Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to G406
Tied to G407
Tied to G410
Tied to FGC0
Tied to FGC1


  • 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


  • To prepare students for their 4th year project
  • To assist in choosing a topic, identifying a potential supervisor, assigning a project, and finally in writing a research proposal
  • To create a proposal that will lead directly to the project work to be undertaken in the 4th year and will include narrowing the scope of the research problem, a literature review, and planning the project methodology
  • To prepare students for the presentation of complex subjects before their peers and in turn provide critical feedback


  • Research design and ethics, data analysis, types of research, critiquing the academic literature, reproducible research
  • Communication: academic writing, presentation of complex research and results, presentation skills
  • Research methods, qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, interviews, observation, questionnaires, hypothesis testing
  • Data analysis and statistical tests

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 critically review and analyse the current literature relevant to the research problem
  • To be able to design an appropriate research methodology for a given problem and in doing so evaluate the strengths and weakness of the qualitative and quantitative research methods to be used
  • To be able to engage in a peer review process that involves the critical review of proposals
  • To be able to assess professional, legal, social and ethical issues relating to research and project work
  • To be able to present properly referenced documents, with citations, references and bibliographies
  • To be able to exercise critical self-evaluation
Key Skills:
  • The effective communication of general and specialised Computing Science concepts (written, verbal, presentational)
  • The ability to offer an informed critique of a problem and solution
  • Advanced problem solving skills

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

  • Lectures enable the students to learn new material relevant to the topic of Research Methods and how this can be applied to a project
  • Practical classes enable the students to put into practice learning from lectures and strengthen their understanding through application
  • Formative and summative assessments assess the application of methods and techniques
  • The research proposal created will be written up in the form of the scientific report, and this report will be presented at a Module Symposium which will allow for peer feedback and formative critiquing

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
practical classes 19 1 per week 2 hours 38
preparation and reading 142
total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research proposal 60% No
Benchtest 1 hour 10% No
Presentation of proposal at Module Symposium 30% No

Formative Assessment:

Example formative exercises are given during the course. Additional revision lectures may be arranged in the module's lecture slots in the 3rd term

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