This is intended to guide students and University staff involved in MSc projects operating as part of the Postgraduate Scheme. Students enrolled on MSc -IT programmes take ECM95CS (60 credits).

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COVENTRY UNIVERSITY
POSTGRADUATE TAUGHT PROGRAMMES
Middle East College
Master Project Guide
Introduction
This is intended to guide students and University staff involved in MSc projects operating as part of the Postgraduate Scheme. Students enrolled on MSc -IT programmes take ECM95CS (60 credits).
Every project needs to: be appropriate for master’s level, match the subject and focus of the student’s programme of study; fit the requirements of the project module’s learning outcomes; involve effort and depth of research in proportion to the module size. Students are briefed on their projects during their induction week. All students receive guidance and support for producing a project brief before the project starts.
Project Selection Procedure
Students may indicate their general area of interest and discuss details with staff/project supervisors. In some cases, student may visit staff profile (http://www.mecit.edu.om/Departments/Departments.html) to take up research projects in the area of staff’s specialization. Student must do sufficient ground work before scheduling a meeting with staff.
Project organisation and responsibilities
The student must arrange the initial meeting with the supervisor and, in consultation with the supervisor, organise appropriate mechanisms for communication and monitoring during the project period. Students need to maintain a diary (see appendix H) to record their meetings and discussion taking place with their supervisors and clients (if any). Students should offer and organize a minimum of 10 hrs contact with the supervisors.
It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the project is carried out at an appropriate level for assessment, and what this entails should be indicated to the student by the supervisor. It is also the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that appropriate advice is offered and delivered effectively in accordance with the supervisor’s commitments and that the student is clearly informed if there are any issues regarding the project that are likely to result in failure. Notes of these meetings should be kept by the student, and passed on to the supervisor. The supervisor should also keep records of any advice given in email to the student.
Project assessment
Marks will be allocated in the following ratio:
Project brief = 10%, Presentation = 10%, Project Report & Performance = 80%.
Project brief
Project brief form and marking criteria can be found in appendix A
Project presentation
The student must organise a presentation to be attended normally by at least the supervisor and the second assessor. The presentation should:
• normally be 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions and answers
• allow a further 30 minutes for a system demonstration where appropriate
Project presentation marking criteria can be found in appendix B
Project report
The project report represents the culmination of all the work and effort put in over an extended period of time. As such it serves to communicate this work, the purpose behind it and the various findings that may have emerged, to the outside world. Bear in mind that it is normally the only tangible evidence of your project remaining after you have graduated. The report must be word-processed with a maximum length not normally exceed about 15,000 words (excluding appendices).
Structure
Projects vary considerably, but a typical report will contain the following sections or chapters:
• Title Page Mandatory. An example is given in Appendix C
• Declaration of Originality Mandatory. Must be signed and dated by the student. See appendix D
• Abstract Mandatory
• Table of Contents Mandatory
• Acknowledgements Optional
• Introduction & Objectives Mandatory
• Main Body Chapters will be subject area dependent. Consult with supervisor.
o Research o Methodology o Project Management Mandatory section of main body
Mandatory section of main body
Mandatory section of main body
o Critical Appraisal Mandatory section of main body
• Conclusions & Further Work Mandatory
• Student Reflections Mandatory
• Bibliography & References Mandatory. Must be CU Harvard style
• Appendices Some mandatory
The Declaration of Originality (template given in Appendix A) must be included at the start of the report signed and dated by the student. The report will not be accepted if this is not bound in and fully completed. Further information on the report contents can be found in Appendix E with some tips on report writing in Appendix F.
Format
Reports must be word-processed/typed in a 12-point sans-serif font such as Times New Roman or Arial font, one-and-a-half or double-spaced on one side of A4-size paper only, with a left-hand margin of at least 25mm. They should be written in clear grammatically correct English, making the assumption that the reader is technically literate but not necessarily expert in the field covered by the report. Keep the report as concise as possible, without omitting vital information. Irrelevant -padding- will not gain additional marks.
Diagrams, charts and photographs with suitable captions should be used where necessary and helpful to the understanding of the written text. Use the decimal numbering system for chapters, section headings and captions. All data used to draw conclusions should be included in the report. If the data set is large, include it as an appendix.
Binding
Two hard-bound copies of the report are required for assessment. You are advised to complete your report and get it bound well before the submission deadline otherwise you may be forced to submit late. It’s also a good idea to bind a third copy of the report for yourself in case you need to refer to it during your presentation.
Submission
There are three elements to the submission of the final report:
1. 3 hard-bound copies of the report;
2. 3 CDs, one bound in each copy of the report;
3. An electronic submission to Turnitin through your Moodle project module web.
Omissions in any of these elements will render the entire submission incomplete. Consequently you may be liable to lateness penalties.
Two identical copies of the project report with CD must be presented to the PG desk by 4.00pm on the due date. The office will begin accepting reports up to two days before the final deadline. Unless you have a pre-authorised deferral then work received after 4.00pm, for whatever reason, will be deemed late. If you fail to make a submission then you may be denied a resit opportunity.
A PDF version of the report must be uploaded into the Turnitin facility of the Moodle module web. This facility checks the proportion of non-original work contained in the report. An unsatisfactory result may result in an accusation of plagiarism.
The CD must comprise the following contents:
• A single PDF file containing the project report. This file should be named surname _ initials _ student ID number _ year .pdf (e.g. Rowling_JK_1234567_2012.pdf).
• Any source code you have developed as well as any software product/artefact.
• Any ancillary information you wish to submit. This could include technical documents, data sheets, test data or results, etc.
Where possible, documents and other artefacts should be in PDF or Microsoft Office format. Use a permanent marker pen to label the CDs with your full name, student ID, project title and the relevant academic year (e.g. 2012/13).
Assessment Criteria
The project report will be assessed by the project supervisor and a second assessor on the following criteria:
o Methodology (20/80)
o Evidence of creativity, independent thinking and research (20/80) o Product quality (30/80)
o Presentation of report and project management (10/80)
A guide to the grading of these criteria is given in Appendix G.
The project report constitutes 80% of the module mark. The mark for the report will be the average of the supervisor’s and second assessor’s mark. Where the project coordinator perceives a significant difference in the marks, particularly in respect of the pass/fail or classification boundaries the assessors will be required to meet and determine an agreed mark. In the event of agreement not being reached, the report will go to moderation.
Please note that the external examiners always view a sample of the reports. They expect the quality of the report to be reflected in the overall mark for the project.
Final Remarks
You must ensure that any non-original material cited in the report is properly referenced, in accordance with the CU Harvard style. If you fail to provide adequate references then you may be subject to a cheating investigation.
Remember that the Assessment Office will not accept reports that either do not comply with the binding requirements, do not have the declaration of originality bound-in or are missing the CDs.
You do not have to wait until the deadline to submit your work. Bear in mind that a very large number of students also have to bind and submit their reports.
The copyright of the project and report but not necessarily of any final product belongs to Coventry University. This means that the University reserves the right to make a copy of your report available to future students. If the report includes information confidential to a sponsor or client then arrangements can be made with the sponsor/client to have any sensitive sections deleted before the report is made generally available. Projects completed for outside interests should therefore have been read and approved by the sponsor/client in light of the above.

Appendix A: MASTER PROJECT BRIEF FORM 201X-XX
MSc (IT) / MASTER PROJECT BRIEF FORM
Please type and fill in the following form as completely as possible. Once completed and reviewed by supervisors then submit an electronic copy to MEC. Thank you.
1. Details
MSc- IT
Masters Projects – ECM95CS
@mec.edu.om
Student Name
Student ID
Course of study
Module
Email
Project Supervisor
2. Project title (Provisional) [Meaningful, relevant and concise]
3. Project outline
Outline (synopsis) of your project.[ What are the aims and objectives of the project?]
4. Intended user/group of users and their requirements
[ a) Who is the intended user or group of users? b) Why you think there is need for this project? c) What are the needs of the intended user that your product should satisfy?]
5. Systems requirements and project deliverables
[ a) What are the characteristics/properties that the final product should possess? b) What are the process stages and the corresponding deliverables that will enable you to create the final product?]
6. Research
[a) How will you investigate/identify in detail the needs of the specified user in (3) b) How will you investigate the background of the project?]
7. Evaluation
[ a) What makes a product successful? b) How will you demonstrate that your product fulfils the needs of the user in (3)? c) How will you evaluate the product?]
8. Development skills
[ a) What information and resources do you need to complete the project successfully? b) Which of these do you need to acquire yourself? ]
9. Skill acquisition
[How do you intend to gain the skills, information and resources specified in (7)?]
10. Project planning
Estimate the number of hours you are planning to spend for each of the following tasks:
Background research and learning new skills
Requirements gathering and investigation
Product design
Product development
Product evaluation
Final report preparation
Other (Please specify)
Total number of hours
These categories may be changed to suit the type of project, namely product s/w development or investigation / feasibility study.
Please attach or outline a project schedule (Gantt chart) which incorporates the phases of your project and activities to undertake, duration, start and end dates, any milestones/ deliverables and major dependencies.
11. References
Reviewed by
Signature: Date
Signature: Date
Student
Supervisor
Note: Supervisors are requested to provide the collated feedback through Moodle.
Return of form to University
Thank you for completing the form.
The following is for Office use only
Date received:
Comments by checker:
Appendix A: MARKING CRITERIA FOR MASTER PROJECT BRIEF
1. Every project must have a clearly identified product (e.g. piece of software or proposed design). A list of deliverables should be provided, the delivery of which will constitute the objectives of the project. These should clearly identify the stages of the project and be sufficiently challenging. (item 5)
___/20
2. An appropriate requirements gathering and research methodology should be identified. (item 6)
___/15
3. Criteria for the evaluation of the product and the process should be clearly stated. (item 7)
___/15
4. A description of the skills, resources and knowledge already gained from previous study, as well as a list of any resources needed, modules to be studied and appropriate self-study should be provided. This should be fully comprehensive and realistic. (items 8 & 9)
___/10
5. The project should have a suitable title (item 2).
The synopsis, with aims and objectives, should be informative and relevant (Item 3).
___/20
6. Overall quality of the project brief, e.g. level of creativity, ability to encapsulate the project idea and degree of challenge. Accuracy and clarity of presentation.
___/15
7. A reasonable, sensible estimate of the time needed to complete all activities successfully should be given. (item 10)
____/5
Total Mark
___/100
Appendix A: MASTER PROJECT BRIEF FORM
Assessor’s Feedback
Student’s name: Module number:
Strengths of the project:
Weaknesses of the project:
Areas in need of improvement:
Assessor’s name:
Assessor’s signature:
Appendix B: MSc PROJECT PRESENTATION MARK FORM
Student Name _________________________ Student ID ________________________________ Supervisor Name ____________________________
PRESENTATION
CRITERIA FOR ASSESSMENT MARK
AWARDED
CONTENT
Structure/Organisation Comments:
Mark out of 10
Accuracy/ Relevance/ Conclusions Comments:
Mark out of 10
STYLE
Clarity/Coherence/Fluency/Use of Visual Aids Comments:
Mark out of 10
Timing/Interest Generated/Question Handling Comments:
Mark out of 10
Total Mark out of 40
Final Mark out of 10
Presentation assessed by (print names):
Signed:
Date: …………………………………
Appendix C
Middle East College
Coventry University
Project Submission
in Partial Fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree
of Master of Science in Information Technology (MSC-
IT)
Put your title here font size 18.
Author: (put your Name and MEC ID) Supervisor: (put the name of the
supervisor)
4v2 Page 1
Appendix D: DECLARATION OF ORIGINALITY AND COPYRIGHT STATEMENT Declaration of Originality
Declaration of Originality
This project is all my own work and has not been copied in part or in whole from any other source except where duly acknowledged. As such, all use of previously published work (from books, journals, magazines, the Internet, etc) has been acknowledged within the main report to an entry in the References list.
I agree that an electronic copy of this report may be stored and used for the purposes of plagiarism prevention and detection.
I understand that cheating and plagiarism constitute a breach of University Regulations and will be dealt with accordingly.
Student Name and ID:
Signed: Date:
Office Stamp
Office Stamp
Copyright
The copyright of this project and report belongs to Coventry University.
4v2 Page 2
Appendix E: FURTHER DETAILS ON REPORT CONTENT
Logo:
The Coventry University logo (the Phoenix rising from the flames) is copyrighted and is not to be used by you. The University’s binding service may put the official logo on the front cover.
Title Page:
Set out as per template on the following page.
Abstract:
A summary of about 300 words which briefly states the primary objectives of the project, the approach taken to achieving those objectives and the principal conclusions or outcomes.
Introduction and Objectives:
Explains why the project is important, sets out the background or context of the project. The main objectives of the projects must be stated here.
Main Body (this is not a chapter heading):
Not a single chapter but usually a number of sections based on the project’s components or stages.
In these chapters you will explain how you achieved your objectives and justify your particular approach which should be supported by a literature or technical review and theory. You must be able to demonstrate that your work is grounded in existing knowledge and established methodologies.
The results of your investigations/activities should be presented, analysed and evaluated using techniques appropriate to the subject area. Any software, equipment, instrumentation, etc. used should be fully specified.
Appropriate use should be made of diagrams, graphs, etc. If your project involves many diagrams then provide only suitable examples in the main body: the remainder can be presented in the appendices. Do not include source code unless there are key fragments that exceptionally require explanation.
Do not include large amounts of theoretical information that is already published in books or conference/journal articles. Instead, provide an overview/summary and make reference to such material where needed. The report is primarily concerned with the work you have actually done yourself.
Project Management:
Includes a review of the project schedule, adjustments to plan of work, etc.
Critical Appraisal:
An objective and detailed discussion and analysis of the work and its outcomes, both positive and negative. The section will demonstrate the knowledge and expertise that you have gained from your project.
Conclusion and Further work:
Short and concise statements of what the principal outcomes or conclusions of the work are. Ideally they should be quantifiable. Only ideas that have been evidenced and discussed earlier in the report may be mentioned here. If relevant, include here suggestions for possible ways in which the work could be continued. You might suggest alternative approaches to be explored or areas in which your work could be further developed.
References and Bibliography:
Provide a complete list in CU Harvard format of both the sources you have read but not used directly (bibliography) and those sources you have cited in your report (references).
Student Reflections:
Reflect on your personal performance and learning experience during the project.
Appendices:
These must be titled, numbered and referred to from the main body of the text. They contain detailed information generated over the course of your project but not essential for a reader to gain an understanding of the work and its results. Your project specification and interim progress report must be
RI/CDE PG Projects C1 2 PG_Report_Guide_2014 MEC .docx

included here. Use a separate numbering system (A, B, C, …) to that of the main text.
Appendix F: Tips on Writing your Project Report
1. It is good practice to write up your findings as you finish each major stage of your project and not to leave everything to the end. One good reason for this is that most supervisors are quite happy to read and provide feedback on early drafts of sections. This feedback will allow you to hone your final report to best effect.
2. Set aside a whole day to do the preliminary stages: the collecting together of all the information you have gathered; sifting through it to reject any unnecessary material; formulating a contents page after considering the ordering of material that will provide the most logical flow through the project report. Doing this time-consuming stage in one block enables you to remember all that must be included and how you arrived at your final solution. The ‘flow’ of your project development is very important to the readability of the final report. You may find it useful to write major headings on post-its and move them around until you have a report structure you feel is satisfactory (or use the ‘outliner’ feature of a word processor to do the same).
3. Once you have an idea of what your contents page will look like, it is a good idea to discuss it with your supervisor. They should be able to advise you on the ordering you have chosen and discuss with you what material should be included in each section.
4. Use Microsoft Word to create a master document and subdocuments with a common template so that all documents produced throughout your project can be easily slotted in and will all have the same formatting, etc. The template should comply with the guidelines set out in the Report Writing Guide. [URL]
5. Write up one report section fairly early on in your project so that your supervisor can advise you on issues such as writing style before you embark on your final report writing.
6. Having kept a comprehensive logbook of the work done, you will find that at this stage, the task of writing the report becomes much simpler. You should be able to go through the logbook and transcribe the notes you have made into a rational commentary on the development of your work throughout the project. This will include decisions made, with appropriate reasons, during each stage of the project, and examples of the types of problems encountered and how they were overcome or avoided.
RI/CDE PG Projects C2 2 PG_Report_Guide_2014 MEC .docx
Appendix G: MSc PROJECT MARK FORM
Student Name _________________________________ Student ID ________________________________ Supervisor Name ____________________________
Ranges Methodology Evidence of creativity, independent thinking and research. Product quality Presentation of report and project management Summary
(70 –
100) Methodology well described, well applied and well justified A broad range of research used. Clear and substantial evidence of creative independent work.
Evidence of reflection. Artefact meets all of its requirements. Artefact exhibits excellent qualities. Artefact is worthy of real use and/or distribution. Extremely well constructed project. Clear and concise presentation. Contents clearly outlined and easy to access.
Excellent practical project management and quality management.
Harvard system of referencing used fully and appropriately. Work of a very high standard
(60-69) Credible justification for use Good evidence of research. Some good examples of creative independent work presented. Good
Evidence of reflection. Artefact is complete and quality of the product is good. Evidence of careful planning and organisation of work.
Good evidence of practical project management and quality management.
Properly referenced.
Work of good quality.
(50-59)
Methodology and or life cycle described but some flaws in its application.
Evidence of research and its use in the work. The project contains an adequate solution but this tends to the functional rather than creative. Some evidence of reflection.
Artefact implements most of the requirements. Quality of the artefact is adequate. Clear enough presentation to enable the communication of ideas – however advice should be sought about presenting work more effectively.
Evidence of practical project management and quality management.
Evidence of referencing, but may not adhere to a formal system such as Harvard.
Acceptable and adequate work
(42-49) Methodology and or life cycle described.
Some
evidence of use. Some evidence of related research/literature review. No evidence of reflection.
Artefact implements
minimum functionality. The structure of the project may require the marker to ‘piece together’ the work but individual components are adequately presented.
Adequate Evidence of practical project management and quality management.
Some references. Work with some merit but at the lower end only just achieving what is required.
Bare pass
(40-41) Poor choice of methodology
and life cycle,
or little/no evidence of use Research conducted but may not be related to the project. Artefact meets few of the requirements that could reasonably expected to be met in the time available. Only just adequate structure and
presentation. Poor presentation is evident in both the overall project and in the components.
Some evidence of practical project management and quality management.
No referencing. The work is only just acceptable in its present form.
Fail
(0-39) No evidence of choice or use of
methodology or life cycle. No evidence of research/literature review. Artefact is substantially incomplete. Inadequate structure and/or poorly presented.
No evidence of practical project management and quality management.
No references.
The work is deemed inadequate.
GRADES 20/80 20/80 30/80 10/80 /80
Markers Comments (If any):
Methodology:
Evidence of creativity, independent thinking and research:
Product quality:
Presentation of report and project management:
Overall feedback:
Project Presentation Mark (10 marks available – separate mark sheet) /10
Mark Agreed by all assessors /90
Project Brief Mark (10 marks available – separate mark sheet) /10
Final Mark /100
Signed (First Supervisor) ……………………………………………………………Dated……………………………………….
Signed (2nd Assessor) ……………………………………………………………Dated……………………………………….

Appendix G: PROJECT REFERRAL FEEDBACK FORM
Student Name ____________________________ Student ID ____________________________ Supervisor Name ____________________________
The work that you have presented has been judged by the examiners to be insufficient to pass the project or dissertation module and has therefore been referred to a later meeting of the assessment boards. This form is to inform you of what you must do, to the satisfaction of the examiners, in order to gain a pass.
Reason for failure
Work required to rectify failure
1) Methodology:
2) Evidence of creativity, independent thinking and research:
3) Produce quality
4) Presentation of report and project management:
Signed (First Supervisor) ……………………………………………………………Dated……………………………………….
Signed (2nd Assessor) ……………………………………………………………Dated……………………………………….
Resubmission: The work has been sufficiently improved to gain PASS* (40%):
Signed (First Supervisor) ……………………………………………………………Dated……………………………………….
Signed (2nd Assessor) ……………………………………………………………Dated……………………………………….
If the awarded mark is more than 40% please fill in the MSc project assessment form.
Appendix H: DISSERTATION/PROJECT DIARY
Masters Dissertation/Project Diary – Spring/Fall/Summer 201X
Name of Student: Week:
Name of Supervisor:
Dissertation/Project Topic:
Date/ Day: Time: Venue:
Tasks as per project plan Actual tasks taken up / completed
Comments / observations / remarks by the Student
Remarks / Comments by the Supervisor
Signature of Student: Date: Signature of Supervisor: Date:
Reflection by student:
Signature of Student: Date: Signature of Supervisor: Date:



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