No project may be started unless ethical approval is given, in accordance with the regulations under Northumbria University.
Ethical approval process for low to medium risk projects must be drafted prior to submitting your proposal. The drafted ethical approval PDF must be submitted via blackboard in the indicated submission portal. Any project which is flagged as high risk will need to be considered by a committee, this could delay project approval; high risk projects are not encouraged as a master’s project.
Learning Outcomes tested in this assessment (from the Module Descriptor):
Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Deploy comprehensive knowledge and understanding of appropriate techniques and tools to plan, research and manage a computing technical project
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Systematically identify and analyse a complex computing problem and produce a project proposal to solve it, considering professional, ethical, social and legal issues
3. Appreciate and apply appropriate techniques, tools and knowledge to support effective project management, research and advanced scholarship
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Demonstrate independent research and enquiry skills at an appropriately advanced level in the construction of a computing project proposal
All submission are electronic, paper copies are not accepted.
This is an individual piece of work and you must not work with others to construct your report. During the semester there are numerous opportunities to seek and get advice and support on your work, from tutors and peers but you must ensure you do not do work for others or copy work from others, to do so would constitute academic misconduct..
Referencing Style: Assessment
You must use the reference style of the journal you have identified as relevant to your area of work, see “Sources and Knowledge” later in the assignment brief.
For the KF7028 assignment, you must produce a proposal for a short research project. The proposal is the foundation of the 60-credit project that you will study as part of your postgraduate programme, KF7029 MSc Computer Science & Digital Technologies Project.
This assignment is therefore doubly important:
·It accounts for 80% of the marks for KF7028
·It is essential preparation for your research project.
As stated, the KFG7029 research project will account for 60 credits (one-third) of your programme of study. Typically, you will spend 600 hours on this project.
Your KF7028 research proposal will be approximately 2500 – 3000 words and specify the project background, motivation and relevance to your programme of study; its scope, aims and objectives; a plan of the major activities. Your proposal should draw on current and recent research and other appropriate sources of information and cite these sources using a consistent standard referencing system. The proposal will be assessed by your allocated module tutors for the module or by your supervisor and a second marker, feedback will be provided, consisting of suggestions and comments on how to improve the project.
You will be allocated your project supervisor in semester two of your study period. If you start your study in September, you will be allocated a project supervisor in second semester January – May. If you start your study in January, you will be allocated your supervisor in your second semester September – January
This proposal should be based on the outcome of your own research and of the meetings with your tutors, peers and supervisors. This supervisor/tutors will be confirmed with you by the end of week 6. By this time you should have produced a draft copy of your proposal. Your supervisor/tutor will provide individual support and formative feedback during the preparation of your research proposal.
The Proposal Structure - You are advised to following the structure outlined below.
Project Details - Front Cover
·Module: KF7028 – Research and Project Management
·Module tutor: Shelagh Keogh
·Assignment title: MSc Research Proposal'
·Student name + university identifier (always underline the surname/family name by which you are recorded in the university systems)
·Programme or course of study
·The name of your supervisor, and the name of your second marker
·Confirmation that you have submitted draft outline of the project for ethical approval
You should aim to outline a research question. This research question defines what you want to study and is the first step in development of your project proposal.
Produce a summary of what your project will achieve in one or two sentences.
Background, Motivation and Relevance – literature review
·Set out and justify, using supporting literature, where your work will fit in the computing body of knowledge.
·Outline and critically discuss what relevant research has been undertaken, in the past, in your area of interest and why this project is necessary.
·Outline and critically discuss why the research will be of value, in the future, and what the anticipated impact of the outcomes will be.
·Provide a diagram such as a mind map illustrating the position in the computing body of knowledge.
·Outline why you want to undertake this work, some areas to consider are, personal motivation, skills set and career choices, a gap in the knowledge base.
Scope, Objectives and Risk
·Outline and justify the scope of your project – what you intend to do, you may also want to say what you will not include but might be expected by others to be incorporated.
·Outline numbered steps (SMART Objectives) you will have to complete in order to achieve the aims and would provide sufficient work to conclude your research question.
After each objective outline the deliverables and or outcomes that will be produced as a result of this objective’s work. Outline how you will assess and or measure the quality for that objective. Outline what research method/design you will adopt for each objective and how each method will support one another.
·Break down the objectives into tasks and produce a task list, each task should outline, deliverable, resources (all types) required, skills required, time required.
·Produce a risk log (see example on your Blackboard Assessment tab) for you project. Each objective should be assessed based on risks, such as technical, personal, resources, time, and costs etc factors.
Sources and use of Knowledge
·Identify and justify a journal where your work would be relevant for publication.
·Identify and apply aspects of the standards for publication in the target journal that you can incorporate into your project proposal, so for example the referencing system, font style and pitch etc, instructions usually found under the journal’s advice to authors.
·Identify, justify and critically discuss any authors, journals where previous relevant research has been published within the last 5 years.
·Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues
Using literature, write out a separate section for Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues. In your deliberations discuss, explore and define all of the issues associated with your project, including how you will consider security issues. If you think an area of this section is not applicable to your project, you should justify why this is the case; leaving any section blank will result in a loss of marks.
Schedule of Activities
Using your task list, construct a Gantt chart and a Monitoring and Control table (see examples given your Blackboard Assessment tab. The monitoring and control table is set up in this proposal but used during the execution of your KF7029 project.