DISSERTATION HANDBOOK (2003-2004)

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CO33
3

Dissertation Handbook

September 20
1
1


CO33
3

University of Gloucestershire


Department of Computing

Dissertation
Handbook

2011/12


ii


Large print copies of this booklet can be
provided on request. We can also arrange
production of Braille or audio versions.
Please email Laura Jefferies at
ljefferies@glos.ac.uk

if you have any
special requirem
ents that you would like to
discuss.




University of Gloucestershire 201
1

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted

in any form or by any means, including


but not limited to


photocopy, recording, or
any

information storage and retrieval system, without the specific prior written permission of

University of Gloucestershire.


iii

Contents


SECTION 1
-

KEY PROCEDURES & DAT
ES

................................
................................
........................

1

KEY PROCEDURES & DAT
ES (EXPANDED)

................................
................................
.......................

2

SECTION 2


DISSERTATION REQUIRE
MENTS

................................
................................
.................

8

2.1.

INTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
...................

8

2.2.

THE PLACE OF THE DIS
SERTATION

................................
................................
.................

8

2.2.1.

The Aims of the Dissertation

................................
................................
.........................

8

2.2.2.

The Learning Outcomes of the Dissertation

................................
................................
..

8

2.2.3.

Assessment

................................
................................
................................
..................

9

2.3.

TYPES OF DISSERTATIO
N

................................
................................
................................
.

9

2.4.

PROCEDURES

................................
................................
................................
...................

10

SECTION 3
-

CHOOSING AND DEVELOP
ING A TOPIC

................................
................................
....

11

3.1.

CHOOSING A TOPIC

................................
................................
................................
..........

11

3.2.

EXAMPLE DISSERTATION TITLES

................................
................................
...................

13

3.3.

ADVISERS’ PROPOSED PROJECTS

................................
................................
................

15

3.4.

POTENTIAL DISSERTATI
ON ADVISORS’ SUBJECT

AREAS

................................
...........

20

SECTION 4


THE ROLE OF THE DISS
ERTATION ADVISER

................................
...........................

22

SECTION 5


MODULE TEXT BOOK LIS
T

................................
................................
..........................

23

SECTION 6
-

DISSERTATION OUTLINE

PROPOSAL

................................
................................
........

24

SECTION 7
-

DISSERTATION RESEARC
H PROPOSAL

................................
................................
....

25

7.1.

The purposes of the dissertation
research proposal

................................
............................

25

SECTION 8
-

ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES FOR RESEARCH

................................
......

29

SECTION 9
-

LITERATURE SEARCHING
, DATA COLLECTION AN
D ANALYSIS

.............................

34

9.1.

Literature search

................................
................................
................................
..................

34

9.2.

A
pproaches to the process of data collection

................................
................................
......

34

9.3.

The reality of data collection

................................
................................
................................

34

9.4.

Data analysis

................................
................................
................................
.......................

35

SECTION 10
-

DISSERTATION STRUCTU
RE AND WRITING

................................
............................

36

10.1.

Dissertation Structure

................................
................................
................................
..........

36

10.2.

The Headings in the Written Dissertation

................................
................................
............

36

10.2.1.

Abstract

................................
................................
................................
.......................

36

10.2.2.

Introduction

................................
................................
................................
.................

36

10.2.3.

Literature Review

................................
................................
................................
........

37

10.2.4.

Method

................................
................................
................................
........................

37

10.2.5.

Results

................................
................................
................................
........................

38

10.2.6.

Discussion

................................
................................
................................
..................

38

10.2.7.

References

................................
................................
................................
.................

39

10.2.8.

Ap
pendices

................................
................................
................................
.................

39

10.3.

Writing the Dissertation

................................
................................
................................
........

39

SECTION 11
-

DISSERTATION FORMAT

................................
................................
...........................

41

11.1.

INTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
.................

41

11.2.

DISSERTATION LENGTH

................................
................................
................................
...

41

11.3.

CONTENTS

................................
................................
................................
.........................

41

11.3.1.

Preliminary Material

................................
................................
................................
....

41

11.3.2.

Text and Illustrations

................................
................................
................................
...

45

11.3.3.

Reference Materials

................................
................................
................................
....

46

SECTION 12
-

DISSERTATION SUBMISS
ION

................................
................................
....................

49

SECTION 13
-

DISSERTATION ASSESSM
ENT

................................
................................
..................

50

13.1.

PROCEDURE FOR ASSESS
MENT

................................
................................
....................

50

13.2.

UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE
S FOR ASSESSMENT

................................
.............................

51

13.3.

INDICATIVE AREAS OF
ASSESSMENT

................................
................................
............

52

13.3.1.

Task definition and Approach

................................
................................
.....................

52

13.3.2.

Literature review, Findings and Evaluation

................................
................................
.

52

13.3.3.

Clarity and Communication

................................
................................
.........................

53

13.3.4.

Word length penalty

................................
................................
................................
....

53

APPENDIX A: PROGRESS

REPORT FORM

................................
................................
.......................

54

APPENDIX B: OUTLINE
PROPOSAL

................................
................................
................................
..

55

APPENDIX C: FULL PRO
POSAL

................................
................................
................................
.........

56

APPENDIX D


ETHICS ASSESSMENT

................................
................................
..............................

57

APPENDIX E


ICT ASSESSMENT GRID

................................
................................
...........................

59

APPENDIX F


MEETING RECORD FORM
................................
................................
.........................

60


1

SECTION 1
-

KEY PROCEDURES & DAT
ES


Below is a summary of the key dates of the dissertation process


PUT THESE IN YOUR
DIARY NOW!

On the following page
s

is further explanation of the actions you need to take.
Please read the whole table so that you are aware of the complete procedure. Note that the
order the actions are set out below is indicative, not exact, and in practice there are
overlaps. For que
stions regarding this table, and the handbook, refer to the Dissertation
Module Tutor. At the time of preparation

of this edition (September 2011
) the
Dissertation
Module Tutor is
Julie Paterson
, who is located in Owen 006. To contact
her externally call

01242 714309, internally call 4309
, or email
jpaterson@glos.ac.uk
.


WORKING ON, AND SUBMITTING, THE VARIOUS STAGES
BEFORE

THE DATES
SHOWN IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED AND ADVISED.


MILESTONE

DEADLINE

Attend CO333
taught sessions

28/09/11 @ 1
:15

5/10/11 @ 1
:15

12/10/11 @ 1
:15

19/10/11 @ 1
:15

Outline proposal



submit to Adviser for review

7/10/11

Full proposal



submit to Adviser for review

21/10/11

Introduction



submit to Adviser for review

4/11/11

Ethics form



submit to Adviser for approval

4
/11/1
1

Literature review



submit to Adviser for review

2/12/11

Method



submit to Adviser for review

3/2/12

Results



submit to Adviser for review

24/2/12

Conclusion



submit to Adviser for review

17
/3/12

Full
thesis



submit to Adviser for review

16/4/12

S
ubmit module review form, 2 paper

copies
of your
thesis
(with coversheet) and 1 electronic copy of
your thesis to the assignment room.

17
/4
/1
2



2



KEY PROCEDURES
&

DATES

(EXPANDED)


PLEASE READ THE WHOLE TABLE SO THAT YOU ARE AWARE OF THE COMPLETE PROCEDURE.

(NOTE THAT THE ORDER THE ACTIONS ARE SET OUT BELOW IS INDICATIVE, NOT EXACT, AND IN PRACTICE THERE ARE OVERLAPS!)

For questions regarding t
his table, and the handbook, refer to th
e Dissertation Module Tutor
. At the time of prepara
tio
n of this edition (September 2010
) the
Dissertation Module Tutor is
Fiona Collard
, who is located in
Owen 006
. To conta
ct her externally call 01242 714262
, internally call 4
2
62, or email
fcollard
@glos
.ac.uk

WORKING ON, AND SUBMITTING, THE VARIOUS STAGES
BEFORE

THE DATES SHOWN IS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED AND ADVISED.


ACTION BY STUDENT

SIGNIFICANT DATES

OUTCOME

REGISTER ON THE CO33
3
DISSERTATION MOD
ULE


Dead
lines here are those set by the
University


ATTEND THE DISSERTAT
ION MODULES CLASSES

Semester 1, weeks 1
-
4. See the
online timetable for times and
locations. All students are expected
to attend

The classes are designed to support
your work on the dissertation.

DOWNLOAD

THIS HANDBOOK FROM T
HE
INFORMATION
SERVER

Use this Handbook as your guide to carrying out and submitting the
dissertation. Your Dissertation Advisor will assume you have read
it.


The Handbook will be available
from
2
7
th

September

20
1
1


The handbook is designed for you to
refer

to regularly throughout the year.


3

CONSIDER AND DEVELOP

POTENTIAL DISSERTATI
ON
TOPICS

S
ECTION

2


DISSERTATION REQUIRE
MENTS

gives an
overview of the requirements and expectations as to the nature of a
dissertation.

S
ECTION

3
-

CHOOSING AND DEVELOP
ING A TOPIC

offers
some advice about how to think about potential topics for your
dissertation. Feel free to use the university academic staff as a
sounding board for your ideas. The interests of members of
academic
staff with regard to student dissertations is shown in

3.4

POTENTIAL DISSERTATI
ON
ADVISORS’ SUBJECT AR
EAS

SECTION

5


MODULE TEXT BOOK LIS
T

is a book list of
appropriate texts on how to carry out a student dis
sertation.
Reference is made to the text by Saunders
, Lewis & Thornhill
(2004
)
, which is on the list, at a number of points in this handbook

but there are many appropriate texts
.


For most students this will take place
at the end of the year prior to taki
ng
the dissertation module.


Choosing a topic that interests you will
help you get the most from this module
and will help sustain your motivation
through this self
-
directed study.

PREPARE AND SUBMIT A

DISSERTATION OUTLINE

PROPOSAL

The requirements and content of the initial Outline Proposal are
contained in
SECTION 6
-

DISSERTATION OUTLINE

PROPOSAL
.

There is a standard format for

the Outline Proposal, which

can be
found in
APPENDIX B
:

OUTLINE PROPOSAL
.


7
th

October 201
1

This is only required if you do not
have a full proposal prepared in
CO250

Research Methods.


This will help your adviser confirm
whether your topic is appropriate and at
a suitable level for your course.


4

PREPARE AND SUBMIT A

DISSERTATION RESEARC
H
PROPOSA
L.

Discussing

your Outline Proposal with your Dissertation Adviser

will
help here
.

Your full proposal should be for a viable, achievable, research
project appropriate for your course.

The expectations and content of the Research Pro
posal are
contained in
Section 7

below.

The form can be found in
APPENDIX
C
: FULL PROPOSAL

2
1
th

Oct 201
1

A
r
r
ange a meeting

with your adviser

to discuss your Dissertation O
utline
Proposal

and then develop this into
a full

Dissertation Research
Proposal
.

All students must show their adviser
a full proposal by the date above. If
you are using the proposal you
developed in BT/CO/IT/MU250
Research Methods, use this time to
meet

with your adviser and decide
on the next steps for your research.


This process should allow you to firm up
your aim and objectives, thereby giving
your research a definite focus.

On receiving you
r
full
research proposal
your adviser will sign and date th
e
progress report form

(see
APPENDIX
A: PROGRESS
REPORT

FORM
)
.

You
need to include this in the appendix of
your thesis submission.

CONTINUE THE WORK

OF CARRYING O
UT AND WRITING UP
YOUR RESEARCH

SECTION
9

-

LITERATURE SEARCHING
, DATA COLLECTION
AND ANALYSIS

outlines how to work up a key part of the

dissertation, searching and analysing the literature for your
literature review.

Students should consult
SECTION 10

-

DISSERTATION
STRUCTURE AND WRITIN
G

&
SECTION 1
1

-

DISSERTATION
FORMAT

for guidance as to how to structure the written
dis
sertation.


Students should maintain
appropriate contact with their
Dissertation Adviser as they work on
the dissertation.

The key dates for
submission of each chapter for
review by your adviser are given
below.

Your adviser will need to
sign and note th
e date that you
submit each chapter for review. You
must include this sheet in the
appendix of your thesis.


Students should note that if they have
not demonstrated satisfactory progress
to their Dissertation Adviser by week 12
of semester 1, they may be
advised to
de
-
register from the module.


5

WRITING THE INTRODUC
TION

Students should consult
SECTION 10

-

DISSERTATION
STRUCTURE AND WRITIN
G

&
SECTION 1
1

-

DISSERTATION
FORMAT

for guidance as to how to structure the written
dissertation.

4th

Nov
ember 201
1

All students must show their adviser
a
draft copy of Chapter 1:
Introduction by the date above.


Your adviser will sign and date the
progress report form. You need to
include this in the appendix of your
thesis submission
.

Your adviser will provide feedback on
your chapter. Use this feedback
to
refine and improve your work.

COMPLETING THE ETHIC
S FORM

At all stages throughout the execution of the dissertation, students
must be aware of the ethical considerations that govern the
dissertation. Appropriate guidelines can be found in
S
ECTION

8

-

ETHICAL PRINCIPLES AND GUIDELINES FOR
RESEARCH
. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that in
producing the dissertation they adhere to these
guidelines.

4th November 201
1

All students must complete and
submit an Ethics form (see
APPENDIX D


ETHICS
ASSESSMENT
) to

their adviser for
approval.


Your adviser will tell you whether you
need to seek approval from the Faculty
Research Ethics Panel or whether you
can proceed with your research
immediately or whether you need to
amend your proposed method.

You must include a copy of your ethics
form i
n the appendix of your thesis.

WRITING THE LITERATU
RE REVIEW

Students should consult
SECTION 10

-

DISSERTATION
STRUCTURE AND WRITIN
G

&
SECTION 1
1

-

DISSERTATION
FORMAT

for guidance as to how to structure the written
dissertation.

2nd

Dec
ember 201
1

All students must show their adviser
a draft copy of
Chapter 2: Literature
Review by the date above.


Your adviser will sign and date the
progress report form. You need to
include this in the appendix of your
thesis submission.

Your adviser will provide feedback on
your chapter. Use this feedback to
refine

and improve your work.


6

WRITING THE METHOD S
ECTION

Students should consult
SECTION 10

-

DISSERTATION
STRUCTURE AND WRITIN
G

&
SECTION 1
1

-

DISSERTATION
FORMAT

for guidance as to how to structure the written
dissertation.

3rd

Feb
ruary

201
2

All students must show their adviser
a draft copy of Chapter 3:

Method by
the date above.


Your adviser will sign and date the
progress report form. You need to
include this in the appendix of your
thesis submission.

Your adviser will provide feedback on
your chapter. Use this feedback to
refine and improve your
work.

WRITING THE RESULTS
SECTION

Students should consult
SECTION 10

-

DISSERTATION
STRUCTURE AND WRITIN
G

&
SECTION 1
1

-

DISSERTATION
FORMAT

for guidance as to how to structure the written
dissertation.

2
4th February 201
2

All students must show their adviser
a draft copy of Chapter 4: Results by
the

date above.


Your adviser will sign and date the
progress report form. You need to
include this in the appendix of your
thesis submission.

Your adviser will provide feedback on
your chapter. Use this feedback to
refine and improve your work.

WRITING
THE DISCUSSION & CON
CLUSION

Students should consult
SECTION 10

-

DISSERTATION
STRUCTURE AND WRITIN
G

&
SECTION 1
1

-

DISSERTATION
FORMAT

for guidance as to how to structure the written
dissertation.

1
7
th

March

201
2

All students must show their adviser
a draft copy of Chapter 5: Discussion
& Conclusion
by the date above.


Your adviser will sign and date the
progress report form. You need to
include this in the appendix of your
thesis submission.

Your adviser will provide feedback on
your chapter. Use this feedback to
refine and improve your work.


7

REVIEWING THE FULL T
HESIS

You should have refined and improved your written work as you
received feedback on each chapter. Now submit your full thesis to
your adviser for feedback on your improvements

16
th

April

201
2

All students must show their adviser
a

draft copy of the full thesis.


Your adviser will sign and date the
progress report form. You need to
include this in the appendix of your
thesis submission.

Your adviser will provide feedback on
your thesis. Use this feedback to make
final refinements
and improvements to
your work.

SUBMIT THE FINAL DIS
SERTATION

The requirements for the correct format of the submitted
dissertation are given in

SECTION 1
1

-

DISSERTATION FORMAT
.

In addition the requirements that must be met as to number and
form of copies submitted
etc. can be found in
SECTION 12

-

DISSERTATION SUBMISS
ION
.

Please ensure that what you submit meets all these requirements.

Details of how your work will be assessed are given in
SECTION 13

-

DISSERTATION ASSESSM
ENT
.

17
th April 201
2

Note that late submission is subject
to the normal UMS penalties for late
submission of assessed work.

The dissertation must be handed in
to the Student Assignment ro
om
.


The dissertation will be marked by at
least two markers, internal to the
Department
. One of the markers will be
your Dissertation Adviser.

Your dissertation will b
e marked against
the ICT
Assessment Grid

given in
APPENDIX E


IC
T
ASSESSMENT
GRID




8

S
ECTION

2


DISSERTATION REQUIRE
MENTS


2.1.

INTRODUCTION


The dissertation is a self
-
managed, analytical
piece of academic work. It will normally be related to
subject matter in one or more modules of the student's chosen programme of study. Students are
expected to select a topic, gain familiarity with published work on the subject, design and carry out an
investigation, and report their findings in a formally presented way. Normally, further academic study
is facilitated by a good dissertation.


Your dissertation provides you with the opportunity to study in depth a topic of your own choosing,
with the onl
y proviso being that it must be in keeping with the
aims and philosophy of the course that
owns the module (see course

guides). So, for example, if you wanted to investigate a particular
aspect of a distributed operating system, this might be quite appropr
iate for
BSc Computing
, but
is
unlikely to be accepted for BSc Music & Media Management
.


All students majoring in any of the following fields: Business Informat
ion Technology (BT),

Computing
(CO),
Information Technology (IT)
,

Interactive Games Design (IG
D),
Multimedia (MU)
,
Music & Media
Management (MUM)
or Network Computing (NEC)
normally

have to undertake a dissertation module
as part of their level III programmes. Joint degree students may undertake a dissertation in one or,
exceptionally, both their Joint Fields.


Most students will start the dissertation process in Level II, whilst t
hey are on placement or during
their taught modules. It is likely that the further advanced you are with your work on the dissertation
before you start your level III taught modules, the more successful your dissertation efforts are likely
to be.


2.2.

THE PLA
CE OF THE DISSERTATI
ON


The dissertation is regarded as a major commitment by the students and accounts for 25% (double
module) of the level III honours classification
. It is normally a maximum of 8
,000 words in length.


2.2.1.

The Aims of the Dissertation


The d
issertation is designed to enable students to integrate the variety of modules studied throughout
their programme, in addition to building on the experiences of the placement year.


The principal aim is to produce a self
-
managed, analytical piece of work w
hich provides an in
-
depth,
self
-
managed academic evaluation of an appropriate issue within th
eir s
ubject area.


2.2.2.

The
Learning Outcomes

of the Dissertation


Knowledge and understanding

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

a) define and analy
se a subject of interest

b) justify the selection of appropriate methodologies

c) synthesise and critically evaluate information, literature and methodologies relating to their chosen
topic

d) synthesise ideas into appropriate conclusions

e) evaluate alter
natives and make recommendations

f) demonstrate innovation or originality

g) evaluate critically both the product and process by which the deliverable(s) were produced.




9

ii. Skills

By the end of the module students should have developed skills in:

Communications and literacy:

Presenting effective discussion of relevant theory; Construction of a
personal position case/argument incorporating the use of appropriate terms, diagrams and tables to
evaluate concepts presented in the literature that supports their findings.

Problem So
lving:

Demonstrate extensive investigative skills to support their case/arguments;
Selection of appropriate sources of information; Formulate appropriate strategies to verify the theory
in question; developing conclusions and/or recommendations as a result

of their investigation

Independent learning and working:

through completing a sustained self
-
directed piece that
necessitates self
-
reliance, planning, flexibility, managing information, reflection and resilience.

Information and Communications Technology
:

by, at a minimum, presenting material that meets the
requirements for the format and layout of the essay.



2.2.3.

Assessment


Assessment of student performance in the dissertation module is the responsibility of the
Course

Board of Examiners. Each dissertation

is read carefully by at least two examiners, one of whom is the
dissertation adviser.
Occasionally, a third marker will assess the thesis.
The

external examiner for the
course

may also wish to advise on the quality of the dissertation.
A sample of all th
e submissions is

moderated by the module tutor.
Further details on assessment can be found in the section
"Dissertation Assessment".


2.3.

TYPES OF DISSERTATIO
N


The dissertation will be a study involving a considerable amount of desk research. There is no one

correct type and it may take a variety of forms on a continuum from
investigative research

to
evaluative and critical appraisal

as shown in
Figure
1
.




Investigative Research

involves the use of student gathered primary and
secondary (e.g. library material) data, gathered by the student, which relates
findings to the academic knowledge base of the chosen topic area.




A

Discursive dissertation
consists of an

Evaluative and Critical Appraisal
. It

is an
investigative and in
-
depth study of the existing academic knowledge within the
chosen topic area
and produces

policy recommendations
,

recommendations for
further research

or development of new theories
.









a continuum








Investigative research




Discursive


reviewing literature





i
湩瑩a⁲eview i瑥牡t畲u




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慮搠
敶aua
t
i潮




wri瑩朠g


wri瑩朠g

Figure
1
: The continuum from investigative research to
discursive work



An investigative

research project has a practical investigation arising from the literature review, while
a discursive

dissertation situates the literature
within a critical context and does not involve any
'fieldwork' or other practical work. More specifically, the
investigative
research project requires a
process of data collection and analysis (quantitative or qualitat
ive), designed to test the
ories and
hypotheses. For C
omputing, Interactive Games Design

and
Multimedia

students, the research project
sh
ould

usually

have a more practical
product development
element,
but must still have a strong
investigative slant
, have a

succinct research question and a thorough review of the academic

10

literature
.
Where a substantial practical element is present the word count may be reduced without
penalty.
This must be agreed in advance
with

both
your dissertation adviser and the module

tutor.

The investigative research project report has a highly structured format containing a Title,
Acknowledgments, Declaration, Contents,
Abstract, Introduction,
Literature Review,
Method, Results,
Discussion

& Conclusion,
References

and Appendix
.


The

discursive

dissertation require
s

a detailed critical assessment of ideas, models, theories and
evidence derived from the academic literature and from which is developed new ideas, models, or
theories. The structure of the dissertation is more fluid and es
say
-
like, but should have a thorough
review of the relevant literature, a critical and thorough evaluation of the theories and issues, a
discussion, and conclusions that make some
new
contribution to knowledge.
For example the
outcome may be a set of recom
mendations, a new system development lifecycle, concept or theory.
Often the outcome can be tested in further investigative research.
The

discursive

research project
report has a highly structured format containing a Title,
Acknowledgments, Declaration,
Contents,
Abstract, Introduction,
Chapters on topics related to the research
question
, Discussion

& Conclusion,
References

and Appendix
.




2.4.

PROCEDURES


The
Department of Computing

have established a series of deadlines that should be met in order to
ensure the best management of each student's dissertation. Key procedures and dates are set out in
the section at the front of this handbook. Students should make sure that they are f
amiliar with them.
Dissertation advisers will assume you are aware of these requirements. It is the student’s
responsibility to adhere to them.

11

S
ECTION

3
-

CHOOSING AND DEVELOP
ING A TOPIC


3.1.

CHOOSING A TOPIC

When choosing a dissertation topic students are
advised to:


i.

read
the appropriate chapter in a suitable research methods or dissertation skills book.
Most will have a chapter offering guidance on how to choose a topic.

ii.

choose a topic that

falls within their degree c
o
urse

and the main subject int
erests of the
advisers. (A list of these interests is to be found in a separate section of this handbook.)

iii.

consult the book of abstracts from the previous year’s submissions

iv.

try out preliminary ideas with
others for example; academic staff,
cours
e leaders
,
work
placement tutors

employers, fellow students.

v.

spend some time in the Park Learning Centre looking at dissertations produced in earlier
years.

More recent dissertations are available electronically through the library
catalogue.


Many
students find consulting the academic literature helpful in choosing a topic. Ideas that
spring from the literature may develop from:


1.

a suggestion in the literature that more research needs to be done on the topic;

2.

a recurrent theme in the literature whic
h you can test out on a new / different source
of data (e.g. a work placement organisation)
, in a different culture (e.g. in a country
other than the original research) or in a different time (e.g. repeating research
originally performed more than 10yrs ag
o to see if the theories still hold true)
;

3.

a gap in the literature which you have identified by putting together what has already
been written;

4.

a conflict of ideas in the literature which your topic will seek to explore or start to
resolve

5.

the perception o
f a possible false assumption in the literature.


Choosing a topic in which you have a strong personal interest may be important in motivating you
through the diss
ertation b
ut an existing interest can also mean that you will already have some
perspectives
on the topic, which might need to be reviewed and reconsidered, as you take a
deeper, more critical and reflective view of the situation.


Remember your idea does not have to be completely novel.

Indeed, this would be most
unlikely.

Building on a solid f
oundation drawn from appropriate literature is a good way forward.

Alternatively, you may identify a ‘problem’ that needs investigating in your placement
organisation. Additionally, discussion with academic staff may generate ideas.


The choice of topic
for the dissertation, whilst open to individual student
choice

is subject to the
approval of the

adviser in consultation with the course leader
.

The dissertation adviser will not in
all cases necessarily have subject specialist knowledge in the student's
chosen dissertation topic
,
however all advisers are experienced in the development, completion and communication of
research
.


If you’re still stuck, make sure you have worked through each of the suggestions below.

1.

Look through the titles, advisors' ideas and advisors' subject areas in the
dissertation
handbook.

2.

Think of modules you have taken (on this course or others). Which ones have you enjoyed,
which particular topics within them, did they raise any questions e
tc.

3.

Go into the University library and look at the journals for your subject area. You can simply
look at the contents page (on the back or inside the front cover) and jot down topics that
interest them. You can then look at the abstracts and see what
research method was used.

12

Looking at the physical journals is sometimes less overwhelming than looking at the online
ones. Although, if there is a particular area you are interested in that has its own journal, you
can just look at the contents pages
onl
ine

for this one journal. Look to see what topics
interest you, are ‘hot’ at the moment or leave you with more questions. Sometimes, at the
end of articles, they have suggestions for future research.

4.

Some papers may

inspire you to do a similar piece of r
esearch. For example, if a study has
used students in China as participants, you could repeat it with students in the UK to see if
there is any difference in the results.

5.

Or you could find a classic piece of research from 10 or more years ago and repeat

it to see if
it still holds true.

6.

Another approach is to look at appropriate professional magazines or internet sites and see
what the 'sexy' topics are right now.

7.

Talk through your ideas with tutors.

8.

Read the online dissertations in the library catalogue. Have they made suggestions for taking
their research further?

9.

Think about what career you would like to pursue on graduation, is there a topic that would be
appropriate for that profession/organisat
ion that might help you at an interview?

10.

Look to work places/placement organisations for inspiration. This may also help you with
resources.

11.

Remember, you will have to spend a considerable amount of time on this research so choose
something that will main
tain your interest for that time.




13

3.2.

EXAMPLE DISSERTATION TITLES


The following example titles are taken from dissertations submitted by
Computing Department

students at the University of Gloucestershire. Titles are included to help stimulate possible idea
s;
the inclusion of a title should not be taken as an indication of the standard of the dissertation.
Remember also, that dissertations must reflect the aims of your
Course
.

You can also look at
electronic copies of dissertations from previous years thro
ugh the Library Online Catalogue.




A comparison of JAVA Server Pages and Active Server
Pages.NET in the context of the MVC pattern

A comparison of two and three dimensional multimedia
interfaces in computer based training

A Study on the Adoption of Telew
orking on the IT Strategy
of Organisations

A usability evaluation of the Select SSADM Case Tool

AI projects
-

why do they fail?

An ethno
-
musicological study of Afr
ican
music
's influence
on western society's
popular

music

An evaluation of CAL

at St. Peter's Junior School,
Gloucester

An evaluation of computer aided learning in
Gloucestershire primary education

An Evaluation of Student Perceptions of the Interactivity
within the Use of WebCT at The University of
Gloucestershire

An Examination into the effect of CCTV systems on Crime
on The High Street, Cheltenham

An explorative study into the fan subculture

An investigation and analysis into the theory of some
critics, that no company can survive in the 21st century
without utili
sing the World Wide Web, using Wood Norton
Halls e
-
business experiences of website development as a
case study

An investigation into consumer trust: Cultivating trust
online

An investigation into the impact of emerging forms of
electronic surveillance and
whether these represent a step
change in the undermining of privacy

An investigation of Semiconductor Supplies International's
(SSI) electronic communication throughout the supply
chain

Application of Data Mining Concepts and Techniques to
Electricity Trad
ing

Arabic
popular

music

is used as a means of political
expression
.

Are pop
-
ups annoying and intrusive to users of the internet
and can user attitudes influence the development of pop
-
ups?

Assessing the use of OO CASE in a fast food application.

Attitudes

of Software Developers to HCI

Automatic speech recognition and a computer simulation
of binaural masking release

Automatic Speech Recognition: A User Aid for
Optometrists?

Black music was developed as a form of liberty from
slavery......are blac
k musician
s holding onto these
influences in their music today and can white people
understand the meaning?

Broadband Technology and Computer Games

Business advantage over the Internet for small companies.

CAL and learning in Key Stage 4

Can management regard execut
ive information systems as
How have local area networks affected small
businesses? Do the theoretical benefits still apply in this
context?

How should computer ethics be taught to
undergraduates in the computer science curriculum?

How to transfor
m a project
-
oriented organisation into a
process
-
oriented one.

ICT and learning in primary schools

ICT as a Motivational Tool: Is it Still Present in
Contemporary Society

ICTs and disabled people

Identification and Analysis of Human Errors in Systems'
Oper
ation

Implementing mobile technologies into an electricity
distribution company

Implementing Mobile Te
c
hnologies

Improving the ISD process


a review of SSADM

Information technology and gender equality

Interactive Advertising and the World Wide Web

Interne
t filters
-
software protection for underage
browsing.

Internet Shopping: A Consumer Perspective

Internet shopping: the consumer perspective.

Intrusion Detection Systems: Security or Opportunity

Is there a gender difference in the Music Industry in
relatio
n to participation and emotional attachment?

Marketing Strategies and the changing buying patterns
of the consumer

Methodology for data modelling during analysis.

NOF ICT training for teachers
-

£230M well spent?

Online vs Offline Travel: Examination of t
he Threat of
Disintermediation

Online vs offline travel: an examination into the threat of
disintermediation posed by online travel agencies on
their retail counterparts

Propaganda and mass persuasion are

present in all
forms of media, including pop music

an investigation
into the connection between personal motivation, social
demographics ec
onomic situation
and festival
attendance

Privacy and ICTs

Public and Small Business Acceptance of Biometrics

Public’s Acceptance of Biometric Security Devices

Review

of ICT training for secondary school teachers
(NOF)

Scale and Effect of ICT Surveillance within business

Security and the Internet

Security Issues and Microsoft Internet Explorer

Small business strategy and ecommerce


is their a
need to change?

Software
process improvement: can it end the software
crisis?

Speech recognition

Surviving in the 21
st

century without the World Wide

14

viable support tools?

Challenging IT: delivering and evaluating graphics formats
for inclusion into internet training courses for deaf people

Comparing ELHs and State Transition Diagrams for
dynamic OO modelling.

Comparing OO and

SSADM in requirements analysis.

Comparison of Object and Data Modelling.

Cryptography and IT Systems
-

the risks and the benefits.

Data warehousing: empowering the end
-
user?

Design for a teaching materials repository.

Disaster Recover of IT Systems


The
Speed of the
Recovery Process after a Disaster

Distance Learning: A Comparative Study

Distance Learning: A Comparative Study

Dyslexic students and ICTs

Does the current appetite for popular music demand

replication of ideas and styles
?

E commerce: A
discussion of opportunities and
constraints on future growth

E
-
Commerce: Opportunities and Challenges

E
-
commerce: to what extent do small businesses need to
change their strategies upon embracing the Internet?

Effects of IT on communications within a compa
ny.

Electronic Surveillance and the undermining of privacy

Empirical study of RAD.

Establishing a fast, effective e
-
commerce web site on the
internet

Evaluation of Business to Consumer websites

Evaluation of CAL in Primary Education

Evaluation of DSS for t
he planning department of a local
authority.

Evaluation of Mobile Communications

Evaluation of PDA and
Smartphone

technology and its
impact

Evaluation of Value
-
Based Management to design the
implementation of new systems

Evaluation of web
-
based tools for m
onitoring/improving the
quality of NVQ delivery

Evaluation of whether the demographic variable of
customer age influences their use of bank services that
involve technology

Exploring the use of email for business communication

Extent and effectiveness of r
e
-
use in Systems
Development.

Failure is not an option

Gigabit Ethernet over category 5 structured wiring
infrastructure

Has the preoccupation with film sequels resulted in the
undermining of the original works?

How has the Internet impacted the London

market run
-
off
sector and strategy?

Web

Taking IT investment appraisal forward: an examination
of theories and practice

The Affect of Local Area Networks on Small Busi
nesses

The effect of implementing the Electronic Social Care
Record in Social Service Departments: a grounded
theory approach

The effects of improvement in ICT technologies on e
-
procurement

The impact of Electronic Navigational Aids on society

The impact o
f ICTs on education at key stage 2

The impact of total cost of ownership on the IS/IT
investment decision
-
making process

The Impacts of eBusiness Adoption on Small and
Medium Sized Organisations

The Role of Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) in
the UK F
inancial Services Industry


A Vendor
Perspective

The role of ICT in law enforcement

The theory versus the practice of CD
-
ROM in primary
schools

The Theory Versus the Practice of Making an Online
Business Secure

The use of email for business communication

Theory versus practice of an effective Information
Security Policy

To explore the benefits of a web
-
based tool for
monitoring and improving the quality of NVQ delivery

Usability considerations and digital media

Usability of help systems for Microsoft
Access

Usability of Prodman

Using ICTs for competitor advantage

Using ICTs in the teaching of practical based sciences
in secondary education

Virtual reality interfaces: the future of computing?

W

hat are the current successful revenue streams in
popular m
usic

What factors have influenced the gradual changes in
consumer trends and habits within the music sales
market between 1990
\

and 2007?

What is the connection between personal motivators,
social demographics and economic status in festival
attendance?

What is the impact of the physical environment on
creative productivity?

What is the most appropriate negotiation strategy for
the Countryside Commission's SPIRIT Project?

What Part can Ontologies Play in the Production of
Stable and Compatible Information

Systems

Will data warehousing solve the problems of document
and information management in Nuclear Electric Ltd?

Will the convergence of PDA and
Smartphone

technology lead to a single preferred device






15

3.3.

ADVISE
RS’ PROPOSED PROJECTS



It is likely that
you have already chosen your research topic during the level II Research Methods
module. However, if you are still uncertain b
elow are suggestions fo
r potential projects from advise
rs.
You may choose a topic of your own and do not have to choose from thi
s list. If, however, you are
interested in any of the proposals listed, please
discuss it with

the appropriate tutor.



Vicky Bush



The use of object
-
oriented patterns
: Pattern technology has become very popular in object
-
oriented
circles. In effect, these are high
-
level programming paradigms. Often, a pattern may be applied in different
application domains. The aim of this project is to choose a particular field of app
lication e.g. the financial
services industry or games development and investigate whether there are any particular recurring
patterns for which this technology may be applied in order to improve the design of applications in this
area. This project would
be suitable for someone with links with a particular application area where they
were able to perform analysis on code.



Code Refactoring:
Many programming development environments (e.g. Eclipse, NetBeans) support the
ability to refactor programs i.e. alte
r their structure. It is interesting to investigate the scope of these
refactorings, comparing the support offered by different tools and looking at how easy they are to apply.
The approach to this could be a practical investigation or looking at the seman
tics of the transformations
and investigating the pre
-
conditions for their applicability.



Sustainable computing:

Sustainability is widely defined as ‘development which meets the needs of the
present without compromising the ability of future generations t
o meet their own needs’.

There are different ways of looking at computing in the context of sustainability that would make useful
projects.

1.

For example, currently computers are superseded by later models very quickly, using up
valuable resources and crea
ting harmful waste. One project could look at ways in which the
lifetime of computers could be extended and their ‘footprint’ reduced, while at the same
time taking advantage of technological innovations.

2.

Another approach could be to examine the way that
software is developed and look at
methodologies that extend the life of software by enabling it to be adaptable and extensible.

3.

A related area, to enable current (rather than future) generations to meet their needs, is to
look at the use of computers in d
eveloping countries and assess initiatives such as the MIT
‘One laptop per child’ that is aiming to develop low cost computers and software for
educating children in less developed countries.

4.

Computers can be used as tools to support sustainability e.g. to

monitor and control energy
consumption. An investigation into this area would also be interesting.



The Open Source Movement:
The model of software development in the Open Source Movement (where
the source code is freely available) is very different from t
hat in a typical software company where control
is hierarchical. A project in this area could explore the strengths and weaknesses of the different
approaches and look at the implications for improving our approach to developing complex software
systems.


Mo Clutterbuck



Prepare and evaluate an IT diagnostic tool for business students e.g. an online test to analyse IT skills.



Prepare a needs analysis/system specification to enable the University’s timetable and room booking
systems to communicate with each o
ther.



Evaluate version upgrade transition (
e.g.

to Vista) from a student, academic and support staff perspective,
perhaps comparing those within the computing dept with other depts.



Kevin Hapeshi



E
-
Assessment
. The use of artificial intelligence/expert
systems to assess free
-
text responses to tests and
essay questions.


16



Mobile e
-
Learning Technology.
An investigation into the use of PDA based quizzes & surveys to promote
improved student engagement in the classroom.

For background see:
http://classinhand.wfu.edu/

The
project could involve developing a simple application and testing out in a class using ACER WiFi enabled
pdas



Sustainable Computing.
Quantitative investigation into e
nergy consumption resulting from different tasks
and different operating systems.



Instruction
-
free Interaction Design.

Designing intuitively usable interfaces for interactive products.



Speech Interfaces.

Experimental studies in using speech Input
-
output un
der different conditions (such as
hands
-
free phone calls whilst driving).



Human Factors and Biometric Security.

Investigating the problems associated with individual differences
when using biometric technology.



Ambi
ka
sh Jayal



No current projects



David
Johnston



No current projects



David Liewe



Virtual Assistants: Merger of speech with Mobile Intelligent Devices. Investigate the use and build a
conceptual prototype for true interactive speech for example: mobile phones, cash registers, kiosks,
automobiles, and vending machines will all have voices to announce their status and function. Able to
have functional conversation with these devices.



Virtual Sales Assistants for on
-
line trading: Help in the selection and queries.



Games for training: Inve
stigate it’s effectiveness in a selected environment using desktop or mobile
devices



Developing a “Learning by Doing”: Using a range of Multimedia Tools for Global Access



Use of 3D in a Rich Media Environment (Including VR)



Investigate the use of 3D Avatars in WWW



Develop a digital warehouse for building Interactive 3D environments for games or training.



Intelligent Virtual Assistant for E
-
Commerce application



3D interfaces for 3D Gaming and Effects of 3D Displays Monitors



Brain Control Interfaces for Games



Paul O’Brien



Sub
-
surface scattering



Normal mapping



Photorealistic modelling and rendering



Particle flow for dynamic modelling



Pelt mapping characters



Daylight simulations



3DS Max to XNA workflow



Sculpting the human
form



3D for civil engineering projects



Physically accurate animation dynamics



Utility creation with MAXScript




Real world texture creation



Julie Paterson



E learning in e
ducational institutions



Use of eLearning in high ability children.


17



E learning in organisations.



E learning in developing countries



Cybernetics and human beings.


Man vs machine.



The social context of cyber technology.



The social context of robotics in the 21
st

century.





Chip implant technology.


Discursive view of chi
p implant technology and its potential impacts on the lives
of humans.



The social context of human genetic engineering.



Discursive approach to sustainable development in developing countries.



The role of ICTs to support sustainable development.



The role of

AI in the social context of the 21
st

century.



Role of social networking in organisations and society



Societal issues including privacy, gaming, robotics, healthcare, changing populations.



Organisations and change management within an IT implementation set
ting



A humanistic approach to successful
ERP systems implementation



Organisational strategy and managing change




R
FID in healthcare

o

Discursive look at uses in other sectors and suggestions for healthcare

o

Qualitative look at barriers to implementation



The

use of robotics in the domestic setting


feasibility study or social impact exploration



Online resources in HE


do they influence attendance and learning


this could be a correlation study or
qualitative



Computer games & aggression


this could be an e
xperimental study where participants play a game and
then rate pictures for aggression or friendliness



Media portrayal of computing


this would involve a content analysis of publications e.g. is it all negative
(systems failure, project budgets, crime)



Pe
rception/acceptance of computer crime


a look at how seriously the public rate different crimes such as
mugging or online fraud.



E
-
assessment


a feasibility study into the implementation of e
-
assessment at UoG e.g. pros/cons from
student/tutor/support st
aff perspective of uploading essays or administering exams online.



Age discrimination in graduate recruitment


this would involve a qualitative analysis of text and images
used in IT graduate recruitment material.



The use of technology within healthcare s
ettings

by patients, relatives and healthcare professionals
.
Projects in this area could include; case studies, experiments or discursive projects exploring the
implementation of technology within healthcare; the use of technology to deliver information o
r reduce
risk. Example research questions include; How can mobile computing assist the hospital
-
at
-
night
programme? Does voice recognition software reduce transcription errors within healthcare? Can RFID
technology reduce risk?



Any project with a substa
ntial element of qualitative analysis
. Projects in this area could include; attitudes
towards technology; effects of technology on society, work or the family. Example research questions
could be; Do female students feel excluded from the marketing of
computer games? Has the increased
availability of “working from home” affected family life?



The use of technology to enhance learning including online and mobile applications
. Projects in this area
could include; experimental comparisons of different med
ia; the design of eLearning systems
incorporating existing theories of learning; evaluation of eLearning. Example research questions could be;
Does the availability of electronic resources reduce lecture attendance? Is there a correlation between
learnin
g style and attitude toward using handheld devices to deliver learning? Does the inclusion of an
electronic resource on a module increase retention of information?



The design, evaluation and implementation of interactive computing systems for human use an
d with the
study of major phenomena surrounding them.

Projects in this area could include; experimental comparison
of the effects of design of web pages and other interfaces; attitudes toward the implementation of new
technology. Example research questio
ns could be; Does picture position (left
-
right) influence awareness of
advertisements on web pages? Are students receptive to the use of biometric identification on campus?
Projects exploring cultural differences in human computer interaction interest m
e e.g. the adoption of
mobile computing in Africa


18



The impact of technology on society.

Suggested projects include eLearning in developing countries e.g.
VSOs use of Moodle as a case study, or a case study comparison of another country with the UK to ident
ify
barriers and ways of overcoming them, or the impact of gaming technology, e.g. an experimental design to
explore the impact of games on attitude towards violence. Other areas include qualitative research into
the portrayal of computing in the press an
d student perception of computer crime.


Nina Reeves



Social Computing:

There have been many developments in the sharing of multimedia social information
such as contact lists (eg: del.icio.us), diaries (blogs, Twitter), interesting facts (wikis) and opport
unities for
networking (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn) and images (eg: Flickr). Projects in this area might aim to find out
how social bookmarking is used by different categories of users (perhaps related to market research
classifications) or investigate issues

of trust and reputation, legality and ethics.



Multimedia location
-
based services
: Users are increasingly making use of facilities to access information
relevant to their current position using GPRS. Projects in this area could be of a qualitative nature,
developing a user needs analysis or testing devices such as those designed for MU
220(see
http://mmedia.glos.ac.uk/mu220

showcase)



Mobile games for training/education
: 3G phones with GPS provide many opportunities to reach people
where they are


literally! Health services would like to
encourage healthier lifestyles so the challenge is
out there to devise applications which encourage more physical activity while engaging the user


maybe
using the psychology of game playing. Although there would be aliterature review, this would be a mai
nly
practical project with evaluation using student participants. You would need good Flash AS2/3 skills
(current Windows mobile 6 are limited to AS2 but watch this space). Only students interested in pushing
the boundaries should consider this project.



Andrew Tomlinson



Building
an

Automated Classification System.
Automated classification could revolutionise tasks that
require monitoring, diagnosis, recognition or anomaly detection.


Would involve programming and a little
mathematics.



Business Rules: how
should they be captured, formulated or managed?

Business rules need to be treated as
a corporate asset that can be managed and viewed by business staff across the whole organisation, rather
than as functions that are hidden away in application code.





Aligning IT Strategy to 21
st

Century Business Strategy
:
Today’s firms need to be efficient, agile, innovative
and sustainable. What business information systems, system architectures, modelling techniques or
application development strategies are suited t
o modern business needs?



An IT Strategy for Non
-
technical Executives
: Is there a practicable and effective IT strategy that non
-
technical executives can follow to ensure their IT assets support their business operation model? How
would we evaluate the succ
ess of such a model?



Data Warehouse Methodology
.
A useful project would be to find ways to evaluate existing methodologies,
or to determine which methodologies suit particular data warehouse projects.



Expanding the Functionality of Oracle APEX Applications
.
W
ould suit someone who understands APEX,
Oracle databases and is willing to dabble in web
-
based scripting languages such as Ajax.



David Wakeling



Implementing a Virus Throttle
: Most computer anti
-
virus or anti
-
worm programs work by matching a
signature

derived from a program against a
large database of signatures obtained from programs known
to be viruses or worms. However, a computer anti
-

virus or anti
-
worm program could also work by looking
for unusual network behaviour by a program. Thus, instead
of trying to prevent a virus or worm from
entering the system, one tries to prevent it from leaving. T
his project is about developing such a virus
throttle by looking for unusual network behaviour. Network activity could be captured by a promiscuous
netwo
rk card or read from a log file. The program could be written in Java,C or C++.



Network Activity Visualisation
: Network activity is often recorded in textual log files. These files can
become very large, making it very difficult for systems administrators
to monitor the behaviour of their
networks. This project is about developing a program to visualize network behaviour, highlighting

19

anything unusal. Network activity could be captured by a promiscuous network card or read from a log
file. The program coul
d be written in Java, C or C++.



SQL Query Optimisation
: Most Web applications are organised into three tiers: the user
-
services tier; the
business
-
services tier and the data
-
services tier. This project considers optimisation in the data
-
services
tier. No
wadays, SQL provides the standard language for querying relational databases. An SQL query can
be represented by a tree structure. The query optimiser attempts to make a query more efficient by
transforming its tree structure; the query execution engine th
en performs the transformed query. This
project involves developing and evaluating a SQL query optimiser using the Java programming language
and the Java Database Connectivity Application Programming Interface.



Brain Training
: Brain training is the latest

idea to arrive in Europe from Japan. It takes the form of a
number of small games running on the Nintendo hand
-
held games console. These games include solving
simple maths problems, counting people going in and out of a house, drawing pictures, and readin
g
classical literature aloud into the machine's microphone. This project involves developing and evaluating
games for brain training to run on Java
-
enabled mobile devices, using the Java programming language and
the Java Wireless Tool Kit.



Project 1:

Sea
rch engines rank web pages according to their

relevance to queries, and many users of these

search engines look no further than the first

few ranked pages. This project would involve

constructing an
interactive program to boost

the ranking of a particular
page to get it

into the first few ranked pages
---

something

known as search engine optimisation.



Project 2:
Some of the most exciting uses of data on the web are the result of mashups of information from
one or more sources. This project would involve con
structing an interactive program

to mashup
information from many sources.



Project 3:
A microblog consists of a many short postings,

that might be sentences, images or embedded

video. These microblogs are a good place to

track emerging trends in the
population, and

several tools now
exist to do so. This

project would involve constructing an

interactive tool to track trends in microblogs.



Project 4:
The most widely used logic programming language is PROLOG. This project would involve
constructing

an im
plementation of PROLOG.



Kevin Walter



No current projects



Martin Wynn



If a student has good contacts with an SME (or maybe works in an SME), they could use
the Information
Systems Strategy Development
methodology to develop their IS strategy for them
and write it up as a
dissertation.

Contact Martin for a copy of the methodology.



Shujun Zhang



Agen
ts for change in E
-
Commerce



Mobile E
-
Commerce



XML for E
-
Commerce



Manuf
acturing in the E
-
Commerce era



Databases for E
-
Commerce




20

3.4.

POTENTIAL DISSERTATI
ON
ADVISORS’ SUBJECT AR
EAS

Vicky Bush



Programming and software development



Language design



Object
-
oriented development methodologies.



Formal methods



Sustainable computing


Paul O'Brien

1.

Games and interactive media

2.

3D and the Cinematic in Games

3.

Game Design
Principles for Cooperative Play

4.

Learning from games

5.

Modeling Techniques for Game Assets

6.

Asset management for games production

7.

Project Management for Games Design

8.

Augmented Reality for Games

9.

Narrative design for 3D animation

10.

Digital Video

11.

Modelling emotion
and consequences in games




Mo Clutterbuck



IT in Education



Small Application Development


Julie Paterson



Social and societal issues of ICTs



E
-
learning



Computer aided learning in education and industry



E
-
communities and ICTs



Soft Issues within
business/software implementation



Sustainability and ICTs



Project Management



IT in healthcare



Human
-
computer Interaction



eLearning



Impact of technology on society



Sustainable computing


Kevin Hapeshi



Speech Recognition



Artificial Intelligence



E
-
Learning
Systems



HCI


Nina Reeves:



Multimedia interface design



Usability evaluation



Digital libraries



Multimedia for learning,



Mobile multimedia



Qualitative methodologies



Interface design for accessibility




Ambikesh Jayal


Andrew Tomlinson



IT strategy



System
development strategies



Systems analysis and requirements



Database administration (Oracle)



Genetic algorithms and pattern classification

Data modelling techniques (conceptual, logical or physical)


David Wakeling



Computer Networking



Distributed/parallel co
mputing



Programming language design & implementation



Mobile devices



System simulation and emulation,



Embedded devices programming



Real time systems


Kevin Walter



Networking



Security Issues



User Support Issues



Help Desk Issues



IT in education



IT management



Systems administration


David Johnston



Interface Design



Soft Systems Methodology



Deontic Logic

Martin Wynn



Systems Strategy and Implementation in SMEs



Big Package/ERP Implementation (including CRM/MRP
procurement)


21



Graphics & Animation



HCI






E
-
business
Capabilities and Comparisons (cross
-
company)



Process Re
-
engineering Aspects of IT/IS



Project Implementation



Customer relationship management (crm) systems



Enterprise portals and content/knowledge management



Shop floor data collection and product lifecycle
management (plm) systems


David Leiwe

Bridging the gap between Computers and Users with
development of applications in the following



Games for training: Making Games as a tool for training in
a variety of environments



E
-
Training: Developed mobile and global access training
for engineering and education



Networked 3D Environment: Investigate and develop use
of 3D within a corporation for sales and Marketing



VR: Stand alone Virtual Reality applications for specific
applic
ations



HCI: Investigate the performance and intuitive designs



Virtual Assistant: Develop and Investigate the
effectiveness and performance of using a Virtual Assistant



Multimedia Performance Systems: Use of Multimedia
Performance Systems for Decision Suppo
rt (Expert
System)


Shujun Zhang



E
-
business strategy, system design and development



Web
-
based systems for enhancing business performances
such as market promotion, supply
-
chain management and
product innovation through multi
-
media technology and
survey met
hods etc.



E
-
learning
-

principle, strategy and web
-
based system
implementation



3D
-
computing and modelling for Biometrics









22

S
ECTION

4


THE ROLE OF THE DISS
ERTATION ADVISER


1

The operation of the dissertation is overseen by the Dissertation Module Tutor.

Once

you are
allocated

an adviser
,

each student is required to contact their adviser to discuss their Research
Prop
osal. Your project advise
r is your main point of contact th
roughout the year.




2

Students should note that it is their responsibility to complete their Research Proposal in sufficient
depth to convince their adviser that they have chosen a worthwhile topic.


4

The dissertation module tutor will liaise with
dissertation advisers in order to ensure that appropriate
guidance and assistance is provided and that students receive parity of treatment.


5

Students will
not normally

be allowed to change advisers once allocated.

However, if you are having
difficultie
s of any kind with your adviser, please do let the module tutor know at the earliest opportunity.
This will be treated in confidence initially and can often be resolved at this stage. Exceptionally,
another adviser may be allocated. Early involvement of

the module tutor leads to the most successful
outcomes in these circumstances.


6

Each student will be required to attend a
minimum

of 4 meetings with their dissertation adviser in their
final year. Advisers may choose to see tutees as a group


particula
rly in the early stages of
dissertation development. Students are reminded that dissertation advice is
student

led not staff
determined. Each student should note that:


1.

m
eetings with advisers are expected to take place during office hours (Mon
-
Fri, 9am


5
pm)

and at the Park campus
. Students should make themselves available during these times. In
exceptional cir
cumstances and if mutually agreed, meetings may be arranged outside these
hours

or at an alternative location
.


2.

it is their responsibility to conta
ct and arrange meetings with their dissertation adviser, however
advisers will normally ensure that their next appointment with the student is agreed prior to the
end of each meeting;

3.

their adviser should be regarded as a facilitator who whilst at liberty
to comment, suggest lines
of approach, and critically appraise progress, is unlikely to offer any advice which might be
interpreted as contributing substantially to the dissertation itself;

4.

staffing hours are allocated at 7.5 hours per dissertation student

spread across two semesters.
Advisers will attempt to ensure that all students receive the same amount of contact
supervision;

5.

advisers may be shadowed by academic staff who wish to supervise dissertations in
subsequent years as part of their staff develo
pment;

6.

advisers may keep a full record of each meeting with students using the Dissertation Record
form

(
APPENDIX F



MEETING RECORD FO
R
M
)
.

If so, both the student and the adviser
should retain a copy of the record form.


7

As part of ensuring parity of treatme
nt the dissertation adviser is

only

required to

provide the following
levels of guidance to each student:


i.

full and clear written (or, exceptionally, tape recorded) comment will normally only be given on
each
chapter of the draft dissertation

once
. This must be submitted to the adviser by the date
s

stipulated in this handbook. The adviser will normally return t
he draft within three University
weeks;

ii.

in providing written feedback students are reminded that whilst advisers are at liberty to
comment, suggest lines of approach, and critically appraise progress their advice should not
contribute substantially to
the dissertation itself. This means that feedback can highlight
problems, but not put them right. Advisers will not provide an indication of grade unless the
dissertation is likely to score under 40%. In such cases the student will be advised that they are

likely to fail;

iii.

the adviser will not undertake proof reading of a completed draft but will comment
upon the length
, content and quality of writing
.


23

SECTION

5


MODULE TEXT BOOK LIS
T


Students should note that there are two types of academi
c literature of which you need to be aware
for your dissertation. These relate to research methods and your dissertation topic itself. Below are
suggested readings related to research methods. This list is not exhaustive and you may discover
other books

that you find useful

or more suited to your learning style; explore the resources in the
learning centre!



Banister, P., Burman, E., Parker, I., Taylor, M. and Tindall, C. (1998).
Qualitative Methods in
Psychology.
Buckingham: Open University Press

Bel
l, J.
(
1999
)
.
Doing Your Research Project
(3
rd

edition). Buckingham: Open University Press.

Berry R. (2000)
,
The Research Project: How to Write IT
, (4
th

edition
)
, London: Routledge

Bowden, J. (2004).
How to Write a Report,
(7
th

edition), Plymouth: How to
Books Ltd.

Brookes, I.

(1996
).
How to Succeed: Students' Guide
. London: Harper Collins.

Buzan, T. (2003). Use Your Head, (revised ed.). London: BBC Books.

Cameron, S. (2005).
The Business Student's Handbook
.
(3
rd

edition),
London
: FT
Prentice Hall

Cornfi
eld T. and Smithson S.

(2004)
,
Project Research in Information Systems


A Student’s Guide
,

(2
nd

edition),

Basingstoke:
Palgrave
Macmillan

Dawson, C.

(2005).
Projects

o