Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2007/08
Tied to


  • Postgraduate modules to the value of 60 credits selected from those offered by the Department of Computer Science including EITHER Advanced Java Systems with UML-Based Design (COMP50915) OR Object Oriented Programming in Java and UML (COMP51815).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module is to enable the student to tackle the main design project, equipped with the appropriate skills and technical knowledge. To do this, the student must be familiar with the background of the project, and must also be confident in using the software tools for the project. Further, the student must approach the writing up in a professional manner.


  • Intensive background research, literature survey and on-line search to understand in depth the subject of the dissertation
  • Experimenting with appropriate software tools and environments
  • How to plan, manage and write up the dissertation
  • How to establish criteria for success by which the project can be evaluated
  • Professional issues concerned with the project
  • Determining the requirements of the project, and the appropriate evaluation approach

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Specialist knowledge: personal research, software analysis, use of software tools
  • Management: planning project
  • Engineering of software systems: requirements analysis and documentation
  • Professional skills: draft dissertation chapters and documentation of software tools experiments; use of planning tools
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • The module comprises 1 week's intensive directed reading and laboratory exercises; 5 days of lectures, tutorials, and reading, and two weeks undertaking a major laboratory assignment. The overall workload conforms to the standard SLAT requirement of 150 hours equivalent to 15 credits. The assignment report will consist of (i) a write up on the software tools experiments, and (ii) background material on the project forming the first two chapters of the dissertation.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 10 2 per day in week 2 1 hour 10
      Tutorials 4 weekly 1 hour 4
      Practicals 5 daily in week 1 6 hours 30
      Laboratory 10 daily in weeks 3 and 4 6 hous 60
      Preparation and Reading 46
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Laboratory report Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Laboratory report 100%

      Formative Assessment:

      Written drafts of chapters and feedback on software tool experiments with written feedback.

      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University