The project is the most important part of your course, worth one-third of the credits in the final year. Your project is important for a number of reasons:
● it is the largest single piece of work you will do during your degree course
● it allows you to specialize in a topic you are good at or enjoy
● it is what prospective employers will most likely ask you about at interview
● it allows you to apply the skills and knowledge learned during on your course
You will work with a supervisor, a member of staff who helps and guides you through the project process. You should aim to be in contact with your supervisor on a weekly basis to discuss progress.
The project has two parts:
*For the engineering project: The artifact*: An engineering project involves practical work to solve an information systems problem. It usually consists of the design and implementation of some information systems artefact, such as a piece of software. It may be a piece of work for an external client.
*For the study project: A piece of research:* A study project involves setting out a research question, relating to the use of IT in business or society. A research methodology is chosen and justified and the question is investigated, which can be done using primary research.
*The report (both project types)*: Evidence of your thinking is provided in the 8,000- to 10,000- word project report which discusses and evaluates the process of development.
*This document is what is marked.*
The project report should provide evidence that you have a good understanding of your chosen topic area and that you know where your work fits into the context provided by wider research. This is provided in the literature review.
The project should show that you have developed and questioned your own thoughts and ideas during development. For the engineering project, you should follow some appropriate process or methodology that leads from requirements to design to implementation and testing. By doing this, it is much less likely that you will fail to take some crucial factor into consideration – an important aspect of professionalism. For the study project, you should use a research methodology, which will allow you to arrive at findings which are justifiable.
The critical element involves showing what you independently (in your professional judgement) believe to be good and bad about what you’ve read, what you’ve been taught, what you’ve been asked to do, what you’ve done, what you haven’t done and the consequences of those.