MSc Dissertation Handbook (IT and MIT Degrees)[v
Introduction All MSc students are
required to successfully complete a research or development project as
a part of their course, and write this up as a dissertation.
This is a major component of your degree, being worth 60
credits. The dissertation is a Summer module, but some
components do need to be carried out within the Spring term.
Briefly, you should have fixed the topic of your project and found a
supervisor by the end of the first week of the Summer term, and the
project should be completed early in September.
N.B. This document contains general information relevant to all MSc
degrees run by the School of Computer Science. Consult the
Supplementary Regulations for specific details about the degree that
you are enrolled on. If you require further information specific to
your degree, you should consult the relevant course director, your
tutor or the supervisor of your project (once appointed).
Course Director and Supplementary Regulations
The table below provides links to the supplementary regulations for each MSc degree and the name of the course coordinator. If in doubt about the requirements for the degree you are enrolled on, please direct your enquiries to the course coordinator.
- Question and Answer Sessions
There is a timetable slot
for the module on WEDNESDAYS at 11am.
The module convenor will be available to answer questions at this time during the Spring semester. Occasionally a lecture may be organised; if so, the lecture will be announced in advance by e-mail and will take place in LT2.
- Selecting a
You should choose a topic for your research, find a
supervisor and have an initial supervision meeting shortly after the
Easter vacation, at the latest. Advice on choosing
a topic and finding
a supervisor is provided below. You will be required to
complete a form detailing the project title, a short description of
the proposed work, and the name of your supervisor. You and your
supervisor should sign the form and then you should hand it in at the
School Office for approval by your course coordinator.The form is available
- Interim Report
For some degrees, an Interim Report
is to be submitted in mid July. (Consult the supplementary regulations above to see whether this applies to your degree.) This is likely to consist of a
draft of early chapters, but its exact nature should be determined by
discussion with the supervisor. This will be marked, and
feedback will be provided to identify any problems that have come to
light (eg with writing style and/or English).
- Supervision Meetings
You should have regular
meetings with your supervisor during the summer
period. Attendance at these meetings is mandatory, and
non-attendance is liable to be penalized.
For some degrees, you will give a formal
presentation about your work at the end of the summer period, after
the submission of your dissertation. More information about presentations
is provided below.
You should produce a dissertation that comprises the major assessed component of this
module. See the Supplementary Regulations for your degree for the permitted length of the dissertation.
More (general) information about the
dissertation is provided below.
- Electronic Submissions
You are required to
submit an electronic version of both your interim report and
dissertation (as well as the hard copies), on the appropriate
submission deadline. These should be in PDF format, and
submitted using the School's online submission system.
Dates Deliverables should be submitted to the School office at
the latest by 4pm on the date shown below, unless noted
You must have
chosen your dissertation and found a supervisor by this date at the
latest. You should have had an initial supervision meeting, and
the dissertation proposal form must be submitted. NB this form
be signed by your supervisor - unsigned forms will not be
accepted! Where appropriate, these forms should be accompanied
by a formal project proposal.
If you have not found a supervisor by this date, you will be allocated a supervisor from the list below. You will then be required to meet with your allocated supervisor, agree a topic and submit a supervision form by
Friday 7th May, 2009.
- Friday 17th July, 2009.
If required for your degree, you must submit your interim
- Wednesday 9th September, 2009.
You must submit two copies of your
dissertation at the School Office. If you meet this deadline, the School will bind the copies for you without charge. If you do not meet this deadline, for whatever reason, you must get two copies of your dissertation bound at your own expense and submit them to the School Office by the deadline you have agreed.
- Monday 7th September - Friday 18th September,
If required by your degree, you will give a 15 minute presentation.
You will be informed of a time and venue nearer the day.
Dissertation Requirements One of the most
commonly asked questions is what type of dissertation is
acceptable? The answer to this depends upon your degree stream.
It is, however, a requirement of the dissertation that it is relevant
to your degree. This is why it is important to agree in advance the
topic of your dissertation with your supervisor and what it will
entail (for example, whether you will have to develop a large amount
Choosing a Topic For Your Dissertation
It is your responsibility to make every effort to find a suitable
topic and a supervisor of the project. This is a major element of
your postgraduate study, and you must achieve a pass grade in
order to be awarded a degree. It is the supervisor's responsibility to approve the topic and the plan of work. It is most important that you
choose an area you are happy to work in, and in which you are
confident of your abilities. However, there are no hard and fast
criteria for choosing a project.
Ideally, we would like you to come up with the basic idea, though it
is likely to be modified after discussion with a member of staff.
Once you have done so, you should approach a potential supervisor
to discuss the details and ask them if they would be willing to
supervise it. Many students find it hard to identify
suitable projects, but the following thoughts might help you.
You should consider all of the modules that you have taken so far,
and identify the modules and the specific parts of the modules that
you found to be the most interesting. This should give you some
ideas about likely subject areas.
Look at the supervisors'
ideas pages that are maintained by members of staff, and see what
areas look interesting. Some staff post specific ideas for
projects, others post more general areas that are fertile for
research. You might decide to undertake a project which mirrors
your interests or hobbies. For example, a football enthusiast might
wish to implement a football pools predictor, or a keen musician could
implement software to generate sound effects on input guitar
signals. You might also want to consider whether a given topic
will increase your job opportunities.
You might want to make use of past experience in choosing a subject
area - some students undertake projects based on specialist knowledge
that they acquired whilst studying for their first degree.
It is an extremely good idea to find a project that interests you,
because you will be spending a lot of time on it, and
ultimately this will be an important item on your CV!
Specific Guidelines for Management of IT
The MIT project is supposed to look at some area of °»technology
transfer°… however this is interpreted quite broadly.
Ways of choosing a good project:
A student who has good contact with a business or organization may
wish to look at ways of improving the company's performance by an
analysis of the company°«s current practice and determining a plan for
how this can improved. In general, projects of this nature in the past
have been student-driven. It is no good just suggesting generic
answers. The project must be well researched and come up with a
solution that answers specific needs in a reasonably novel way.
One area of major concern to companies is that of their user
interface. Projects that look at user interfaces would evaluate a
company°«s current interface and determine how that interface was
affecting the impact of that interface from a commercial perspective.
The background of how the interface was working and should work would
be analyzed and alternatives investigated and proposed.
MIT projects should be well researched and focus on the technology
rather than management systems. They do not necessarily involve the
development of technology but may do --- for example
developing a prototype alternative interface. It is possible to
identify quite technical projects that would fit the general
requirement of a potential technology-transfer project. For example,
students have in the past looked at solutions scheduling problems and
other system-modelling tasks.
Dissertations that will not work are proposals to °»research°… a
current application area. Such proposals are generally a request to
write an essay after looking through limited numbers of articles.
Research in this area is quite difficult as it requires the sort of
critical analysis that would be undertaken in the first year of a PhD
in order to achieve a good grade for the MSc.
Specific Guidelines for IT
The IT project must be technology based. However, the idea is not to
produce a copy of an existing piece of technology. Students who
undertake a piece of technology for its own sake will not obtain a
good grade. Writing a new website for a product/company using
existing ideas will not work. You need to research what is limiting
the effectiveness of current technology and try to produce a prototype
of a solution.
Projects done within the School of Computer Science will therefore
involve you in programming but this must be supported by background
research on how the technology you are developing has been used before
and what innovations are needed. An example would be the development
of an educational computer game. Just to write a game, however good
it was at teaching and as a game would not produce a dissertation that
would get a high score. It would be necessary to research the
background to computer games, to establish a clear goal that would be
investigated. For example one could ask, °»Is it possible to improve
the time on task of a student learning basic mathematical concepts
using a computer game?°… You would then have to research how such
games had been used in the past, what it is necessary to teach, how
the subjects are currently taught, what motivates and de-motivates
children and how children differ. You would also need to try out
your software so an important part is developing a good plan for
assessing its effectiveness.
The following members of staff will be
supervising M.Sc. dissertations. The five rightmost columns show which type of project the supervisors are able to supervise. To find out what their
and areas of expertise are then you should look at their home
Many of them will have ideas for specific topics - links to their Ideas
will be posted here as they become available.
Finding a Supervisor
Most people are supervised by one of the lecturers listed in the supervisors
section of this document. However, you are not
restricted to these people - if they are agreeable then, with the agreement of your course coordinatory, any
member of academic staff in the University can supervise you.
If you approach a potential supervisor other than one on this list
then please remember that they are under no obligation to agree to
supervise you - so be polite, and accept a no gracefully!
All supervisors on this list have a quota of students - when any
individual supervisor has agreed to that quota then you will have to go
It is best to find a supervisor whose own interests are similar to
the work involved in your dissertation - that way they will be best
placed to advise you based on past experience. Of course this is
not always possible, especially when a member of staff already has a
full set of projects, but one of the other staff can supervise your
project if necessary. Before you approach any supervisor then
make sure you are aware of their interests (check out their personal
When you approach a potential supervisor you should either have a
clear idea of what project that you want to do, or else you should be
willing to take on a project in their research area that they
suggest. There is little point in going to someone with a
vague idea like "I want to look at e-commerce", because if it is
outside their personal area of expertise they probably won't have the
in-depth knowledge of the subject area that is needed to refine your
idea into a workable project.
If you really
can't think of a solid project, then go and talk to a potential
supervisor who is expert in an area that you are interested in and ask
him or her if they have any specific ideas.
When you have found a supervisor you must fill out a dissertation
form to "sign on". These forms consist of two parts - one of
which is kept by your supervisor, and the other of which is returned
to the School office. The form must be signed by both of you
before it is returned, and a member of staff will not be your
supervisor until this process has been completed. A copy of the form
can be found here.
If you wish to use school equipment (hardware or software) then you
must request the equipment that you will require in advance from TSG
using the project equipment request form (which must be signed by
yourself and your supervisor). You can find more
information, together with lists of available hardware and software on
the TSG support site.
you wish to use your own equipment, then you can do so providing that
you are independent of the School. School staff cannot support your
own personal equipment, and hardware or software purchased for a
project can not usually be used outside of the school (there are both
good pragmatic and legal reasons for this). For reasons of Health and
Safety regulations, as well as security and support, your own
equipment can only be connected to school facilities under limited
circumstances (e.g. laptop points in the terminal room - refer to TSG
for specific guidance). Therefore, if you use your own equipment for
development work then you must make arrangements to demonstrate it to
your supervisor (eg either on a laptop, or by installing it on a
This section outlines the structure of a dissertation.
- A dissertation must be completed by all students
following the MSc degree courses, although there is no dissertation requirement
for the diploma course.
- Dissertation projects will be performed individually (with one
student and generally one supervisor, although joint supervision might
be allowed under certain circumstances).
- The dissertation will run for the latter half of Semester 2 and
the summer period (i.e. from March to September).
Production of the Dissertation
Students are required, by University regulations to submit TWO
copies of their dissertation.
The title page of the dissertation must have the following layout, and each copy
should be signed and dated where indicated:
Submitted September 2009, in partial fulfilment of
the conditions of the award of the degree [ name of degree ]
School of Computer Science
University of Nottingham
I hereby declare that this dissertation is all my own
work, except as indicated in the text:
I hereby declare that I have all necessary rights and consents to publicly distribute this dissertation
via the University of Nottingham's e-dissertation archive.*
Public access to this dissertation is restricted until: DAY / MONTH / YEAR**
*Only include this sentence if you do have all necessary rights and
consents. For example, if you have including photographs or images
from the web or from other papers or documents then you need to obtain
explicit consent from the original copyright owner. If in doubt,
delete this sentence. See
for more details.
**Only include this sentence if there is some reason why your
dissertation should not be accessible for some period of time, for
example if it contains information which is commercially sensitive or
might compromise an Intellectual Property claim. If included, fill in
the date from which access should be allowed.
This is followed by a one page Abstract which should
summarise the contents of the Dissertation.
Beneath the abstract you should list any keywords you think would
help someone trying to find your dissertation (e.g. in a web
search). Please be careful to enter specific keywords relevant to your
dissertation, and don't be too general. We recommend that you include
the full version of any acronyms in your title or abstract and also
include synonyms or alternate spellings. Seperate words or phrases
with commas, e.g. Keywords: MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, resonant
tunnelling, resonant tunneling
The next page is a
Table of Contents for the dissertation. Include page numbers throughout
References are collected at the end of the Dissertation and
given in a standard journal format as described in the
Information Services publication IS2010 - "How
to Cite References". Dissertations must be typeset and
printed on a publication-quality printer.
There is a recommended dissertation structure in the Your
Dissertation section below.
- The Interim Report, if required, is a progress report. It
should represent a statement of the problem being tackled, the approach
that is being adopted detailing progress so far and proposed future
work. It should also represent a preliminary design document for any
software or hardware systems that are to be built as part of the work.
The scope and content of the report should be determined in
consultation with your supervisor, and generally should comprise
a draft of early chapters, an outline of the final dissertation, and
a plan of work for completion.
- The Presentations (where applicable)
will be scheduled during September 2009,
and will consist of a ten-minute talk (followed by an approximately
five-minute discussion) to which all members of
the school (staff and students) are invited. You are expected to
not only give your own presentation, but to attend all of the project
presentations in your own session (you may attend others if you
wish). Participation is compulsory, and attendance records will
- Late submission of the dissertation, the interim report or
failure to give a presentation will be considered as non-submission.
Non-submitted work will be awarded zero.
- Failure to attend your assigned presentation session shall be
considered as non-submission. Non-submitted work will be awarded zero.
- The supervisor will arrange a demonstration of any software or
hardware systems that have been developed as a part of the research.
- Examiners may if they wish require an internal viva-voce
- All marks shall be subject to the final moderation/approval of
the Board of Examiners.
Assessment Criteria and Grades
In the following the term work refers to the total effort of the
student from the start of the proposed area of study to the final
submission of the dissertation. The grading of the work is based upon
the dissertation. It will not, however be acceptable for high grades to
be awarded to good work which is not reflected in a good dissertation
without such special circumstances. The term dissertation refers to the
final written report of the student; this document will be the primary
source of assessment.
The work is usually assessed using criteria such as: amount of
effort, diligence, initiative and enthusiasm shown; difficulties
experienced and extent to which overcome; the extent of
self-organization and ability demonstrated by the students; the
effectiveness, quality, and quantity of work produced and the extent to
which the objectives of the work were met. The organization and
structure of the work; quality of referencing, appendices, figures,
programs and any other supporting documentation where relevant
Originality, novelty and innovation displayed in the work and reflected
in the dissertation. The quality of the dissertation as a source of
clear, concise and interesting information.
To give a better indication of how your work will be marked,
copies of the marking sheets that will be given to the assessors can be found below.
- Interim Report Mark Sheet
- Presentation Mark Sheet
- Dissertation Mark Sheet
The following are general characteristics of grades awarded to dissertations
by the University. Due to the fact that your dissertations are 60 credits,
and you are not allowed to compensate more than 40 credits - the minimum pass
mark is 50%, anything less is a fail.
- Exceptional (90-100%) The work and dissertation
should exhibit all the characteristics of an Excellent grade.
Additionally the dissertation should be publishable without significant
reworking or alteration. Any software and supporting documentation
should be of the highest possible quality. The work should display
complete and comprehensive originality. In short the work should be
reflected in a dissertation of stunning and universally accepted
- Outstanding (80-89%) The work and dissertation
should exhibit all the characteristics of an Excellent grade.
Additionally the results should be publishable in a suitably modified
form. The work should exhibit a large degree of independent thought and
originality. Technical assistance from the supervisor would have been
minimal and the student would have exhibited high levels of self
motivation. Any software and supporting documentation should be of the
highest possible quality.
- Excellent (70-79%) The work should display a
complete and thorough understanding of the conceptual and practical
issues surrounding the chosen topic. There should be evidence of
independent thought in the form of some degree of originality in the
presentation and discussions of the material. The dissertation should
be well structured with a clear line of argument and the quality of the
analysis should be excellent. Any software should be completed in all
respects and exhibit very high quality; there should be evidence of a
high degree of testing. Supporting documentation should be complete and
approaching the standard of high quality professional documentation.
- Good (60-69%) The work should show a good
understanding of the conceptual and practical issues surrounding the
chosen topic; the arguments should be clearly structured, but there is
no specific requirement for any degree of original work. The quality of
the analysis and the writing of the dissertation should be good.
Software should be competently designed using a recognized design
method; evidence of testing should be presented. The software should be
a complete and usable package which not only illustrates the principles
of the work but also exhibits good levels of quality. Supporting
documentation should be excellent for all purposes; it should be
complete, well written, well presented and generally exhibit high
- Average (50-59%) The work would be expected to
display an adequate understanding of the key conceptual and practical
issues, although weakness may be present in some areas. There should be
evidence of some attempt to construct an argument around the
information available. The analytical content should be average.
Software should be adequate to illustrate principles; it may display
weakness in areas not central to the work and lack comprehensive
testing. Supporting documentation would be well presented yet lack
completeness; the quality of the documentation should be very good.
- Probable Fail (40-49%) The work would display an
incomplete understanding of the central issues relating to the chosen
topic. The dissertation would lack a clear structure and strong
argument and the quality of analysis would be below average. The
writing would be mediocre. Software would be poorly designed,
incomplete, poorly commented and difficult to understand; it would
exhibit poor levels of quality. Supporting documentation would be
- Definite Fail (below 40%) The work would display a
very poor understanding of the chosen area; there would be no clear
structure and the analysis may be weak or incomplete. The dissertation
would be poorly written and presented. Software would be limited n
capability, and difficult to use. Supporting documentation would be
inadequate for most purposes.
Since all projects are different it is very difficult to make
comparisons between the various dissertations. Thus to assess the
projects, a set of guidelines has been developed which should
help to guide you in the production of your final dissertation.
Before writing your dissertation, be sure to read the section below
of other work.
Your dissertation is important!
Your dissertation is a key element of your degree - it is by far the most important deliverable by which
you will be judged! You may include a copy of working
software on a CD or floppy disk, but no matter how good that is, the
dissertation is what will primarily be judged. Remember also that the
external examiner may not have the time to look at your working software
and they will only be able to judge your project from the dissertation.
It is important to realise that you cannot perform excellent practical work
and then follow it up with a poor write-up and expect to do well. You
must remember that others will be involved in the assessment of the dissertation
who you have not had weekly meetings with and who do not have
access to knowledge not presented in the dissertation. Indeed, in the
case of the External Examiner, they will not even know who you are!
Thus all they have at their disposal to grade you is the written dissertation.
Given this crucial observation you should not leave the writing of
your dissertation just to the last few weeks of your project timetable.
Also bear in mind that many others will be rushing to produce
documentation towards the end of the second semester and that the
printing facilities will be at full stretch during the last two or
three weeks. The failure of printers, computers and the absence of
paper at weekends, overnight or indeed at any time during this period
will not be a valid excuse for the late delivery of your
dissertation. All these occurrences can be guaranteed to occur so you
must plan accordingly.
Writing your dissertation
The best dissertations and reports, whether for a third year-project, a
PhD thesis or even in some commercial applications, usually all follow
much the same structure, as described here.
The exact layout of dissertations
tends to vary depending upon the nature of the material and the style of the
author. It is recommended
that you discuss this in detail with your
supervisor. However the following might be considered to be a typical
- Title page: with a signed declaration that the dissertation
is your own work
- Abstract: giving a short (1 page) overview of the work in your
- Acknowledgements: thanking anyone who has helped you in any
- Table of contents: giving page numbers for all major
- Introduction: set the scenes, explain why you are doing this
work and what is the problem being solved. Most importantly you should
clearly explain what the aims and objectives of your work are.
- Related work: explain what is the current state of the art
in your area. What work have other people done (published or
commercial) that is relevant to yours.
- Methodology: explain what tools and technologies have
you used. If you have collected data then explain how it is collected
- Description of the work: explain what exactly have you
done. If this is a software project, describe your software in
detail. If it is a data-based project, present and explain your data
- Discussion: explain what your work means. In a
software project you should evaluate the functionality of your software. In
a research project you should interpret your experimental results. In
all cases you should evaluate what you have achieved against the aims and
objectives you outlined in the introduction. The discussion should
always end with a Conclusions section - in which you should briefly explain
what conclusions you have come to as a result of doing this work.
- References: provide a list of papers, books and other publications that
are explicitly referred to in the text. These should be in a standard journal format as described in the
Information Services publication IS2010 - "How
to Cite References".
- Appendices: Supplementary material should be included in
appendices - these are optional, but they might contain:
- Code listings - a listing of the
code you have written for the project. You should NOT include code
listings for code you have not written!! If your project involves
modifying code previously written by others, then you may include this
other code as long as you indicate clearly in the code listing what
parts have been written by you.
- User manuals
- Technical documentation
- Raw data - if your dissertation involved data collection then
this should usually be included in appendices. This should
provide supporting evidence for claims made in the main part of the
dissertation (eg copies of a user evaluation questionnaire and some
- Examples of test data.
- Electronic material on a floppy disk or CD taped inside
the back cover. This might contain executable software, source
code, graphics, slides used for your presentation, etc.
Where the appendices are long (e.g. code listings) do not print them out,
rather provide them on a CD.
The only requirement is that the dissertation should not exceed the prescribed number of words. The reason for this is to stop the presentation of
unstructured and verbose dissertations which are generally repetitive.
If you can present all your work clearly in 5,000 words or less then
that is fine. However, think carefully about the examiners who have
never met you and might not know the application area you are
describing. You may know your work backwards, and perhaps your
supervisor might have a good idea about what the project involved, but
what about some other reader? It is all too easy to
assume that everyone else knows what you did whereas in fact they have
no idea at all! Poor dissertations are generally notable for what is
omitted rather than what has been included.
One final question concerns the inclusion of Appendices. Appendices
are excluded from the total word count. It is unlikely that an Appendix
will be read in detail by an examiner. The aim of an Appendix is to act
as a supporting reference to the main body of the dissertation. Thus
you might state in the main dissertation that "A complete and detailed
User Manual was produced (see Appendix E)". Appendix E would contain
the User Manual. This allows any casual reader to access the User
Manual easily to verify the truth of the statement.
Copying - quoting or plagiarism?
One thing that is absolutely not allowable is copying of text or code
from any source at all and passing it off as your own work. This is
called plagiarism and will, at the minimum, result in your being
awarded zero marks for that component of the work, and may result in
expulsion from the University without a degree being awarded.
A commonly used definition of plagiarism is "passing off someone else's work,
whether intentionally or unintentionally, as your own for your own benefit".
This means that it is not plagiarism if you make use of someone else's work and acknowledge it properly and fully. It is therefore legitimate to, for example,
include text in your
dissertation by quoting someone who has written or said something
relevant to your work. However, you must indicate very clearly which part
of the text is copied, the name of the author(s) and where it comes
from, and you must italicize the quoted text and delimit it with
quotation marks. Under no circumstances should quotations
comprise more than a small fraction of the submitted work.
You should also be aware of copyright law - it is illegal to
duplicate substantial amounts of text (with or without indication)
unless you have the explicit permission of the copyright owner.
Exactly the same goes for copying code or images - you can easily
breach both copyright law and University regulations on plagiarism.
Staff can easily detect copied work because usually there are
changes in the quality of the work, the written expression, syntax and
so on all make it obvious that some parts of the work are not by the
claimed student author.
In summary - do not copy text, code or anything else and attempt to
pass it off as your own work. For example, never succumb to the
temptation to cut & paste text or images from the web into your
dissertation without proper reference.
This is plagiarism, it is ILLEGAL as it
breaches copyright, and it is CHEATING as it breaches
University regulations. It is regarded as a very serious offence
and is punishable when caught, and an especially dim view of plagiarism
is taken when it occurs in dissertations.
For a tutorial on plagiarism see here.
Archival and Publication
In the past dissertations gaining a distinction mark have been lodged
in the library for reference. We are now making such
dissertations available publicly through the University of
Nottingham's e-dissertation archive.
This can only be done if you have all necessary rights and consents to
make your dissertation publicly available. For example, if you have
included photographs or images from the web or from other papers or
documents that are subject to copyright (and most are) then you need
to obtain explicit consent from the original copyright owner. See
Copyright Information for more details. If you have included such
material in your dissertation without specific consent under an
expectation of "educational fair use" or similar then your
dissertation cannot be considered for the archive. In this case please
do NOT include the declaration about consents in your dissertation
Similarly, if there is some reason why your dissertation should not be
accessible for some period of time, for example if it contains
information which is commercially sensitive or might compromise an
Intellectual Property claim then please include the corresponding
declaration on the dissertation cover page - we can then ensure that
it is not released on the e-dissertation archive until after that
Please also note that we will not be able to consider your
dissertation for the archive if the PDF that you submit is corrupt or
incomplete. You should make every effort to ensure that this is not
the case, as some supervisors may be intending to mark the electronic
version of your dissertation!
As an integral part of your project you will be required to give a
presentation. This will take place in a seminar room or lecture
theatre, and you will have access to a data projector and a PC with MS
Office installed. You are strongly advised to use MS PowerPoint
for your presentations, although an overhead projector, whiteboard and
VCR will also be available should you want to make use of them.
You may use your own self-powered laptops, providing that it has a VGA
output to connect to the VGA input of the data project and provided
that you know how to force the laptop to send a signal to this
output! This is usually a proprietary keystroke, and you cannot
expect School staff to spend time working out what this is!
It will also be necessary for you to attend and grade the
presentations of students in the same session as yours. You will be
asked to give grades for the presentations of other students. These
grades will be taken into consideration when making up the final mark
for the project. Your attendance at these other presentations to grade
other students will also be taken into consideration when making up the
final grade for your project.
Plan to speak for ten minutes and allow five minutes for questions.
The chair of the session will impose strict timekeeping. Do not go over
the ten-minute time limit.
Some helpful notes on giving presentations are given in Presentation
Guide for third-year individual projects - this is also highly
relevant to M.Sc. students.
Original document by Tim Brailsford. Last update February, 2009. Roland Backhouse.