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University Regulations on Offences and Guidelines for Group Assignments in Software Engineering

Types of Offences

Extracts from University Regulations on

"The following broad types of offence can be identified and are provided as indicative examples …..

(i) Cheating: including taking unauthorised material into an examination; consulting unauthorised material outside the examination hall during the examination; obtaining an unseen examination paper in advance of the examination; copying from another examinee; using an unauthorised calculator during the examination or storing unauthorised material in the memory of a programmable calculator which is taken into the examination; copying coursework.

(ii) Falsifying data in experimental results.

(iii) Personation, where a substitute takes an examination or test on behalf of the candidate. Both candidate and substitute may be guilty of an offence under these Regulations.

(iv) Bribery or attempted bribery of a person thought to have some influence on the candidate's assessment.

(v) Collusion to present joint work as the work solely of one individual.

(vi) Plagiarism, where the work or ideas of another are presented as the candidate's own.

(vii) Other conduct calculated to secure an advantage on assessment.

(viii) Assisting in any of the above.

Some notes on what this means for students:

  1. Copying another student's work is an offence, whether from a copy on paper or from a computer file, and in whatever form the intellectual property being copied takes, including text, mathematical notation and computer programs.
  2. Taking extracts from published sources without attribution is an offence. To quote ideas, sometimes using extracts, is generally to be encouraged. Quoting ideas is achieved by stating an author's argument and attributing it, perhaps by quoting, immediately in the text, his or her name and year of publication, e.g. " e = mc2 (Einstein 1905)".  A references section at the end of your work should then list all such references in alphabetical order of authors' surnames. (There are variations on this referencing system which your tutors may prefer you to use.) If you wish to quote a paragraph or so from published work then indent the quotation on both left and right margins, using an italic font where practicable, and introduce the quotation with an attribution.

Cheating, Plagiarism and Collusion

  1. Introduction

This assignment contributes 20% to the overall mark for this module and involves group work. You are expected to form groups of four students.

  1. Objectives

To demonstrate broader understanding of research and developments on a chosen topic in the software engineering area.

To work successfully in a small group to a given time scale.


The coursework has three parts: initial research by each member of the group (i.e. group level collaboration with clearly defined individual tasks), writing a group report (collaborative writing with individual contributions; 40%), and an individual poster (60%).

(i) Selection of the topic and initial research:

  1. Group activity: Select a topic of your choice from the syllabus section of the module specification in discussion with your tutorial lecturer.

Module specification available at:

  1. Individual activity: Search available topic related reserach publications and any relevant unpublished industry case study reports. Choose ‘one journal paper and two conference papers’ or ‘one journal paper, one conference paper and one unpublished industry case study report’. [Three reliable sources]
  2. Individual and Group Activity: Critically engage with the chosen papers/reports and share your finding with the rest of the group members.
  3. Group Activity: Produce a 250 words report [5% of the overall mark] showing evidence of group level discussions (e.g. meetings held, online dialogue via skype, blogs etc.). This evidence should be submitted as part of the group report described in Section 3(ii).

(ii) Writing a group report [35% of the overall mark]:

Bring together all group members work in generating a report of 1750 words (each member expected to contribute around 450 words) with the following outline structure.

Title Page:

  1. Group members names and ID numbers, Module code and title, and Date of submission
  2. Name of the chosen topic
  3. List contents with corresponding page numbers
  4. Use headers and footers throughout report

Summary: (125 words) [5%]

Set out the topic, the intended findings and deliverables. The Summary should be self-contained and comprehensive enough for a reader to understand what the document is about without reading the full document. Summary should be aimed at a reader who needs to judge whether document is of sufficient interest to read it in its entirety.

Introduction: (375 words) [8%]

Provide background to the topic and your rationale for choosing the named topic. Outline the significance of the study undertaken and your assumptions, limitations, and scope. Define terms that are to be used in the rest of the report.

Review of the Key Papers: (875 words) [14%]

  1. List the key papers and reports chosen by the individual members of the group.
  2. Summarise the contents of the papers read, including the objectives of the research described, methods used and corresponding results/findings. What did the researchers actually do?

[Hint: You can classify the research approach presented in those papers as a) theoretical, b) observational, c) empirical, d) experimental, or e) engineering in elaborating your findings.]

Conclusions and Further Work: (375 words)

This section should ideally describe:

  1. What are your findings?
  2. What new knowledge and skills have you gained both individually and as a group
  3. How do you plan to extend this work further?

Bibliography: Provide a list of resources you have referred to by following the standard Harvard style referencing. Cite the references using the same in writing your report. Bibliography is not part of the word count.

(iii)  Individual Poster Presentation [60% of the overall mark]:

Sample Layout: See guidance given in Section 3 (ii).

  1. What is the research topic?
  2. What are the overall outcomes of your research?

Literature Review: [20%]

  1. Ouline the methodology used in the organising your literature review.
  2. What are your findings?
  3. Cite references.
  4. Refer to diagrams, graphs, tables and pictures, if any.

Diagrams, Graphs, Tables and Pictures: [5%]

Incorporate appropriate diagrams, graphs, tables and pictures where necessary. Please note poster is a pictorial representation of your research. Therefore, inclusions of a few diagrams, graphs, tables and pictures are recommended.

Conclusions and Further Scope: [10%]

  1. What has been completed?
  2. What opportunities/benefits are there?
  3. What are the overall conclusions?
  4. How do you plan to extend this work further?

References: [5%]

Cite the references used in the above sections and and list them using Harvard referencing style. References are not part of the word count.

Poster Itself: [10%]

  1. Poster needs to be clearly legible.
  2. Organised to present clear ideas.
  3. Illustrations need to be appropriate.
  4. Diagrams, graphs and tables need to be of consistent format.

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