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Projects

Individual Project

In an individual project, which you will normally do in your final year, you will make use of all the skills that you have learned during your course to tackle a self-contained project. A member of staff will act as your supervisor to give guidance and to help you with any difficulties you encounter. Your final year project represents an important piece of individual work in which future employers are usually interested, and therefore spending effort on the project and its presentation often pays off. You can find out more details about the individual project in the unit descriptions.

Group Project

The purpose of group project work is for you to gain experience of working in a team. This is almost certainly how you will work in your future career as a computer scientist and therefore it is important that you gain experience as soon as possible. The key to group project work is to make the best use of the skills of each group member and to ensure that each member has a clear view of the project as a whole. This requires everyone to cooperate with each other and to strive to get the best out of each other so that the group benefits as a whole. This is not an easy skill to gain and therefore we give you every opportunity to practise during your course. You can find out more details about the group project work in your course in the unit descriptions.

Project Allocation

The mechanism for allocation of individual projects and supervisors is as follows.

Once the marking panel has approved your project, you can start working on it. Note that the marking panel may require changes to the project plan. It is also possible that you will be assigned a different project supervisor if the proposed supervisor is overloaded.

The timetable for project allocation depends on your course and is documented in the unit descriptions and web pages. The whole process will take at least a month, so it is important to start thinking about possible projects on time. Also, note that project allocation is mainly your responsibility, and that we can only take notice of your preferences if you adhere to the deadlines set for each stage in the process.

Choice

Projects represent a substantial part of your marks and you should spend some time choosing a project which will show you in your best light. Factors that you should consider in selecting and ranking your project choices include:

Project Supervisor

You will have a project supervisor. Regular contact with your supervisor is essential, whether you are working hard or have done little or no work. In the first case your supervisor can ensure that you are going in the right direction; in the second case your supervisor can help you to get you back on track. It is your responsibility to regularly contact your supervisor.

In addition to your supervisor, you will still have your personal tutor for general advice.

Backups

You cannot obtain a degree, not even an ordinary degree, without having passed your project. Like with any coursework, it is your responsibility to keep a back-up of your project. If you have lost your project work due to, for example, a virus or a broken hard disc, you will not be able to get a degree. In order to make a backup, you can regularly copy your project work to your Computer Science home directory, or you can regularly copy your work on a floppy disk and give it to your supervisor. Note that your Computer Science home directory is backed up automatically.

Finishing the project

You will need to work consistently on your project over the period allocated to it. Establish a schedule for meetings with your advisers, meet them at least once a week, even if it is only for 5 minutes. If things start to go awry contact your adviser. If they are not available talk to the Year Tutor or Course Director. Don't go sulking in a corner, it will take us time to notice this - time is the most difficult thing to replace. You can always see your personal tutor about your project.

Submitting your project

The deadline for submission of three ring bound copies is

Submit a draft of your thesis at least two weeks before the deadline to your supervisor. The final copy of the dissertation must be handed to the secretary in person, room 3.37, before the deadline. The MSc thesis must be handed in together with a Higher Degrees Candidature Form (available from the office). You will be given a receipt confirming that you have submitted. Do not leave dissertations with the porters or rely on friends or others to hand it in.

A front page can be obtained from http://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/Teaching/Resources/cover.html.

The date for submission is a hard deadline; extensions will not be granted. If for some reason you find that you are unable to spend the required time on your project then you must talk to your Course Director or Year Tutor as soon as possible.

MSc students only

In very exceptional circumstances it may be possible to arrange for you to complete your project within the following year. However, note that taking on paid employment or any other activity in place of working on your project will not be accepted as a legitimate reason for such deferrals. Please note that Departmental laboratories will be in use during the last week of September for the induction programme run for the new intake of MSc students. Access will obviously be limited during these times.

Marking

All project work is marked by a marking panel. There are marking panels for the G400 project, G403 projects, GG14/1K projects, each of the MSc courses and each of the group projects.