U of Nott CS & IT ASAP Research Group


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Individual Dissertation (Relevant for UG and PG Projects)

General Information:

See the CS Project Handbooks.

See current/past UG projects and PG projects.

See the project areas and specific ideas.

See the individual project guidelines (for students that I supervise).

Selecting a project:

Read about the topics that interest you to get some ideas, try to be creative, carry out some random search, adding some originality to the proposal is very important. Select a project that you find interesting and find a supervisor that you are happy to work with. Identify the aims, goals and deliverables of the project in a specific and clear manner.

I have several project ideas, for more details see the link above. If you are interested in developing one of these projects under my supervision, please contact me to arrange a meeting. Also, if you have a specific idea for your individual dissertation and you would like me to be your supervisor, contact me to arrange a meeting in order to discuss your idea and advice you on its suitability for a good project.

When supervising individual projects, a 1st class grade is usually deserved when a number of elements are present. These include: good quality implementation, good quality academic writing (proposal, progress report and dissertation), significant achievements, continuous report of progress, diligent attitute to work on your project, effective deomonstration of your program, and good quality presentation of your progress report.

Some characteristics of a good final year project:

  • A problem that is not solved or that needs better solution methods
  • A solution with computer science tools is required for the problem
  • You find the topic interesting, exciting and challenging
  • Some original or novel application or a different approach to a given problem
  • A considerable amount of research work is required
  • The topic is very relevant to your degree

These steps can help in finding a good idea for your project:

  1. Make a list of areas that are in your interests. Browse text books, magazines, special supplements in newspapers, the Internet. Attend lectures of an advanced level to find things you want to know more about.
  2. Find specific topics for which you can find and manage reasonable amounts of information. If it is too difficult to find information about a topic, it is probably better to find another topic.
  3. Formulate questions about the selected topics. Find problems that need solutions. Identify the motivations in order to give significance to the solutions.
  4. The ultimate aim is to decide what is the problem, what is the proposed solution, and why such solution is adequate.

The role of the individual project supervisor:

A supervisor does (usually) not:

  • Gives you an idea of an easy project
  • Tells you how to develop your project
  • Provides specific technical assistance

A supervisor can give you:

  • Help to select a suitable topic and outline an prepare the project proposal
  • Help to establish clear goals, scope and limitations and keep the focus
  • Advice in how to approach an assignment of this nature
  • Guide in how to carry out good research
  • Guide in how to search, read and select valuable information
  • Advice in how to organise your thoughts and ideas
  • Guide in how to acquire the required technical skills
  • Advice in the academic writing of your progress report and final dissertation

Suggested reading and other resources:

Suggested reading:

  • Thesis Projects: A guide for Students in Computer Science and Information Systems. M. Berndtsson, J. Hansson, B. Olsson, B. Lundell. Springer, 2nd Edition, 2008.
  • Projects in Computing and Information Systems: A Student's Guide. C.W. Dawson. Addison Wesley, 2005.