Masters Research Project Handbook School of Computing help

Masters Research Project Handbook


A Guide for Master’s Students and Supervisors MSc in Cloud Computing

MSc in Data Analytics MSc in FinTech Edition 2021-2022

Edited by Dr Cristina Muntean Updated on 5th October 2021

Welcome from Dean of School

The National College of Ireland (NCI) has the reputation of being relevant to the needs of students and employers and hence developing excellence in the academic field.

The School of Computing has expanded greatly in the last few years, reacting quickly to changing needs and developments in the ICT sector.

Our Master’s students come from nearly every continent and bring with them a vast array of experience. Some of you are coming straight from your undergraduate programmes; some of you will be making the giant leap of choosing to return to education after a long period outside of formal education. In short, the NCI postgraduate students are diverse and unique bringing with them a host of different experiences and life lessons that, when shared, create a fantastic learning environment.

Our teaching faculty demonstrate a blend of in-depth industry experience and, academic and research excellence thereby reflecting the needs of our students to gain access to cutting edge academic rigour while developing the necessary skills to apply these new insights to real world situations. Our Master’s programmes are designed in such a way as to complement and advance the technical and research skill set of our students, to allow them to begin to shape their professional career trajectories in a meaningful way.

Postgraduate education is intense and challenging because it needs to be. There is much to learn in order to succeed in your chosen field of study. While the coming months will likely be filled with many long days, they should also be deeply satisfying. Studying as part of the School of Computing, you will learn about the latest technologies in dedicated computer labs. The School of Computing takes pride in the delivery of programmes using innovative problem solving strategies to enhance the learning experience of our students. We also encourage our students to make the most of the non-academic elements of their study programme. Networking is an increasingly important part of any career development plan. Here at the College we provide opportunities for our students to mix socially in order to develop and nurture those relationships during their time at the College and beyond graduation.

Ultimately NCI School of Computing is committed to providing an exceptional educational experience that will help you to achieve your goals. I hope that I will have the opportunity to meet you personally before I have the pleasure of shaking your hand at graduation. I wish you the very best in your studies at NCI and in your career beyond.

Dr Pramod Pathak,

Dean of School of Computing


  1. Introduction 6
  2. Research Theme in the Masters Programmes 7
    1. Special Regulations 7
    2. Research Project Committee 8
  3. Supervision 8
    1. Appointment of Supervisor(s) 8
    2. The Supervisory Relationship 8
    3. What can Student expect? 9
      1. Student Expectations of the Supervisor 9
      2. Supervisor Expectations of the Student 10
      3. Supervision Grievance Procedures 10
  4. Research Project Objectives 11
  5. Managing the Research Project 12
    1. Planning the Research Activities 12
    2. Research Ethics 13
      1. Research Involving Human Participants 13
      2. Research that Makes use of Secondary Dataset(s) 14
    3. Problems with Academic Writing 15
  6. Assessment of the Research Project 16
    1. Special Viva Arrangements due to COVID-19 17
    2. Marking Schema 17
    3. Research Paper Style Report 18
      1. Report Structure 18
      2. Literature Review 19
      3. Research Methodology 20
      4. Design and Solution Development 21
      5. Evaluation and Results Analysis 21
      6. Conclusion and Discussion 21
      7. References 22
      8. Report Template 22
    4. Oral Examination (Viva) 22
  7. Plagiarism 23
  8. Library Resources 23
    1. Information Project Officer 24
    2. Citations 24
  9. Copyright, Intellectual Property and Commercialisation 24
  10. Deadline Extensions, Exit, Withdrawal and Deferral of the Course 25
  11. Useful Contacts 26
  12. Appendix A – Project Submission Sheet 27
  13. Appendix B – Exit Award Form 28
  14. Appendix C – Declaration of Ethics Consideration Form 29
  15. Appendix D – Human Participants Ethical Review Application Form 33
  1. Introduction

This handbook is intended to provide postgraduate students with a first stop resource to completing the Research Project module in part fulfilment of the MSc Degree at Level 9 of the Irish National Framework of Qualifications1.

The Research Project is intended to be a central and integrating element of the MSc Degree programme at NCI. It is designed to afford postgraduate students the opportunity to exercise their creative, questioning, analytic, and writing skills as well as to develop research skills in a focused and practical manner. It is also intended to give students the chance to develop an in-depth understanding of some specific topics related to their chosen discipline and to apply research methods and techniques. One of the main features of a Research Project is that it must be beyond mere description.

People working in different roles within organisations are often required to write and deliver descriptive reports to their managers. The Research Project requires students to “move up a gear” from being a mere story or descriptive narrative to a critical analysis and evaluation of some topic. Typically, this “extra” dimension will require:

  1. One or more research questions in a particular domain to be identified
  2. The question(s) to have some theoretical backdrop
  3. The student to carry out both theoretical and empirical investigations
  4. To propose, design, implement, evaluate, analyse and discuss an ICT solution related to the programme domain that seeks out to find an answer to the identified research question(s)

The “question” element was identified in the Research in Computing module (Contemporary Topics for MSc Fintech) and it will be dealt with in greater details in the Research Project.

As Research Project is part of a postgraduate course it is also required that students employ and develop their research knowledge and skills in an applied fashion. The Research Project must involve the identification, generation, or collation of relevant primary or secondary data and the ability to analyse them in a meaningful and critical manner.

1 See

  1. Research Theme in the Masters Programmes

The research component of the MScCloudComputingand MScDataAnalyticscourses is composed by two modules:

  1. ResearchinComputing(mandatory 5-credit module)
  2. ResearchProject(mandatory 25-credit module)

The research component of the MScFinTechis composed by two modules

  • ContemporaryTopicsinFinTech(mandatory 5-credit module)
  • ResearchProject(mandatory 25-credit module)

Learners enrolled into MSc Cloud Computing and MSc Data Analytics must pass the ResearchinComputingmodule to be eligible to commence the ResearchProject module.

Learners enrolled into MSc FinTech must pass the ContemporaryTopicsinFinTechmodule to be eligible to commence the ResearchProjectmodule.

ResearchinComputingand ContemporaryTopicsinFinTechmodules prepare students for their Research Project module. Students learn about research methods and will be able to carry out a research and development project independently.

Research Project module gives students the chance to develop an in-depth understanding of some specific topics related to their chosen discipline, to apply research methods and techniques and to develop a software/product/artefact. Students have the opportunity to engage in a capstone MSc Degree project. If the MSc programme has specialisations, the Research Project should critically analyse and appraise research work done in the selected specialisation and to develop a software/product/artefact.

The Research Project runs over one semester for full time students and two semesters for part-time students. Students are expected to conduct their research to the same level and standards. No advantage or disadvantage will be attached to one module over the other. In order to ensure the academic standards of all projects, every student will have an academic supervisor assigned for their project

  1. Special Regulations

A student must pass Research in Computing/ Contemporary Topics in FinTech module and not repeat more than 10 credits to be eligible to enrol into Research Project module. If a student does not meet these, the student can apply to exit the course with a Postgraduate Diploma award (Level 9) subject to the condition to pass all the taught modules (60 credits in total) delivered during the previous semesters. The Exit Award Form is available in Appendix A. The form should be submitted to Registrar.

  1. Research Project Committee

The Research Project Committee consists of the Research Project Module Owner, the MSc Programme directors, project supervisors, and other academic members involved in the examination process.

The Research Project Committee is responsible for managing the project process, monitoring progress, and ensuring completed projects are assessed and graded by a number of academics.

The chair of the Research Project Committee (Research Project module owner) is responsible for describing the operation of the research process to the students through the production of a handbook at the start of the academic year. This will involve describing the deliverables, due dates, and the grading rubrics.

The chair of the Research Project Committee and the Vice Dean of Postgraduate Programmes & Research will identify appropriate academic members to supervise the research projects and will communicate to the students the assigned supervisors. The academic supervisors will collaborate and will guide the students in creating, implementing, testing and evaluation of the research project.

The Research Project Committee also assigns two examiners to each student. One of the examiners is the supervisor. The examiners independently fill in the research project assessment form and agree on a mark for the project. The supervisor compiles the comments of both examiners and fills the online marking form. The marking form and the agreed mark are reviewed and approved by Research Project Committee.

  1. Supervision
  1. Appointment of Supervisor(s)

Students pursuing a Research Project are assigned one supervisor. The supervisor is a full-time academic member or an associate faculty member of the School of Computing, the holder of an award equivalent or higher than that being pursued, and he/she has supervised to the pursued award level. In exceptional circumstances, the Research Project Committee may approve a supervisor not meeting these requirements.

The chair of the Research Project Committee and the Vice Dean of Postgraduate Programmes & Research will identify appropriate academic members, will allocate supervisors, and will communicate to the students the assigned supervisor(s).

  1. The Supervisory Relationship

It is important to note that the supervisor assigned to a student will not necessarily be an expert in your chosen research domain. The supervisor will have sufficient experience to provide adequate guidance to a student on the production of their Research Project. A student however may approach any academic member or associate faculty within the School of Computing with a view to seeking out guidance on

specific topics or issues pertaining to their research. However, it has to be understood that the first marker of an MSc project is the supervisor.

The supervisory relationship is an important one and it is essential therefore that good working relations are established and always maintained. There are a number of pointers that can help ensure that the relationship is a business-like and productive one for both parties. First, be sure to meet early in the process as soon as you have been assigned.

It is also important in the initial stages of the supervisory relationship that the supervisor and the student agree on the research topics to be investigated, a research plan and timescale, as well as the deadlines for submission of various milestones and deliverables part of the project.

Supervisors also like to read before a meeting any written material being brought by students. Therefore, from an early stage of your research work, make an attempt to always have some written material to bring along – written outline research project ideas to be explored, written lists of articles you have read, a brief description of the tasks you have worked on since last meeting, a timetable for your work output, or individual sections – whatever is appropriate for the stage you are at.

Students should also avoid giving their supervisor rough drafts or “material I have to do more work on”. There is nothing more annoying for a supervisor than correcting some written material only to be told on handing it back: ‘oh I’ve reworked that completely since I gave it to you’. Supervisors can only make an informed and useful call on your work if what you submit is your best effort at that point in time.

  1. What can Student expect?

In order to ensure as much clarity as possible around the roles of the student and the supervisor the following sections outline what are considered reasonable expectations of both parties.

The research project is the sole responsibility of each student. Students must engage in a proactive manner when undertaking their own research. It is the student’s responsibility to ‘drive’ their own research and take ultimate responsibility for the decisions they make in their research design and its implementation. The role of supervisor is similar to that of a consultant. They are assigned to offer students advice, counsel, and feedback regarding the progress of their research project.

  1. Student Expectations of the Supervisor

Students can expect a supervisor to be committed to the research process and act in a professional manner in order to ensure high academic and ethical standards of work. The supervisor will be able to advise the student on the suitability of their chosen research topic and determine whether it has sufficient merit and scope to be researchable for the purposes of a research project in relation to the award of a MSc degree. Supervisor needs to be accessible to students and to give adequate time for supervision, although students also need to understand that faculty members cannot always be available at short notice and that regular meetings need to be scheduled and agreed in advance. It is not acceptable to just knock at the supervisor’s office door every time you encounter difficulties with your research work and demand the supervisor to talk to you about the project.

At the start of the supervision process, the supervisor needs to discuss and agree with the student their mutual expectations. The supervisor and student need to agree a program of work and an initial timeframe of how often, when, and how communication is to occur. It is advisable that the supervisor and student agree the ground rules (i.e., explain their mutual expectations to each other). They should also agree on a series of milestones and deliverables as part of the project. The School follows a timetabled supervision model, where typically, meetings between supervisors and groups of students occur in timetabled slots and the Research Committee decides deadlines for final deliverables in advance. Also, remember that academic members of School may plan on taking annual leave during the period of supervision. They are not required to be available to students at all times and hence it is prudent to ask your supervisor if, and when, they intend taking annual leave so that the student can plan adequately for this.

It is not the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that their student completes and submits their research project and the required documentation. This is the sole responsibility of the student. A supervisor is there to offer guidance, support and to act as a sound board.

Students are solely responsible ultimately for the quality of the work they produce and the completion of their research project.

  1. Supervisor Expectations of the Student

In part fulfilment of the requirements for the award of a Masters, students are expected to undertake independent research and be responsible for their own research activity. This responsibility is the students and students alone. Full time students are expected to fully dedicate their time for working on their research project and no holidays or full-time jobs should be taken.

Students are expected to maintain regular contact with their supervisor, reply to any type of communication received from the supervisor, agree, and keep deadlines/milestones and report regularly on their progress. Students are also encouraged to document minutes of the meetings that take place with their supervisor and email them to the supervisor. This documentation will ensure that the student understands the feedback given to them each session.

Students also need to be aware of academic regulations and guidelines in relation to the submission of their research project. It is not the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that a student adheres to these. However, they may offer guidance on what these regulations are and where further information can be found.

  1. Supervision Grievance Procedures

A student should make a complaint about the adequacy of supervision in the first instance to their supervisor. Often problems arise as both parties have different expectations of what is appropriate and required. A discussion around expectations and the issues experienced can often be enough to resolve the problem. Where a problem persists, or the parties cannot agree then the matter should be referred to the relevant MSc Programme Director followed by the Vice Dean of Programmes and Research. Please note however that the College is not in a position to offer students a choice of supervisor and hence only

serious issues of an academic nature will be tolerated. Complaints about the adequacy of supervision will not be entertained once the research project has been presented for examination i.e., post submission.

  1. Research Project Objectives

The aim of Research Project module is for students to consolidate the knowledge and skills acquired in other modules by carrying out a research project that combines both research and technical skills to investigate, design, produce and evaluate an innovative ICT solution related to the MSc programme area.

It is also expected that knowledge and skills gained will contribute not only to scholarship, but also to the generation of innovative solutions to intuitive research questions.

Specifically, the learningoutcomesare:

  1. Analyse, select, and implement appropriate research methods and techniques
  2. Research and critically analyse the state of the art of a problem domain
  3. Propose, architect, and implement an ICT solution related to the programme area
  4. Evaluate the solution based on identified measures
  5. Investigate potential future research possibilities
  6. Present and defend the research findings through a viva, artefact/product demo and research paper style report.

The research project work shall build upon the work conducted as part of Research in Computing/ Contemporary Topics in FinTech module and shall be updated and revised based on feedback from the supervisor.

It is the student’s responsibility to identify and propose the research topic of the Research Project as part of Research in Computing/ Contemporary Topics in FinTech module. The lecturer that delivers Research in Computing/ Contemporary Topics in FinTech module will provide guidelines and advice to the students on the suitability of their chosen research topic and determine whether it has sufficient merit and scope to be researchable for the purposes of a research project.

The student has the responsibility to participate in all scheduled meetings organised as part of Research Project module. Typically, these meetings are timetabled for groups of students to meet the supervisor.

Students are required to submitaportfolio(as part of the Research Project assessment) that consists of

  1. a research paper style report,
  2. an artefact/ product/ software
  3. a configuration manual and
  4. a presentation to be defended in a viva.

More details on the required assessment components are presented in the Assessment section.

  1. Managing the Research Project

This section provides students and supervisors with a framework in which to plan, write and complete the research project.

  1. Planning the Research Activities

The key to completing a research project on time and without compromising quality is to carefully manage your time and undertake the research in a rigorous and professional manner. Planning your research involves identifying the tasks that need to be undertaken as part of the research and planning where and when to work on particular aspects of the project. The Research in Computing/ Contemporary Topics in FinTech module teaches the students research related concepts and help them to develop skills on how to approach the following tasks: define a research question, create a literature review, research and development design and methodologies, and make use of statistical tools to critically assess research outputs and results. Therefore, students are required to use in the Research Project the knowledge acquired in Research in Computing/ Contemporary Topics in FinTech module.

As the project progresses toward the final stage, it is likely that it will become more focused on writing tasks. Starting to write at an early stage on the research report ensures that you get used to the routines of writing. This can help you to complete your research project in a timelier manner.

It is also important to set realistic and achievable deadlines when working on the project and to be willing to revise them as the research progresses.

The Research Project involves a high level of independent study and learning with significant number of hours dedicated for the project work. By delaying getting started to work on the project or making excuses as reasons for not starting the work, the quality of the research project will be compromised, and deadlines may be missed.

The challenge, particularly for part-time students who are attempting to complete a research project while dealing with the day-to-day demands of daily life, is to find the time to dedicate to their study. The key to success is setting aside adequate time on a weekly basis and being disciplined in terms of sticking to these commitments.

The use of GitHub is encouraged as a collaborative tool to enable students to work on the development of the project. It will also improve the transparency of projects for examiners as it will enable them to clearly identify the work carried out by students as part of the project.

  1. Research Ethics

Any research involving human participants or/and secondary dataset(s) that is conducted by students at the National College of Ireland should be done so in an ethical manner. The college has therefore developed an Ethics Committee, which acts as a sub-committee of the Research Committee, to ensure that ethical principles pertaining to research involving human participants are upheld and adhered to. School of Computing Ethics Filter Committee is a school specific group part of the Ethics Committee and is responsible with management of the ethical aspects specific to student projects.

  1. Research Involving Human Participants

All students intending to use human participants as part of their projects must consult the College’s Research Ethics Committee if the research project involves the following:

  1. direct experimentation on individuals.
  2. surveys or questionnaires administered to individuals.
  3. use of data derived from individual records where individuals might be identified.
  4. experimentation on animals.

Human participants may be directly involved in various stages of your project (e.g., requirements specification, design, development, evaluation, etc.) by taking part in interviews or brainstorm sessions or by answering surveys.


Students must submit the following two documents (see Figure 1) on the Research Project Moodle page that will be reviewed by the assigned supervisor.

  • Declaration of Ethics Consideration Form (Appendix C)
  • Ethics Application Form (Appendix D)

The submission deadline is communicated by the relevant MSc Programme director on the Research Project Moodle page. Template documents for these forms as well as examples of completed forms are provided on the Research Project Moodle page.

Figure1.Formsrequiredtobesubmittedwhenresearchinvolvesdirectinteractionwithhuman participants

Following consideration of research project submitted for ethical approval, a decision is made regarding the ethical risk level. For research that is deemed to fall under low ethical risk (Research Category A), a favourable outcome given by the supervisor will be sufficient to secure ethical approval. Research falling under the other two categories (Research Category B and C) must however be considered by the School of Computing Ethics Filter Committee and by the Ethics Committee before approval may be granted. The supervisor will inform the School of Computing Ethics Filter Committee about the student’s project high ethical risk level.

More details regarding Research Ethics and the procedures required for seeking ethical approval of research involving human participants can be found on the NCI student portal in the Ethical Guidelines and Policies for Research Involving Human Participants.pdf document available under the Academic Policies web page.

  1. Research that Makes use of Secondary Dataset(s)

If the research project does not involve human participants but public or private secondary dataset(s) are used in the research, Declaration of Ethics Consideration Form (Appendix C) must be submitted. The form requires the student to demonstrate that he/she has permission to access, to process and to analyse the dataset(s) and to make public the research findings.


The dataset(s) could be provided by an individual that owns the dataset; could be downloaded from a web site or could be provided by a company. If the student generates a mock dataset, ethical clearance is not required as the student is the owner of the dataset.

Figure2Formsrequiredtobesubmittedwhenresearchinvolvesdirectinteractionwithhuman participants

Students must submit the following document (see Figure 2) on the Research Project Moodle page that will be reviewed by the assigned supervisor.

  • Declaration of Ethics Consideration Form (Appendix C)

The submission deadline is communicated by the relevant MSc Programme director on the Research Project Moodle page. Template documents for this form as well an example of a completed form is provided on the Research Project Moodle page.

Following the assessment of the Declaration of Ethics Consideration Form the ethical clearance may be granted or extra evidence may be required. If the form does not demonstrate that the dataset(s) can be used by the student for research purpose ethical approval is not granted. In this situation, the student must bring new evidence or change the source of the dataset(s).

  1. Problems with Academic Writing

Some students may encounter difficulties when they have to write an academic report. Most common problems faced while writing a document are: difficulty in formulating what to write, difficulty with bringing ideas into a coherent shape, not having the academic writing skills, etc. Issues of this nature need to be addressed at an early stage to prevent them from developing into serious difficulties.

Here are some practicable solutions that can be tried.

  • Perform writing tasks at an early stage of your research project to increase confidence and writing skills. Examples of writing tasks are: reviews of literature create notes on your research findings/ test results, write brief analysis of the read papers/articles.
  • Request feedback from your supervisor on what you have written. Supervisors can help by given guidelines on writing tasks, including the length, scope, content, structure and aims of each task.
  • Meet and discuss with your colleagues the research findings, share writing experiences, or discuss and critique an article.

Students may also look for support from the NCI Learning Development Service part of the NCI’s Student Services and Support Department. More details on NCI student portal.

  1. Assessment of the Research Project

The following documents are required to be submitted electronically online on the Research Project Moodle page, as part of the Research Project assessment, no later than the provided submission deadline.

  1. a research paper style report,
  2. an artefact/product/software,
  3. a configuration manual and
  4. a presentation to be defended in a viva.

The research paper style report shall comprise up to 20 pages, (approx. 4,000 to 6,000 words), and describes the individual research outcome and production of an ICT solution. This report shall build upon the work conducted as part of Research in Computing/ Contemporary Topics in FinTech module, updated and revised based on feedback from supervisor. Note that direct copy-paste or paraphrasing from the RiC proposal is not permitted as you already received marks and credits for that work. Failure to update and expand substantially the sections that overlap with the RiC proposal will result in penalties and mark deductions.

The students may be penalised due to superfluous text and are strongly advised to stay within 10% of the given page limits.

It shall follow the structure of a research paper that includes abstract, introduction, literature review, research methodology, design and implementation, evaluation, conclusion, and discussion.

The configuration manual shall describe the required software tools and settings to successfully replicate the experimental setup. This manual is submitted separately from the research paper style report and it will not count towards the suggested word count. It shouldnotdiscuss how to install standard software or tools.

The viva shall involve a presentation of the research work carried out and a demonstration of the results to at least two academic examiners. A demo of the artefact/product developed will be required to be presented in the viva. The learner must attend the viva in order to pass the Research Project.

  1. Special Viva Arrangements due to COVID-19

Due to COVID-19 restrictions face-to-face viva presentations may not take, instead students will be required to submit on Moodle a Presentation video and a Demo video in addition to the research paper style report, application/artefact code and Configuration manual. Submission deadline will be provided on the Research project Moodle page.

The two examiners will review the submitted documents and the videos. The student will be provided with a set of questions from the examiners in relation to their work. The students must upload their answers on to Moodle before the indicated deadline.

Important Note: The College does reserve the right to request a live viva session to take placein the event where examiners feel that further clarification is required regarding a studentsubmission.

Therefore, ALL students will be required to make themselves available for a possible live viva session that would take place at date specified well in advance on the Moodle page.

Students for which a live viva presentation is required will be notified via a Microsoft Teams meeting invite and should ensure that they accept that invite so that same is added to their Outlook Calendar. A total of 50 minutes will be allocated to each student.

  1. Marking Schema

The Research Project module marks are determined using the following schema.

Project specification10%
Literature review10%
Artefact/ Project Development30%
Artefact/ Product evaluation, conclusion, and future work25%
Configuration manual, document presentation, and references15%

Note: 5% out of 15% for “Configuration manual, document presentation / structure, and referencing” is allocated for the configuration manual

  1. Research Paper Style Report

A research paper style report describes the individual research project specification and software/artefact development as well as the testing/evaluation results. A literature review should also be included to ensure the validity of the research area. Students are also required to critically analyse insights gained throughout evaluation of their software/artefact development. The work presented in this report shall build upon the work conducted as part of Research in Computing/ Contemporary Topics in FinTech module.

The research paper style report shall comprise up to 20 pages (approx. 4,000 to 6,000 words) and describes the individual research outcome and production of an ICT solution. It shall follow the structure of a research paper that includes: abstract, introduction, literature review, methodology, design and implementation, evaluation, and conclusions and discussion. The students may be penalised due to superfluous text and are strongly advised to stay within 10% of the given page limits.

The report template provided on the module’s Moodle page must be used when editing the research paper style report.

  1. Report Structure

It is expected that the report to be submitted to consist of the following key components:

  • Abstract:The role of the abstract is to summarise the project you have undertaken in a concise manner, highlighting the scope of the project, the objectives, the methodology and its finding and results.
  • Introduction:the main purpose of the introduction is to motivate the contribution of the research work. It should include background on the research topic, the justification for the research and what gap in the literature it seeks to fill, the main research questions and hypotheses, and the organization of the study.
  • Up-to-date ReviewoftheLiterature/Background/LiteratureSurvey: The literature review should demonstrate evidence of independent research critically analysing the potential of an application / idea and provide insights into how it can be implemented and evaluated. This component shall build upon the literature review work conducted as part of Research in Computing / Contemporary Topics in FinTech module and shall be updated and revised based on feedback from supervisors and based on the final developed product.
  • Research Methodology:The main purpose is to outlines the proposed research approach and method, justifies the choice of method(s) leveraging appropriate literature to substantiate choices / assumptions and/or key decisions, and considers the limitations

and strengths of that approach, as well as demonstrating how the method(s) will be applied in answering the research question(s).

  • Design Specification: The techniques and/or architecture/framework that underlie the implementation and the associated requirements are identified.
  • Implementation/SolutionDevelopment: The purpose is to describe only the final stage of the implementation. It must not contain code listings or a user manual/guide.
  1. Evaluation:A comprehensive analysis of the results and main findings of the study using multiple strategies as well as the implications of these finding both from academic and practitioner perspective are presented. For example, an algorithm may be comprehensively benchmarked using novel performance specific metrics on the Cloud Competency Centre facilities or external cloud providers; an internet application or mobile application may be evaluated using suitable usability testing techniques. Statistical tools should be used to critically evaluate and assess the experimental research outputs and levels of significance.

Due to page number limitation only the most relevant results are analysed and presented as an evidence to support or reject the hypothesis.

  • ConclusionsandDiscussion:A brief reiteration of the main research questions addressed and what was found as outcome of the research work is provided. Insights gained throughout the development and evaluation of the proposed solution are critically analysed and discussed. In addition, further avenues for research and commercialization should be identified.
  • References:Correct citation references must be included
  • Appendix:Configuration manual should be provided as a different file from the research paper style report, and it will not count towards the suggested word count.

Remember that all figures, tables, photographs etc. should be referenced and numbered in the report e.g., the graph (Fig 1) which complements the Table (Table 1).

It is highly recommended that students take some time at the start of the research process to go to the library and review other Masters Research projects. This will give you a feel for the type of appropriate research questions, the research approaches adopted and the format of the report. The research report should NOT contain a table of contents. If appropriate, the configuration manual may contain a table of contents.

  1. Literature Review

The purpose of the literature review is to convey to the reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a set of research topics from a particular domain, and what their strengths

and weaknesses are. It also gives you, the writer the opportunity to show your ability to identify, access, understand and critically evaluate relevant material in top rate academic journals.

The literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., the problem or issue you are discussing or your argumentative research project). It is not a descriptive list of the materialavailable, or a set of summaries.It is not recommended to start every paragraph with the name of an author as this may mean that the literature is organised alphabetically or chronologically and mot by concepts or topics investigated.

A succession of “cut and paste” article summaries is NOTa literature review either!

The following guidelines should be considered when writing the literature review section.

  • The literature review should be organised around and related directly to the research project or research question you are developing.
  • Any article discussed and analysed in the literature review must have a reference. The full reference should be included in the References section of the project report. • The literature review should be as current and up to date as is practicable
  • Do not cite any reference you have not read.
  • The literature review should end with a summary of what is and is not known, should highlight “gaps” in the literature, either acknowledged or discovered, and should formulate questions that need further research

Tips on conducting a Literature Review:

  1. Research Methodology

The aim of the Research Methodology section is to provide details regarding

  • the steps followed in the research work (process)
  • the data (e.g., database records, tools, software, algorithms, metrics, etc.) you need in order to be able to answer your research question.
  • how you get and use those data,
  • how the data and the results that are collected or measured in the project are analysed. Usually, the data requirements are specified in several research objectives. These objectives are a form of data “shopping list” and clarify what kind and amount of data you need to collect.
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