Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Computer Science Capstone Project
Code CSCK700
Coordinator Dr S Thomason
Computer Science
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 7 FHEQ Whole Session 60


1. To equip students with the ability to plan and conduct an independent technical project over an extended period of time.
2. To allow students to successfully complete a self-directed project culminating in a detailed written dissertation and video presentation.
3. To provide an opportunity for students to reflect on and use tools and techniques acquired during the preceding taught part of the programme.
4. To encourage students to consider and address the legal and ethical issues surrounding their project topic and relate these to the professional standards of the Chartered Institute for IT.

Learning Outcomes

(M1) Conduct independent research and development within the context of a computer science project.

(M2) Produce detailed written documentation to a standard expected of a professional in the field of computer science.

(M3) Develop a stand-alone artefact that meets the requirements identified and conforms to a design specification.

(M4) Articulate the legal, social, ethical and professional issues surrounding an extended project, and follow relevant professional codes of practice.

(M5) Communicate technical information clearly and succinctly to a broad, non-specialist audience.

(M6) Evaluate project outcomes with reference to key research publications in the relevant field.

(S1) Ability to organise self and workloads.

(S2) Ability to use online library resources and conduct relevant searches for literature.

(S3) Ability to use information technology (digital fluency).

(S4) Ability to succinctly communicate complex concepts to a wide audience.

(S5) Ability to plan and manage a piece of work spanning an extended period of time.

(S6) Ability to think critically and solve complex problems.



The capstone project is an independent piece of work following a plan agreed with the supervisor. There is no set syllabus.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

The mode of delivery is by online learning, facilitated by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This enables students to pursue the project module via home study while continuing in employment. There is less interaction with the online classroom during the project phase of the programme, but students are still required to communicate with their supervisor via the private messaging system within the VLE, whilst at the same time demonstrating their ability to work independently. The first four weeks form the project proposal stage, during which students will agree a project title and plan of activity in consultation with their supervisor. This is a formative activity that allows both parties to understand the focus of the project. The remaining weeks form an extended period of independent study, with coursework deadlines placed at regular intervals, enabling both formative and summative feedback. Each student has the opportunity to demonstrate digital fluency and build confidence in communication via a range of activities, culminating in the final written dissertation. Students are encouraged to engage with global citizenship by considering the wider context of their project.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           200


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 380


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
(Wk40) Artefact: Each project must produce an artefact, typically a piece of software (though other types of artefact are acceptable). This will be submitted with the dissertation but has its own dist      20       
(Wk36) Video Demonstration: A 10-minute video demonstration of the artefact (or discussion in the case of non-software artefacts). It should ideally show a screen recording of the software in a variet  10 minutes    10       
(Wk20) Poster: A confident and succinct summary of what the student has been doing and the progress made so far, including screenshots of any software artefact, design diagrams, and deviations from th  1000-1500 words    10       
(Wk40) Dissertation: A coherent and detailed written report of the project, covering the journey from conception to delivery.  12000-18000 words    50       
(Wk8) Specification: An overview of the project, its aims and objectives, key literature related to the project, the development method to be used, an evaluation plan (including ethical treatment of a  1000-1500 words    10       
(Wk4) Project Plan: Submission of a project title and short description, following detailed discussion with the supervisor.  300-500 words         

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.