Module ICP-4131:
Research Project Foundations

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

15 Credits or 7.5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Beata Kupiec-Teahan

Overall aims and purpose

To prepare the students for their MSc research project, including secondary research and primary research design, planning and execution via getting familiar with research tools and writing up a complete project proposal.

Course content

  • Understanding of research theory basics, paradigms, domains and approaches. Project scope and selection of research rationale. Secondary sources, their evaluation and utilisation. Structuring literature review to inform research theoretical framework.

  • Setting research objectives, testing hypotheses. Research process: design, planning, and implementation. Primary data collection tools. How to analyse collected data in order to test hypotheses. Summarising results and arriving to meaningful conclusions.

  • Preparing research proposals: Structure; Alternative solutions; Practical considerations: budgets, timelines, limitations etc.

  • Professional, legal, social, cultural and ethical issues related to computing and an awareness of societal and environmental impact of research projects.

Learning outcomes mapped to assessment criteria







Prepare a literature review; write a short research summary underpinning project rationale.

The student has a reasonable idea of the chosen area. The student has provided good references in addition to good understanding of the topic The student has produced a paper with excellent insight and writing style

Set research objectives, develop research design and plan research activities.

Basic research process explained, research tools and practicalities mentioned in the context of project execution. Clear and self- explanatory sequence based research process explained on chosen example (s). Well-documented, clearly explained research process based on well-specified and actionable objectives. Data collection and analytical tools proposed not only fitted for purpose but also addressing recent developments and possible obstacles in execution of research activities.

Prepare an actionable research proposal.

Understandable, actionable but not error free research proposal . Well written proposal with sound objectives. Realistic deployment of time and other project resources. Convincing, well documented proposal. Clear progression of objectives, research design, data collection tools and analytical methods. Research limitations described and justified.

Understand professional, legal, social, cultural and ethical issues.

Basic allowances made for sensitivity of data collection and use in the project proposal. Structured proposition on how to handle both cultural and legal issues related to the nature of data collected and their subsequent use. Multi-stage proposition on how to address specific issues related to data collection, processing and use. Alternative solutions minimising legal, cultural and social sensitivity could be proposed.


Basic references made to possible utilisation of research results in business practice Research objectives and rationale defined also in the context of business applications. Project proposal clearly specifies applied value of anticipated results. It also shows the links between the knowledge generated in the process of research and its future contribution to multiple facets of economic and social development.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Group Work Project 30
Research Proposal Assignment 70

Teaching and Learning Strategy


24 hours over 12 weeks

Tutorial 2
Group Project

Group project.

Individual Project

Research Proposal.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Knowledge and understanding of facts, concepts, principles & theories
  • Use of such knowledge in modelling and design
  • Problem solving strategies
  • Analyse if/how a system meets current and future requirements
  • Deploy theory in design, implementation and evaluation of systems
  • Recognise legal, social, ethical & professional issues
  • Knowledge and understanding of commercial and economic issues
  • Knowledge of management techniques to achieve objectives
  • Specify, design or construct computer-based systems
  • Evaluate systems in terms of quality and trade-offs
  • Work as a member of a development team
  • Development of general transferable skills
  • Deploy systems to meet business goals
  • Defining problems, managing design process and evaluating outcomes
  • Knowledge and/or understanding of appropriate scientific and engineering principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of mathematical principles
  • Knowledge and understanding of computational modelling
  • Principles of appropriate supporting engineering and scientific disciplines

Courses including this module