Honours Program and Projects
- Program Description
Honours Computer Science is a one-year program made up of four Honours courses and an individually supervised project.
Projects are grouped according to research area. Select one or two that interest you, and discuss further with your potential supervisor. The supervised project lasts one year and contributes 50% of the final Honours mark and the Honours courses contribute 50%.
- Find an Honours Project
There is a diverse list of project you can select from and often your lecturers will have more projects that often listed here. So consider having a chat with researchers working in the area of you interest.
Also if you have a very creative idea feel free to find a suitable lecturer to help you guide your project to a success.
- Completed Honours Projects
- Timeline for Completion - Milestones
To complete a Honours Computer Science project a student must:
- Review the list of available projects for the current semester, and arrange to meet with potential supervisors.
- Confirm your project with your supervisor by the end of week 1, and notify the Honours coordinator.
- You must keep a research note book (journal) that records, for example, your daily work, thinking, plans, algorithms, minutes from weekly meetings with your supervisor. You will be required to submit your journal to the markers of your progress report and final thesis as evidence of consistency of work.
- Proposal (Milestone 1): In week 3 of the semester you started you project in, you will be required produce a proposal document (no more than 2-3 pages). The proposal should have a project brief to demonstrate that you have thought about the project and discussed it in detail with your potential supervisor and show a good understanding of the project by highlighting the research questions, aims and the initial direction of inquiry, and provide a set of literature that you will be reading over the semester. To complete this milestone you will also need to show evidence of attendance at research skills development workshops conducted by the Shool.
- Progress Report (Milestone 2): In week 12 of the semester you started you project in, you will be required to submit a progress report on their project. This must include a review of research literature you have read, and report on progress made so far and a description of work for the next semester. You must also submit a copy of your journal to markers as evidence of consistency of work. You will receive feedback on your report.
- Progress Presentation (Milestone 3): In week 13 of the semester you started your project in, you will be required to present your work to the School on your progress. You will receive feedback on your work at the end of the talk.
- Poster presentation (Milestone 4): In final semester of your project, you will be required to present and explain your work using a poster and a demonstration (can be live, simulation, video) where possible. For those finishing the project in Semester 2, your poster session will be conducted at the Ingenuity Expo organised by our Faculty and you will have the opportunity to present your work to the public as well as the School.
- Thesis (Milestone 5): In final semester of your project, submit the final report on your project before close of business at the end of Week 13. At least three copies are needed: one for the Honours Coordinator, one for each supervisor, and one for a second reader. You must also submit a copy of your journal to markers as evidence of consistency of work.
- There can be no extensions on any of the milestones unless there are extenuation circumstances. These must be discussed in advance with your supervisor and Honours coordinator.
- Finally, an examiners' meeting is held at which the staff review and moderate the marks allocated by the two markers.
- Evaluation Criteria
Honours projects are marked by at least two examiners: the project supervisor and a second marker.
It should be noted that, unlike the supervisor, the second marker does not have complete knowledge of the project. Therefore, the project report and the candidate's poster presentation will be the main factors that determine the second marker's mark. It is therefore the duty of the candidate to ensure that both the poster and the report adequately reflect the work performed during the year.
An honours project will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Supervision versus independence
A candidate is expected to show persistence when it comes to solving difficult problems. However, in some cases problems may prove too difficult or may benefit from a fresh approach. In these situations a candidate is expected to take direction from their project supervisor. The School expects to see a balance between the ability to persevere with a problem and taking direction from the supervisor when given.
It is expected that candidates will show a high degree of independence whilst doing their project. Students are expected to show independence and flair to a large degree. This does not mean however that students should disappear and work without consulting their supervisor: again a balance is required. Consultation can often be seen as a progress report rather than seeking direction. As a rule of thumb, students should meet with their supervisors at least once each week.
- Supervision of research material
Most projects start with a survey of the state of the art in the chosen area. The final report should reflect the reading carried out by the candidate. Candidates should not expect to be spoon-fed by their supervisors; instead it is expected that candidates will follow up on relevant references contained in papers and reports indicated by their supervisors. In other words, the supervisor will seed a literature survey, not provide it.
- Poster presentation
All candidates are required to present their work in the form of a poster presentation towards the end of their program. The quality of this presentation will be considered by the examiners in arriving at the student's final mark.
- Thesis report
The final report is one of the main outputs of the project. It usually contains a survey of the research material and a report on the work performed by the candidate. Unsuccessful research ideas, as well as successful ones, might well be written into the final report. Avenues that proved to be fruitless can sometimes be as useful as the great successes to fellow researchers. The report must be bound and be written in clear, correctly spelt, grammatically correct English.
- Complexity of the project
Not all projects have the same complexity. It would be therefore be unfair if the complexity of the project was not considered. Project complexity will be taken into account when projects are marked.
- Quality/complexity of the programming
Just as not all projects are of equal complexity, the programming complexity of all projects is not equal. The quality and complexity of the programming task will be considered when marks are allocated.
- Supervision versus independence
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr Damith Ranasinghe.
Remember, the Honours degree is stepping stone to higher degrees. If you would like to pursue a Higher Degree by Research (e.g.PhD) after your Honours study, there is a range of scholarships available.