COMP60990: Research methods
and professional skills

Course Coordinator: Tom Thomson

Course outline

This course unit runs in the second part of Semester 1, and through Semester 2. Part of the course unit provides training in research skills and an orientation towards the practice of research as well as talks from research scientists and the initial work on your research project. The other part provides training in a range of professional skills and material on expectations and conduct in an industrial and business environment. It is presented by a range of staff, both internal and external, including the Careers Service, the Post-Experience Vocational Education Unit, Programme Directors, Research Staff and Groups, Industrial Consultants, and The British Computer Society (the professional body for IT professionals in the UK).

This course unit has two aims:

1. Training in Research Skills and initial work on the Research Project. This will give you a grounding in various aspects of research and project management, including advice on research methods, managing projects, working with your supervisor, professional research writing and preparing your dissertation/reports. You will also begin preliminary work on your project including background reading, familiarising yourself with the topic, other work in the area, any relevant software or other systems, and project planning. You will write a report (or 2 reports in the case of a group project) of this preliminary work which will be submitted towards the end of Semester 2.

2. The course unit covers various aspects of Professional Skills as required in the IT industry and in Research and Development. The skills necessary in the IT industry are taught through the Careers Service and external consultants from the IT industry. The skills include team-work skills, industrial problem solving, leadership skills, communication skills and presentation skills. Consideration of ethics and conduct are also presented.