Department of Computer Science and Technology


Project Assessment

A copy of the Guidelines issued to Assessors is included at the end of this document. The Guidelines show the marking scheme which the Assessors are asked to follow and the score sheet that is completed for each candidate.

Each dissertation is marked as follows:

  Marks
Professional Practice & Presentation 14%
Introduction and Preparation 26%
Implementation 40%
Evaluation and Conclusions 20%

Every dissertation will be read by at least two of the internal examiners. A viva voce examination or additional assessment by an expert may also be considered. A proportion will also be read by an external examiner.

Professional Practice & Presentation

The assessors will determine whether you have taken a professional and ethical approach in your work. In particular, they will check that you have used appropriate methods and tools, understood software licenses, deployed appropriate review and evaluation techniques and been aware of the social and ethical impact of your work. You must demonstrate a structured design approach, including high-level design planning, design-for-test, consideration of human factors and systematic evaluation including confidence metrics within your evaluation. You should explain how you would show conformance with appropriate legislation, such as that for intellectual property, data protection, human subjects and software licenses such as those for open source. Show that you understand the consequences of your project (or a more fully-formed variant of it) in terms of how it might affect commercial markets, contribute to society and/or the research community.

Regarding presentation, assessors primarily require the dissertation to be literate and tidy. It is not necessary to spend hours using an advanced graphics design package but it is necessaryto write with correct grammar, in a clear and focused expository style using properly constructed sentences.

Strict adherence to the top-level arrangement described in Section 12 is regarded as part of the Presentation. Candidates who fail to put their names on the top right-hand corners of cover sheets, misunderstand the phrase “at most 100 words”, or omit the Proforma altogether, will lose marks for Presentation.

The Five chapters

Most of the marks are scored in the five chapters in the body of the dissertation.

Assessors recognise that the precise partitioning prescribed by the five chapter headings will sometimes prove too serious a constraint. A writer might, for example, feel that it is essential to discuss some aspects of the Implementation in earlier chapters. Assessors will credit Implementation marks ahead of time in such circumstances. It is unnecessary to repeat the discussion in order to earn the marks.

The Appendices

The dissertation should be fully comprehensible without reference to any appendix. Do not rely on content in an appendix providing any examination credit because appendices are not marked. But a consequence of following up a reference to an appendix may be an adjustment to the mark for a chapter in the main body of the dissertation.

Difficulty

No marks are explicitly awarded for difficulty. Assessors are well aware that some projects are more challenging than others and take this into account as they read the dissertation.

A trivial example might be the comparison of two projects which are very much the same except that one is written in Java and the other in BCPL. The project written in BCPL will be regarded as a little more challenging if only because there is a course on Java but none on BCPL. In consequence an Assessor might expect marginally more from the candidate who wrote in Java.