2017 - 2018


Introductory Report - 15%
Deadline: To be completed by the end of October 2017.
To be agreed between the student and the academic placement tutor (typically the academic advisor).

The Specification Documentation should adhere to the following guidelines:

Specification Documentation

You are asked to produce a report of no more than three sides of A4 (12 point) when printed (the Gantt Chart can be on the 4th side), The report, in PDF format, should be submitted through the departmental submission website. The specification will be assessed by the two academic markers. A grade will be given for the project specification, and this will be made available after the new year. This grade will count for 15% of the final mark. The report should be structured as follows:

1. Project Description

This section describes what the project is about. This should include:

  1. Who the project is being done for (which company, and department.  Include a description of the type of work carried out by the organisation for which you are working);

  2. What the aim of the project is, what it is intended to achieve;

  3. What the proposed solution is, how the aim will be achieved.

2. Statement of Deliverables

This section describes what will be produced in the project. In some cases it may be useful to identify some deliverables as essential and others as desirable. As appropriate this will include:

  1. Description of anticipated documentation;

  2. Description of anticipated software;

  3. Description of any anticipated experiments;

  4. Description of methods for evaluation of the work.

The focus should be on the description of the anticipated software.  A detailed description of the features / functionalities of the software should be given (again, possibly distinguishing essential and desirable features).

3. Conduct of the Project and Plan

This section describes how the project will be carried out and describes the activities involved in different stages. This should

include, where appropriate:

  1. Preparation

  2. Background research: what information will be used to fully understand the problem and derive its solution, and provide a context for the project (you should state clearly what information you have already absorbed and what is yet to be read during the early stage of the design stage);

  3. Data required: what data will be need to be acquired for the project and where it will be obtained;

  1. Design stage

  2. What design methods will be used and what the design documentation will consist of;

  1. Implementation stage

  2. What hardware and software will be used;

  3. What testing will be carried out;

  4. In addition, a plan in the form of a time-tabled schedule of project activities and outputs will be given. This should include internal milestones as well as assessments and reviews within your organization. The plan should both state progress to date and indicate future activities. A diagrammatic presentation of the plan is usually best, and there are standard techniques, such as Gantt Charts, which you can use.

  5. The stages of the project should be broken down into an appropriate level of detail, e.g., "design 5 weeks" is too vague: you need to indicate what tasks will go into your design and how long you expect each of these tasks to take.

  6. Risk Assessment

  7. Also included should be a risk assessment containing the following and how they might affect the plan.

  8. What are the major challenges in carrying out the project;

  9. What new skills will be required and how these will be acquired;

4. Bibliography

  1. An outline bibliography showing what reference material has been and will be used. These references should be cited wherever appropriate.  You can find some references to on-line sources for referencing here.


For your guidance, a copy of the feedback and mark forms that will be used to assess your report are available online.

Please email the report directly to your academic supervisor.

Dissertation - 35%
Deadline: August 15th,  2018 at noon

The dissertation provides a full, and critical account of your industrial placement, and forms the most significant contribution towards your final grade. The format of the dissertation can vary, depending on the type of placement you had; some placements focus on a single problem or task that can be written up, whereas other placements may consist of several tasks, one of which should be described.  Though similar to a final year honours project report, the dissertation should also include an account of the industrial experience, describing not only the professional issues you encountered, but a reflective account on what was learned and gained from being in industry.

The dissertation should be submitted electronically as a single pdf file through the Departmental Coursework Submission Site (link not yet active).  This deadline is firm, and no extensions will be granted.  The dissertation will be marked by two members of academic staff (including your academic supervisor), and should be self contained (assume that the staff members have no prior knowledge of your activities within industry).  A target size of 7,000 words is recommended, with a maximum of 10,000 words (this is similar to a target of about 30-40 A4 pages using a 12pt type). Appendices will not be included in the maximum, but examiners will not normally expect to read appendices in detail, so they are intended to supply supporting and illustrative material.

The submission URL is:

The content of the dissertation is at the discretion of the student, and will depend on the nature of the placement.  If the placement comprised a single task or problem, then this should be the focus of the dissertation.  However, for many placements, the student may be involved in several major tasks.  If this is the case, then each of the tasks should be summarised (typically in 1-2 pages), before selecting one which will be presented in more detail.  A justification and motivation should be given for this selection.

The following structure provides an indication of what would be expected in a typical dissertation:

  1. ABSTRACT: a summary (no longer than 400 words) of the placement as a whole.

  2. INTRODUCTION: This will give a brief overview of the placement activities, what problems were addressed, challenges encountered and solutions produced.

  3. PLACEMENT TASKS AND MOTIVATION: Provide a list of each of the major tasks that you undertook as part of the placement.  Then select one to be the main focus of the dissertation, and provide a motivation for selecting that task.  Note that if only one task was conducted, then this section is not necessary.

  4. RELATED LITERATURE: Any reading or research conducted to acquire the necessary information and skills to carry out the main task.

  5. DESIGN: Full detail of the design of the software developed as part of the main task. All design documentation should be supplied (possibly as an appendix).  If the main task is similar to that described in the original specification (submitted in November,  2009), then any deviations of the final design from that specification should be discussed.

  6. REALISATION: Details of the implementation, including tools, language, and environment.  Discuss the challenges encountered during the implementation, and in particular, what professional issues were considered. Also, discuss how the work was evaluated or tested; what testing approaches were used.  If the software was tested by third parties, describe how the bug reports were managed, and how this led to new versions of the software.

  7. LEARNING POINTS: Provide a critical appreciation of technical and soft employability skills acquired during the placement. This may include, where appropriate, customer feedback

  8. REFLECTION: Provide a critical appreciation of the strengths and weakness of the work, and how it was conducted. This may include, where appropriate, customer feedback

  9. PROFESSIONAL ISSUES: Discuss other industrial experiences and lessons gained from your experience within industry.  Try to relate your experiences with the British Computer Society Code of Conduct and Code of Good Practice.

  10. CONCLUSIONS: Summary, main findings, and further work (if relevant).

  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY: A properly cited list of books, articles and other materials consulted during the placement and/or referred to in the dissertation.

  12. APPENDICES: Appendices are meant to contain detailed material, required for completeness, but which are too detailed to include in the main body of the text. Typically they might contain a full code listing (where permissible), details of test data, screen shots of sample runs, a user guide, and full design diagrams, and similar material. One Appendix should summarise key activities throughout the placement, which will list important dates such as completion of major stages, release of versions of the software, review meetings and other quality assurance activities.

For your guidance, a copy of the feedback and mark forms that will be used to assess your dissertation are available online.

Oral Presentation - 15%
Deadline: To be agreed between each student and their academic advisor and to be completed by the End of July 2018.

The oral presentation is intended to give an overview of what has been achieved during the placement. The student should present an overview of the activities, and details of one of the major tasks of the placement. The oral presentation is expected to take place during the last month of the placement; typically during July. One copy of the slides must be provided to the markers prior to the presentation (although this can be on the day of the presentation itself).  The presentation will last 15 minutes, plus questions.

The focus of the oral presentation will depend on the nature of the placement, but should detail the major task that is described within the dissertation.  Normally, the presentation will include:

  1. The aims of the task.

  2. A summary of the design.

  3. A description of what was produced in the task.

  4. Any interesting aspects of the implementation (when appropriate).

  5. A discussion of any challenges that were encountered, and how they were overcome.

  6. An evaluation of what has been achieved.

  7. A reflection of what was learned or gained from the placement

The presentation will be assessed by one academic staff member and the Industrial Supervisor.  A grade will be given which will count for 15% of the final mark, and this will be made available within five days of the presentation.  For your guidance, a copy of the feedback and mark forms that will be used to assess your oral presentation are available online.

Performance/Log Book - 35%
Deadline: At the oral presentation.

The performance and conduct of the student in the placement will be evaluated based on the Industrial Supervisor’s experience and the details provided in the log book.  This will be based on discussions between the academic supervisor and Industrial Supervisor.  This grade will count for 35% of the final mark, and this will be made available at the end of the placement.  For your guidance, a copy of the forms that will be used to assess your performance are available online. The log book should be emailed to the academic supervisor one week before the presentation date.

All the relevant documentation should be submitted to the academic placement tutor, unless stated differently. Please also refer to the Placement Handbook (departmental login needed).


Assessment tasks

  1. 1.Introductory Report - 15%
    A 3 page report outlining the project and aims

  2. 2.Dissertation (Final Report) - 35%
    A 7-10k word report detailing activities during the placement

  3. 3.Oral Presentation - 15%
    A 15 minute presentation summarising the placement activities

  4. 4.Performance/Log Book - 35%
    Based on log book activities and discussion with Industrial supervisor

The details


The use and exploitation of advanced software technology continues to be an important issue throughout most areas of society. Within this the development, updating and widespread application of complex software is the most time-consuming, difficult and expensive aspect. It is widely acknowledged that developing efficient, robust and correct software is inherently complex, and thus there is a requirement for professional software developers. In addition, however, to a need for appropriately skilled graduates it is increasingly recognised that knowledge, experience and awareness of the practical business and industrial environments with which such skills will be employed is essential. This degree programme seeks to address not only the requirement to provide the required technical skill base but also to equip graduates with some appreciation of how such skills will be used in practical commercial settings.

Marking descriptors

University Marking Descriptors

All assessment forms and marking descriptors are available on the departmental internal server (departmental login required). It is the student responsibility to share these forms with their industrial supervisors.

Further information on the placement conduct can be found in the Placement Handbook.