Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module COMP51860: Thesis Proposal

Department: Computer Science

COMP51860: Thesis Proposal

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 60 Availability Not available in 2018/19 Module Cap
Tied to G5A101


  • Research Methods and Professional Issues (COMP50415).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • For students to demonstrate advanced research skills in the identification and selection of research materials in their chosen field.
  • For students to demonstrate their capability to analyze existing research outputs in a specific field and to identify a potential new direction in which they will develop their research.
  • For students to demonstrate that they are able to talk informatively about their research topic and be able to defend their own research ideas.


  • Identification of core texts within a specific research field.
  • Developing an understanding of what is expected of research students.
  • Developing an appreciation of the skills needed to obtain a PhD.
  • Research skills for locating, identifying and developing an in depth understanding of high quality research articles.
  • How to write in a form suitable for research publication.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To gain the broad and deep knowledge and principles of a set research topic.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To demonstrate exemplary skills in identification and interpretation of research materials related to their field.
  • To demonstrate their ability to write and present high quality and professional reviews of prior research within their chosen field.
Key Skills:
  • To be able to orally defend their research ideas to a set of experts within their field and demonstrate the ability to situate this within other research outputs in their chosen field.

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

  • Students will work with their supervisory team to shape their research ideas and define an appropriate field and direction of study for their PhD.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 25 Fortnightly 1 hour 25
Preparation and Reading 575
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Literature Survey Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Literature Survey Maximum 60 pages 100%
Component: Thesis Proposal Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Thesis Proposal Maximum 6 pages 100%
Component: Oral Examination Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral Examination 1 hour 100%

Formative Assessment:

The supervisory team will work with the student to help define their research field. The team will review at least one draft of the literature survey and thesis proposal.

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