Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module COMP3012: INDIVIDUAL PROJECT (40 Credits)

Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • 80 credits of Computer Science modules from Level 1 and Level 2 (with a minimum of 40 credits at Level 2) OR 60 credits of Level 2 Computer Science modules.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Level 3 project modules in any other Department AND COMP3591 Project Preparation


  • To allow students to conduct a substantial piece of research into an unfamiliar area of Computing Science.
  • To introduce the research methods and skills relevant for conducting such a project.
  • To provide an opportunity for students to synthesise what they’ve learned from other modules.
  • To give students experience of working independently.
  • To give students experience in writing up and presenting work in a scholarly fashion.


  • Students are expected to choose a project from a list offered by potential supervisors, or to propose their own project and find a suitable supervisor.
  • Projects are inevitably and deliberately very varied in the topic they address and in the type of approach required.
  • For example they may be practically or theoretically based. Many projects will consist of a combination of these.
  • All projects allow opportunity for initiative by the student, and are open-ended in that they offer the potential for considerably more work than can be achieved in the available time.
  • Project selection and a compulsory course on successfully conducting a project will take place during the Easter term of the 2nd year.
  • Project work starts at the beginning of the 3rd year.
  • One of the main outcomes of the project is a significant academic-quality report.
  • Successful completion requires good organisation, communication skills and management.
  • Management is the responsibility of the student, in regular consultation with the supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An understanding of the state of the art in the student’s chosen area of specialisation.
  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the student's chosen area of specialisation.
  • An understanding of research methods required in conducting a research based project.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To be able to plan and carry out research appropriate to a project.
  • To be able to demonstrate project planning.
  • To be able to search a variety of information sources for relevant publications and background material.
  • To be able to assimilate, critically evaluate and analyse information.
  • To be able to formulate solutions to a problem, making effective use of time and resources available.
  • To be able to implement solutions to these problem.
  • To be able to manage personal learning.
  • To be able to evaluate own learning, progress and quality of solution objectively.
  • To be able to prepare and deliver technical writing.
  • To be able to present properly referenced documents, with citations, references and bibliographies.
  • To be able to exercise critical self-evaluation.
  • To be able to present and interpret results effectively.
Key Skills:
  • Capacity for independent self-learning.
  • The effective communication of general and specialised Computing Science concepts (written, verbal, presentational, …).
  • Effective use of IT resources.
  • Time and resource management.
  • Advanced problem solving skills.

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

  • Students are taught the expectations for the management of their project through the lecture series and personal subject based tuition is given within their tutorials.
  • Students will receive regular process meetings with their supervisor giving formative feedback on the suitability of the implementation and scientific report.
  • The research conducted and the implementation developed will be written up in the form of the scientific report along with presentations of the work in the form of oral presentations.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 5 1 hour 5
Supervision sessions 22 30 mins 11
Preparation and Reading 384
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
coursework 100%

Formative Assessment:

This is given to students using the project meeting review forms and the formal deliverable evaluation document used by all tutors.

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