Professional Practice and Research Methodology

The details
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (School of)
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Monday 21 April 2025
Friday 04 July 2025
03 August 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MSC G411JS Artificial Intelligence,
MSC G412JS Applications of Artificial Intelligence

Module description

This module will prepare students to conduct independent research leading to a dissertation. The module provides them with an appreciation of research and business skills which will be invaluable in their professional careers. Subject areas include literature reviews, report writing, business enterprise, accounting and investment appraisal.

Module aims

This module aims to prepare students for conducting an independent research project leading to a dissertation and to provide them with an appreciation of research and business skills relating to their professional career, including literature searching and evaluation, technical report writing, and an introduction to business enterprise, financial and management accounting and investment appraisal. As a precursor to their project students individually select an area of Computer Science, or Electronic Engineering, or Computational Finance and perform the necessary background research to define a topic and prepare a project proposal under the guidance of a supervisor.

Module learning outcomes

After completing this module, students will be expected to be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of professional, business and ethical issues that affect the work of the computing and electronics professional
2. Conduct an academic literature search, and report conclusions and proposals from this making appropriate use of summarising, paraphrasing, citations and references.
3. Understanding the structure of businesses in the UK and world-wide, ranging from multi-nationals down to SME's (small and medium enterprises), and be aware of how to prepare and submit an effective job application to them.
4. Understand the basics of setting up a new business enterprise or reviewing and existing business by constructing or evaluating a business plan and financial and management accounts.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of how scientific research is conducted, reported, reasoned about, and evaluated, and how it is distinguished from pseudoscience
6. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles and elements of scientific experiments
7. Write a formal project proposal which contains an outline solution to the problem, and which clearly defines the scope of the MSc project, its goals, the methodology to be undertaken, and the criteria of its evaluation

Module information

Outline Syllabus

Project Proposals
. Identifying a research topic
. Finding and reading related work
. Report writing, citations and references
. Using [digital] library services and search tools
. Planning and managing a research project
. Plagiarism

Career planning
. Elements in the job application process
. Business planning, financial and enterprise skills
. Effective time and project management

Businesses and Enterprise
. Types of commercial organisation and their business and financial structures
. Financing companies, business plans and cost headings
. Budgeting, cash flow and investments appraisal
. New Present Value and Discounted Cash Flow calculations
. Business viability evaluation

Research Methodology
. Principles of the scientific method
. Scientific theories: predictive power, falsifiability, empirical validation, and economy of account
. Scientific and controlled experiments: bias, placebos, double-blind methods, variables
. Inductive vs. deductive inference
. Common logical fallacies
. Dissemination and peer review

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and computer laboratory coursework sessions, with some homework. Academic Writing and Language Supportsmall-group classes tailored specifically to the needs of CSEE postgraduate students are provided in parallel with the formal lectures and coursework, at al levels from minimum IELTS acceptance level (6.5) through to native English speakers.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Literature Search Coursework    5.70% 
Coursework   Progress Test 1 (In person, MCQ Moodle Based Test, Closed Book)    12.90% 
Coursework   Progress Test 2 (In person, MCQ Moodle Based Test, Closed Book)    12.90% 
Coursework   Project Proposal    57.10% 
Coursework   Job Application Exercise    5.70% 
Coursework   Science Fiction Prototype    5.70% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 120 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book (Restricted), 120 minutes during January 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
70% 30%


Coursework Exam
70% 30%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ramy Hammady, email: r.hammady@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Ramy Hammady
School Office, email: csee-schooloffice (non-Essex users should add @essex.ac.uk to create full e-mail address), Telephone 01206 872770



External examiner

Dr Colin Johnson
University of Nottingham
Dr Anthony Olufemi Tesimi Adeyemi-Ejeye
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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