Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap
Tied to


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The objectives are to familiarise the student with, and give them practical/laboratory experience of, state-of-the-art research trends in the field. Both 'process' and 'product' topics will be addressed. While the details of the syllabus will vary from year to year to reflect advances in the field, the module will be given by staff members who are leading researchers in their field.


  • The learning objectives will be met by selecting at least four advanced topics that are currently the subject of research (in the department), and will affect the Internet and distributed systems, and study these in depth. In the laboratory, experiments will be undertaken to gain hands-on experience of these topics, using existing and current software tools (e.g. as used in research projects in the department).

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Specialist knowledge: teaching of at least 4 advanced research topics
  • Practical design skills
  • Engineering of software systems: using the topics to build and demonstrate applications
  • Professional skills: future ethical and professional issues of internet and distributed computing developments
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, tutorial, 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. In this module, the students will be expected to follow up taught material with reading of the latest papers in the area.

      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
      Seminars 2 in week 2 1 hour 2
      Practicals 5 daily in week 1 6 hours 30
      Laboratory 10 daily in weeks 3 and 4 6 hous 60
      Preparation and Reading 44
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Laboratory report Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Laboratory report 2500 words 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