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KF7028 Research Proposal for MSc Computer Science & Digital Technologies Project

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
5. Critically appraise the processes used in the development of a computing project proposal

Instructions to students:

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 KF7029 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 3000 words and specify the project background, project rationale 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.  Throughout the module workshops feedback will be provided, consisting of suggestions and comments on how to improve the project.

You will be allocated your project supervisor during the semester This proposal should be based on the outcome of your own research and of the meetings with your tutors, peers and supervisors. This supervisor/tutor 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 and word count - You are required to adhere to the structure and word count 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
•    Title of the Project
•    Confirmation that you have submitted draft outline of the project for ethical approval.
•    Word Count

Note that this section should be supported with reference and evidence from the literature. Outline what you want to do and why you want to undertake this work, some areas to consider are: , a gap in the knowledge base, continuation of previous research, personal motivation, skills set and career choices.
•    Using relevant literature outline and critically discuss what relevant research has been previously 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.
•    Set out and justify, where your work will fit in the computing body of knowledge.   This is not a literature review.
•    Provide a diagram such as a mind map illustrating the position of your proposed project in the computing body of knowledge.

Section 2 - Research question, Aims, Objectives Task list, Risk Assessment (1000 words). Please note: this section drives all the content of the execution of your project, you are measured against this in the assessment of your final KF7029 MSc research project.

Research Question 

You should aim to outline a research question or questions.  Your research question(s) are the primary question(s) your project sets out to answer, or the problem you are trying to solve. Expand upon your research question(s) and produce a summary of what your project will achieve in one or two sentences.  

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity)

Scope, Objectives and Risk

Set out the project objectives.  These are the steps you will carry out to achieve the aims and to accomplish what you have set out to do in  the research question.  

In this section you should be mindful of the criteria which will be used to assess your project report, see the marking scheme in the KF7029 Digital Technologies Project Handbook (located under Blackboard assessment tab for KF7028). 

For example, part one of the marking scheme for KF7029, MSc Project requires a literature review hence your first objective should be, “Construct a literature review (in a subject linked to the proposed area of investigation).  A further objective needs to reflect the practical work that you will carry out in the execution of the project.

For each objective, ensure it is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely).   You should outline what will be delivered either to the project report or as a project artifact and estimate how long the objective should take in terms of days/weeks.Outline what research method/design you will adopt for each objective and how each method will support one another.  Construct a statement that identifies how you will measure the quality of the contribution to the project. For example:

Objective 1 - Construct a literature review in the use of Artificial Intelligence and predictive systems for determining weather patterns and their effect on wind turbines.

Either using  objectives and or your task list produce a risk log (see example on your Blackboard Assessment tab) for your project.  Each objective or task should be assessed based on risks, such as technical, personal, resources, time, and cost factor.
Gantt Chart/Monitoring and Control Table

Using your task list, construct a Gantt chart (see provided examples on the Blackboard module site).  

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.
•    provide a short justification (with reference to previous papers in this journal) why this journal is a suitable place to publish your work.

Section 3 - Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues (500 words) (to be supported by relevant literature)

Drawing on the relevant literature, write out a separate section for Ethics, Legal, Social, Security and Professional Issues.  In your deliberations discuss, explore, and define each of these issues (ethical, legal, social, security and professional) in relation to your project.   Even if you think an issue is  not applicable to your project, you should justify why this is the case. You must demonstrate that you understand each of these different issues and their relevance to research and the discipline.  You should also consider what issues might arise should you publish your work and others take up further developments of your research.
References: All references in the reference list must also appear within the body of the report.  There is no ideal number of references recommended but a guide might be no less than 10 – 15 sources should be used.  The style of the references and citations should be as required in your chosen journal.Any work which is submitted without in-text citations will be investigated for an infringement of the academic misconduct regulations. 

Section 4 -  Presentation – Ethic Draft Submission

Notes on presentation & submission:
The research report must be written and presented to an appropriate academic standard for a postgraduate programme of study.  

•    The proposal will be assessed in terms of style, meaning, and the accuracy of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax.
•    Correct and thorough referencing of your sources of information is required.  You should follow a consistent referencing system and provide a full reference list and brief references in the text of your answer.

‘Cite them Right’ advises direct quotations should be indicated by quotation marks or indentation and referenced.  Failure to acknowledge your sources or to indicate when you are quoting constitutes plagiarism.  You are encouraged to work with each other to discuss the challenges encountered, but you must not work with each other to construct your answers.  Action will be taken in accordance with the University regulations if academic misconduct is suspected.  This may result in a loss of marks for the assignment or module.

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