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CS4040: RESEARCH METHODS (2018-2019)

Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 15:55

Course Overview

Does this new algorithm improve query performance? Will this protocol ensure our system is robust to attack? How does response time vary with server load? Understanding behaviour, the performance of a task by a computing system in an environment, is critical in both industrial and scientific practice. In this course, you will conduct an individual research project into the behaviour of a computing system. You will develop knowledge and understanding of rigorous methods to: explore computing system behaviour; identify questions about behaviour; design experiments to answer those questions; analyse experimental results; and report on the outcomes of your research.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Professor Ehud Reiter

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Either Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

In all the topics covered the emphasis will be on understanding the diversity of issues in and approaches to computing research, and imbuing the ability to select and utilise the appropriate tools for your research.

  • Introduction of Computing Research
  • Identifying research questions and hypothese - comparative analysis
  • Statistical methods
  • Experimental design methods
  • Approaches to analysis and drawing valid conclusions
  • Reviewing Research papers
  • Writing Research Reports

Degree Programmes for which this Course is Prescribed

  • BSc Artificial Intelligence
  • BSc Computing Science
  • BSc Computing Science (Art Intelligence)
  • BSc Computing Science and Physics
  • BSc Information Systems
  • MA Computing
  • MSci Artificial Intelligence wth Ind Plac't
  • MSci Computing Science (AI) with Ind Pl'n
  • MSci Computing Science w Ind'l Placement
  • MSci Computing with Industrial Placement
  • MSci in Information Systems with Industrial Placement
  • Master of Engineering in Computing Science

Contact Teaching Time

30 hours

This is the total time spent in lectures, tutorials and other class teaching.

Teaching Breakdown


1st Attempt: in-course assessment; submission of an assignment of up to 5,000 words in which the student describes a problem, the approach they have taken to investigate it and the details of their investigation (100%).

Resit: No resit.

Formative Assessment

During lectures, the Personal Response System and/or other ways of student interaction will be used for formative assessment. additionally, practical sessions will provide students with practice opportunities and formative assessment.


Formative feedback for in-sourse assessments will be provided in written form. Additionally, formative feedback on performance will be provided informally during practical sessions.

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