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Faculty of Engineering and Computing.
1. IDENTIFY SUITABLE TOPICS OF RESEARCH RELEVANT TO CHOSEN SPECIALISM.
2. APPRAISE CURRENT INFORMATION RESOURCES RELEVANT TO A PARTICULAR PROBLEM
AND JUSTIFY APPROPRIATE PROBLEM-SOLVING STRATEGIES WITH RESPECT TO RESOURCES,
TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES.
3. APPLY PROJECT PLANNING SKILLS FOR THE UNDERTAKING OF A SIGNIFICANT PIECE OF
4. ASSESS PROFESSIONAL, LEGAL, SOCIAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES RELATING TO RESEARCH AND
5. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY IN FORMAL AND INFORMAL SITUATIONS BOTH VERBALLY AND
OTHERWISE WITH INTERESTED PARTIES RELATING TO THE PROJECT WORK.
BLOCK TEACHING SESSIONS MARCH/APRIL 2020
Teaching will take place daily between 30th March and 03rd April. Due to building lockdown the
sessions will take place online. To find each day’s session navigate to Moodle > 7000CEM >
“Day” section (i.e. ‘Monday’, ‘Tuesday’, etc) and click on the Virtual Class link.
What is a research question, what is a problem-based project?
How to choose or propose a project
How to refine a research question
How to read Academic Papers
How to obtain up to date research using the library
Primary Research Methods
Data Gathering @ Statistical Significance
Surveys and – and why you should be wary of them
Legal, Social and Ethical issues in Computing
The (Compulsory) Coventry Ethics system
Evidencing project management
Writing up your project
Sarah Mount, Peter Every. 2014 Awesome Projects in Computing. (Will be supplied)
Christian Dawson. 2015 Projects in Computing and Information Systems: A Student's Guide. Pearson.
Useful Web Sites
Individual Project Prepara on
Coursework Title Research Proposal
Module Code 7000CEM
Hand out date: 25/03/20
Estimated Time (hours): 50
% of Module Mark
Word Limit*: N/A
Completing it should give you a ‘head start’ when it comes to undertaking the project.
However, you are not obliged to take this proposal forward if you find something else you want
to work on in the project module.
The suggested word length for the whole assignment is 2500 words (1000 for proposal elements
1500 words for literature review). Please try and remain within +/- 20% of this word length
Please review the marking criteria before commencing work.
A word about plagiarism.
Your reports will be submitted through Turnitin which is similarity checking software. To avoid a
high similarity score, remember to enclose any direct quotations used in your work in inverted
commas “…”, remember to include with any quote or paraphrase of an idea an in-text citation as
to where it is from e.g. (Every, P. 2020) and finally remember to expand that citation, properly, in
the bibliography, e.g.:
Every, P. 2020 ‘How not to be accused of plagiarism’ in the Journal of Academic Advice Vol 3
Issue 2. Elsevier Publications, London.
Assignment Task – develop a project proposal for an MSc project. This may be a project you
intend to carry forward and conduct when you come to undertaking your actual MSc
project or it could be a hypothetical project that you do not intend to take further.
Formatting: Your proposal should contain the six headings described on the next page.
1 Project Title & Abstract
Help: The project title is a statement based on your detailed research question. For example, the research question 'to what extent
does a mobile application reduce the number of errors made in class registers at Coventry University in comparison to current
paper-based registers' may be stated in the project title: "A Wi-Fi driven mobile application for large group registers".
An abstract is a short summary of a research project that enables other researchers to know if your report or research paper is
relevant to them without reading the whole report. It is usually written retrospectively so that it can include findings and results. It is
fully expected that you will rewrite your abstract when you come to write your final paper.
For now, you should write an abstract of about 250 words that refines the project topic described in 1.2 into a specific research
question that you will develop a primary data collection method for. Before writing your abstract, you MUST read some abstracts
from conference or journal papers on Google Scholar or from portal.acm.org (to understand their style)
2 Project Topic
Help text: Describe a topic area in computing that you are personally interested in and that relates to the subject of your course. Try
to be specific and identify a topic that is not so broad that you would have difficulty covering it in a one semester project module.
Example 1: As a topic ‘E-Commerce’ is too broad – a more specific topic might be ‘Utilising a novel Neural Network Algorithm to
improve product recommendations’. Example 2: As a topic ‘Artificial Intelligence’ is too broad – a more specific topic might be
‘detecting plagiarism in student reports utilizing data mining’.
3 Initial Literature Review
Help text: Using the University Library e-journal database, the ACM portal database or Google Scholar, identify and select
between three and five research papers relating to your topic. Try and identify papers that are relatively current (within the last three
years). A literature review is a select analysis of existing research which is relevant to your topic. It explains and justifies how your
investigation may help answer some of the questions or gaps in this area of research. A literature review is not a straightforward
summary of everything you have read on the topic and it is not a chronological description of what was discovered in your field.
Use your literature review to:
Show how your study will relate to previous studies.
Compare and contrast different authors' views on an issue - note areas in which authors are in disagreement.
Highlight current exemplary studies
Highlight any gaps in research that may provide you with a starting point for your project
Highlight any good approaches that may allow you to develop a project idea further
The key to the mini-literature review is your critical and evaluative perspective on the literature reviewed. Use the review to make a
case/argument as to why your own research project is necessary/important.
4 Client, Audience and Motivation:
Help: Why is this project important? To whom is this project important? A research project must address a research question that
generates a small piece of new knowledge. This new knowledge must be important to a named group or specific client to make it
worthwhile carrying out. This is the motivation for your project. In this section you should address who will benefit from your
findings and how they will benefit. (note: ‘greater knowledge about’ is defined as a benefit – even if your audience is mainly other
academic researchers, new data, if collected using scientific principles, adds to the body of knowledge about the topic).
5 Primary Research Plan
Help: This is the plan as to how you will go about answering your detailed research question - It must include a primary research
method (an extended literature review is not an acceptable primary method). Think and plan logically. Primary methods may include
experiments, applications or software demonstrators, process models, surveys, analysis of generated data … you may wish to
suggest a timeline/Gantt Chart (covering 13 weeks) or simply a sequence of tasks. Where you intend to collect data think about how
much data you need and how long the collection process will take. Make reasonable assumptions about the amount of work you can
do and try not to ‘over-promise’ on results – most scientific research is small scale and time limited, this is even more the case with
student projects where you also have competing modules.
6 Bibliography (key texts from your literature review)
Help: Please provide references, in correct Harvard style, for the research papers that have informed your literature review. The
references should be recent and sufficiently technical or academic. Your markers will be looking for you to identify technical
reports, conference papers, journal papers, and recent text books. Avoid Wikipedia entries, newspaper reports that do not cite
sources, and general or introductory texts.
Quality and completeness of the proposal
That the research question is well formed and achievable
That the research question is specific and free from untestable generalisations
That the proposed project represents an appropriate level of challenge to a Masters
That the primary method(s) proposed are appropriate and achievable and demonstrate
application of a sound methodology
That the student has thought through the potential impact and audience for the project
That the primary method is described and critiqued in sufficient detail
That, taken as a whole, the proposal is clear and complete.
Quality of the Literature Review
of the topic.
of the project
Clear outline of the problem addressed, methods
used and expected outcomes. Summarises the
relates to the
Demonstrates currency and shows the state of the
art of the literature
some of the
is shown and
of the issues,
but not in
Demonstrates a complex understanding of the
various issues involved in the subject
a empt to
Fair review of
No link to
but does not
Link to research
Iden ﬁes gaps or opportuni es that lead to a welldeﬁned project
Leads to a focused research ques on, Considerable
understanding of relevant theory or concepts
Excellent choice of current, academic, peer
reviewed literature. Correctly cited using Harvard