Dissertation proposal

Proposal submission requirement (admission)

Students can submit their proposal and, if accepted, proceed to the dissertation once they have successfully completed all core modules (that is 8 modules). They can take their dissertation module with their option modules. While it is not recommended taking 2 option modules at the same time as the dissertation, they are permitted to do this.

Note that:
If the dissertation proposal does not reach a viable standard and gain approval, the student can exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Computing or can resubmit a new dissertation proposal within two semesters of completing all the modules.

Proposal Submission procedure

The proposal need to be submitted as:
1) a pdf file sent to the coordinator’s email. The filename of the pdf MUST be: StudentNumber_name_surname_MSc_Proposal.pdf.
2) an online submission using this web-app [http://lucalongo.eu/MScProposalApp/client/]

– the two submissions follow the same template.
– proposals that do not respect the template and the max number of words, for each section, are not taken into consideration for evaluation. All the required information is compulsory.

Proposal Submission Outcome

Approved (student can proceed with dissertation)
Subject to change (student needs to revise proposal and instructions will be communicated by email on how to do so)
Not Ready (student cannot proceed and is allowed to re-submit a new proposal at the next deadline)

Please, we kindly ask you not to email the coordinator or other lecturers once the status of the proposal has changed. Assigning supervisors might take some days, due to a number of constraints. Instructions on what the student has to do once the status has changed will be communicated by the coordinator as soon as possible within a few days.

Proposal Template

Dissertation Proposals need to include all the following details:
– Front-page
– Student name and surname
– Student number
– Stream (eg. ASD, DA)
– DIT programme (eg. DT228A / DT228B)
– Number of modules left to take (or exemptions or modules pending results)
– When to start the dissertation if proposal is approved (select a date from the deadline list)
– Proposal submission attempt (eg. 1st, 2nd, 3rd)
– Title of project (20 words)
– List of people and companies associated with the project (including those you might need input from or data from) (20 words)
– Sources of data needed for the project, if any (20 words)

The proposal

The research background + domain + scope (max 300 words).
Describe the context of application and provide the reader with some background and main notions/concepts

Informal description of the research problem (max 300 words)
Describe the problem you aim to tackle informally

Literature review + state-of-the art approaches to solve the identified research problem + gaps (max 1000 words)
Identify and describe the relevant peer-reviewed articles you have read (30+) in the selected domain of research. Identify and describe the state-of-the-art approaches to solve the identified research problem.
Identify and describe the gaps of the state of the art approaches (these will inform the subsequent research question).

Research question (max 70 words)

Hypothesis (max 300 words)
Informally describe the hypothesis of your research design. Formally define your alternate and null hypothesis.

Research objectives and experimental activities (max 1000 words)
Define your objectives and the research activities for each of them. Provide precise details about how you are going to implement, in practice, each of the research activities (eg. programming languages, technologies employed, execution of surveys, baseline methods and approaches).
In some of the research activities, specify clearly all the details of dataset (eg. dependent/independent variables, scales and ranges, sample size).

Evaluation of designed solution with statistical tests (max 300 words)
Describe carefully how you are going to evaluate the outcomes of your experiment statistically, considering the concept of significance, and how you are going to accept/reject your hypothesis
Describe how findings will be related to the research question

References – using the APA7 style (max 1500 words)

Timeframe for each research activity planned in section 7 (1 line per activity) (max 300 words)

Proposal Submission Checklist

This check list should be used by students who are submitting the dissertation proposals (.doc) to the Dissertation Coordinator. It will assist students in completing the research proposal.

– Do you have a clear Project Title?
– Do you have a clearly defined research question?Do you know what you are going to do?
– Do you know the scope of your proposed work?
– Do you know how you are going to test it?
– Have you structured your research question correctly?
– Have you completed the reading on background topics using reputable sources?
– Have you identified 30+ key references relating to your dissertation?
– Have you cited all references using the APA style method?
– Have to identified any previous related experiments and you have their results (and data sets)?
– Do you have a clearly defined experiment/evaluation that supports your research question?
– Can you complete the experiment/evaluation within the necessary timelines?
– Can you measure the outcomes from your work?
– Will you be able to evaluate the outcomes of your work and compare with results from previous research?
– Do you have all the resources in place to conduct the research (human, technology, data, etc)?
– Do you have written agreement from all the people/companies you need to have involved in the project?
– Have the people/companies agreed to be available (provide the necessary support) during the lifetime of the project?
– Do you have a realistic project plan?
– Can the project be completed within the required timeline?
– Is the MSc Dissertation Proposal Template completed in detail?
– Can you explain your project to someone who is not familiar with your programme of study, in a way that they can understand what your project is about, why you are doing it, etc?
– Are you ready to present and defend your project proposal?

What is NOT a proposal
If your project fits into one of the following scenarios, your dissertation proposal will NOT be approved
– a design of an application
– an implementation of an application or piece of software
– a literature review
– a literature review with some conclusions
– a literature review with some proposed “something new”
– a literature review with a survey