2011:




Session 1. Introduction, Assessment, and Logistics


Session 1A. MSc Internet Software Systems, MSc in Security, Conversion CS, and Intelligent Sys (Alan Sexton), Fri 18th June, 2010. 10:00-11:00.

Session 1B. MSc in Advanced CS and MSc in Natural Computation (Robert Hendley)), Tues 22nd, 11:00-12:00.

Mon July 4/2011

Slides for session 1A

Reference for session 1B

Session 2. The Good and the Ugly: Welfare and Plagiarism

All MSc Programmes.

Session 2A. Plagiarism (Dr John Barnden)
Session 2B. Welfare (Dr Volker Sorge or Wlefare Team)

Mon July 4/2011


Slides for Session 2A


Link to the welfare page

Session 3. Information Searching

All MSc Programmes. (Dr Peter Hancox)

(Attendance is optional for MSc Advanced Computer Science (research stream with mini-projects) and MSc Natural Computation)

Mechanical Engineering

Thu 21st July/2011

Slides for Session 3

Session 3a. Information Searching

Session 3b. Information Retrieval with Inspec

Session 3c. Information retrieval with Citation Indexes


Additional references:

British Library

Library of Congress

University Library catalogue

The following bibliographic databases are accessible from the University


ACM Guide to Computing Literature


Compendex/Engineering Index

IEEE Xplore

The University Library ejournal collection is accessed through:

Session 4. Advanced Processing, Formatting, and Referencing of Large Documents

(Courtesy sessions provided by the IT Training Unit at the University of Birmingham. Ms. Sonia Lee Cooke. You should sign for either session 4a, 4b, or 4c. Signup sheets will be posted near my office 112 CS)


Summary of course contents:

*Working with Styles
     - Creating and modifying Styles using the toolbar and dialogue box
     - Keyboard shortcuts
   * Working with Templates
     - Creating a template based on a document
     - Saving the document as a template
     - Attaching a new template to an existing document
   * Headings and structured documents
     - Applying outline numbering to heading styles
     - Editing a document using Outline view
     - Navigating using document map
     - Creating table of contents
   * Working with Captions
     - Inserting pictures and charts
     - applying a caption to a picture, table and chart
   * Creating Cross References
     - Editing cross references
     - Deleting cross references
   * Working with Footnotes and Endnotes
     - Inserting a footnote or endnote
     - Editing footnotes and endnotes
     - Finding the next footnote or endnote reference number
   * Setting Bookmarks within a document
     - Displaying bookmarks
     - Go to a specific bookmark
     - Deleting a bookmark
   * Manage and link sub and master documents with a consistent style

Session 4a. (Ms. Sonia Lee Cooke) 



Session 4b. (Ms. Sonia Lee Cooke)



Session 4c. (Ms. Sonia Lee Cooke)


13:00 to 16:00
(duration 180)


Session 5. Elementary Statistics for Computer Scientists (Dr Peter Coxhead)

Wed 22nd July 2011

Slides for session 5.



Session 6. Systematic Evaluation of Contributions

Session 6a. Evaluating projects with substantial implementation and software engineering elements (Dr Rami Bahsoon)



Session 6b. Evaluating projects with substantial research (TBA)

















Aug 23/2011









Kitchenham et al.: recommended framework for evaluating project contributions with substantial implementation (e.g. tool) and software engineering elements.


Kitchenham, B. et al., DESMET: A Methodology for evaluating software engineering methods and tools. IEE Computing and Control Journal 8(3): 120-126. 1997


Other useful references/selected reading:


Basili, V.R., The Role of Experimentation in Software Engineering: Past, Current, and Future. Proc. 18th Int. Conf. Software Eng., IEEE Computer Soc. Press, Los Alamitos, Calif., March 1996.



Curtis et al., A Field Study of the Software Design Process for large systems. CACM 31(11): 1268-1287. 1988.


Mockus et al., A Case Study of Open Source Software Development: The Apache Server. Proc. 22nd Int. Conf. Software Eng., ACM Press, March 2000.


Tichy, W., Should computer scientists experiment more? IEEE Computer 31(5): 32-40.1998.


Zelkowitz, M. and Wallace, D. Experimental validation in software engineering. IST 39:735-743. 1997.


Zelkowitz, M. and Wallace, D. Experimental models for validating technology. IEEE Computer 31(5):23-31. 1998.


Session 7. Writing Good Dissertations

(Dr Martin Escardo)

Thu 21st July/2011

Slides for session 7

Session 7. Reviewing Samples of Good and Bad Dissertations

(Dr Rami Bahsoon)


Session 8. Sharing Experiences (Success and failure stories)

(Rami Bahsoon)



Thesis Essentials: Quick Guide


NOTE - the guidance notes for PREVIOUS academic session's MSc doing projects are given here for students from those cohorts who have yet to complete their projects.



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