The purpose of the project dissertation is to provide a complete record of the work carried out by you during the course of the project.
Students should be able to:
Your task is to produce a dissertation for your project.
The dissertation is a record of what has transpired over the course of your project. It should detail (at an appropriate level) what was the purpose of your project, what was achieved, what software was designed (if applicable), what hypothesis was being tested (if applicable), experiments performed, data gathered, etc.
The dissertation must be written by yourself using your own words (see the University guidance on academic integrity for additional information). See the section on Academic integrity below for more details.
The typical structure of the dissertation is outlined below.
A suggested structure for the dissertation is as follows:
The dissertation must be self contained, and include a complete record of the work carried out. A target size of 7,000 words is recommended, with a maximum of 10,000 words. Appendices will not be included in the maximum, but assessors will not normally expect to read appendices in detail, so they are intended to supply supporting and illustrative material.
The content of the dissertation is at the discretion of the student, and
will depend on the nature of the project, but for a typical project involving
the development of a piece
of software, the following elements of the dissertation would be expected:
Note: The exact content of these sections shouldn't be consider "fixed", nor do they necessarily need to be in this order. This is just a suggestion of aspects of the project that you want to address in some manner in your dissertation.
A LaTeX dissertation template is available,
with a PDF file to show what
it looks like. Note that the section headers and such provided are only examples.
A Microsoft "Word" dissertation template is also available. This template is reproduced here by permission of Laureate Online Learning, the University of Liverpool's eLearning partner.
For your guidance a copy of the feedback form that will be used to assess your dissertation are available from here: [feedback form]
Submission of the dissertation, any accompanying
appendices, and all source code files must be done
in electronic form (PDF format only for the dissertation and
any separate appendices) via the
Coursework Submission System.
Note that zipped versions of the documents and/or source code are acceptable for the electronic submission. Do not use any form of compression other than ZIP!!
Note that during submission of your work, you are also making an online Declaration on Academic Integrity.
The deadline for the electronic submission of the dissertation and source code files is 18 September 2020 (5:00pm).
Students who took resit exams are allowed to submit their work by 2 October 2020 (5:00pm). Please note that these deadlines are strict. Further extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.
The dissertation submission deadline for students who have deferred completion of their project is 7 December 2020 (5:00pm).
NOTE: In the current version of the system, a student can submit files
but not overwrite files on the system. You also cannot remove previously uploaded
files. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that each student create and submit
a text file with
a table of contents (toc) of their submission. In particular, if your name is
John Smith, please submit also a text file with the name:
that contains the list of files that need to be assessed. This is to avoid assessment of files that are submitted by mistake.
All student should be aware that they are responsible for what they write. One of the pillars of progress in research is that authors can benefit from each other's earlier work. Arguments made in a dissertation should be supported by facts. One way of doing this is to refer to the existing body of work. For example one can argue that X is true because Y and Z demonstrated it was true in a number of articles published in reputable journals (and then give references to the publications in question). If readers want to disagree with you they also have to take issue with X and Y!
However, it is important for students to make clear, when writing their dissertation, what their original contribution is and what is not. If a student is unable to make a point more clearly than a source that they have found (a book, a paper, or a document on the web), they should use quotations: put the quoted sentence(s) in between quotes " and ", and make clear in the running text where the reference is taken from. Then, cite that source in your bibliography and/or list of references. There are many standards to do citation, students are free to use any style, but should make sure that they make citations in a consistent way.
It does not make sense to quote more than 3 or 4 sentences at one occasion. If readers really have to literally read another source, students should tell them in their introduction, and say that they assume that the reader has read that source before starting reading the students dissertation.
Apart from using somebody else's text, students may also come across figures, pictures and diagrams, which they think illustrate their point better than they could do otherwise. Again, if this is the case (and students should first check that they are not acting against any copyright law), students should state that the figure/picture/diagram is taken from a particular source, and give the full details of that source in their bibliography.
For projects that utilize data (e.g. to formulate or test hypotheses), data should not be fabricated to conceal a paucity of legitimate data, nor should legitimate data be altered, enhanced or exagerrated to mislead the reader.
For more information, see the University's Code of Practice on Assessment. See also Appendix L of the Code of Practice on Assessment for definitions of plagiarism and collusion, and the penalties for those actions.
Students are expected to have read this Code of Practice on Assessment, and will complete an online Declaration on Plagiarism, Collusion and Fabrication of Data form when they electronically submit their dissertation.
The assessment will determine to what extent learning outcomes stated above
have been achieved. The assessment will be conducted by two markers.
Each marker will produce separate feedback and grades (according to the
COMP702 project marking descriptors below)
that will be reported back to you as well as a combined mark (with a maximum
of 100 points).
This mark will count for 60% of the overall final grade for the project. Failure in this task can be compensated by higher marks on the other assessments of the project.
For your guidance, a copy of the feedback form that will be used to assess your dissertation is available.
|A*||Good Distinction||80+||Factually almost faultless; perceptive and focused treatment of all issues. Clearly directed; logical; comprehensive coverage of topic; strong evidence of reading/research outside the material presented in the programme; substantial elements of originality and independent thought; very well written. critical and scholarly presentation.|
|A||Distinction||70-79||Logical; enlightening; originality of thought or approach; good coverage of topic; clear, in-depth understanding of material; good focus; good evidence of outside reading/research; very well written and directed.|
|B||Good Pass||60-69||Logical; thorough; factually sound (no serious errors); good understanding of material; evidence of outside reading/research; exercise of critical judgement; some originality of thought or approach; well written and directed.|
|C||Pass||50-59||Worthy effort, but undistinguished outcome. Essentially correct, but possibly missing important points or inadequate treatment. Largely derived from material delivered in the programme, but with some evidence of outside reading/research; some evidence of critical judgement; some weaknesses in expression/presentation.|
|D||Compensatable Fail||40-49||Incomplete coverage of topic; evidence of poor understanding of material; Poor presentation; lack of coherent argument. Very basic approach to a narrow or misguided selection of material. Lacking in background and/or flawed in structure.|
|F||Fail||< 40||Serious omissions; significant errors/misconceptions; poorly directed at targets; evidence of inadequate effort. Shallow and poorly presented work showing failure in understanding.|
The University's standard policy on lateness penalties will be applied with respect to the latest electronic submission of the dissertation. See Section 6 of the Code of Practice on Assessment for further details.
However, penalties will not reduce the mark below the pass mark for the assessment. Work assessed below the pass mark will not be further penalized for electronic submission in an incorrect format, missing program source code files, or exceeding the word limit for the dissertation.