Computer Laboratory

Course pages 2011–12

Research Skills

Principal lecturer: Prof Neil Dodgson
Taken by: MPhil ACS, Part III
Code: C00
Hours: 16 (16 lectures in Michaelmas Term plus assessed presentations in Easter Term)
Prerequisites: fluency in English (reading and writing)


To provide advice on and training in the practical skills required for research. To provide training in skills of use in the other research-led modules, project, and essay.


  • The Research Process – what is research? how is it conducted?
  • Reading and Reviewing – critical reading, the review process.
  • Presenting – how to prepare and deliver a research presentation.
  • Experimental methods – experiment design, data analysis, statistical analysis [Prof. Peter Robinson]
  • Writing – how to write a good research paper. The structure of a paper. Writing the first draft. Editing and polishing. English style. Choice of publication venue.
  • Graphs, figures, tables, mathematics, algorithms.


On completion of this module, students should have improved their ability in the practical aspects of research, including improvements in ability to critique the work of others, to critique their own work, to write, to present, and to conduct and analyse experiments.

Coursework and assessment

The module is assessed through a range of practical exercises that provide a safe environment in which to practise the various skills.

Required reading

Zobel, Justin (2004). Writing for computer science. Springer (2nd ed.). A copy of this book will be loaned to each student on the course.