CS546 – Group Project

Credits 40
Level 5
Semester 1 and 2
Prerequisites N/A
Availability Available only to fifth year MEng Computer Science students
Contact Lectures: 0 | Tutorials: 20 | Labs: 0
Assignments: 0 | Self study: 380
Assessment Continuous assessment based upon a combination of written work, presentation work and project conduct. Assessment considers both the achievement of the group and the contribution of each individual within that group. The final delivery and presentation of the project takes place at the end of semester two.Assessment is based upon the following key elements:

  • Project Specification
  • Interim Report
  • Final Report
  • Oral Presentations & Demonstration
  • Group Conduct & Progress
  • Peer Review and Individual Assessment
Resit N/A
Lecturer Dr Marc Roper | Billy Wallace
(Organisational Contacts)

General Aims

The aim is to give students “real-world” experience in team working and group project management by participating in a sustained and significant group-based project within the CIS domain. Working in project teams of 3 or 4, students are expected to convert a given specification into an appropriate deliverable. Following initial liaison with supervisors, the student team is primarily responsible for all aspects of the project development including initial research, planning, design, implementation, and reporting to supervisors.

This class presents students with the opportunity to consolidate and enhance their technical skills, and also develop generic softer skills such as teamworking, negotiation, budgeting, sourcing and purchasing, project planning and management, and communication.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the class, a student should be able to:

  • Conduct a sustained and technically significant group-based project.
  • Specify and appropriate solution to a problem within budget and resource constraints.
  • Scope and plan a programme of work appropriate for a computing-based group project commensurate with the number of person-hours available to the team.
  • Appreciate of the importance played by project planning, monitoring and management within multi-party computing projects.
  • Further develop of time management skills, through setting and achieving deliverables at fixed time points in multi-party computing projects.
  • Select and use tools/methodologies appropriate to the (project) tasks and domain.
  • Specify, design, test and implement solution(s) appropriate to the (project) task and domain which draws upon appropriate professional practice.
  • Document progress and achievement in a manner appropriate to professional practise.
  • Formally present, in both oral and written form, project progress and outcomes to technically literate, expert and non-expert, audiences.
  • Demonstrate, as a group, both technical expertise and knowledge pertinent and relevant to that specific project domain.


The group project operates differently to previous individual project work. Each group assumes full responsibility for running their project with assistance from a project mentor. In contrast to individual projects, the mentor is not necessarily an expert in the specific subject and acts primarily as a project manager who advises rather than drives the technical direction of the project.

The group is responsible for the whole range of issues in the project, including scoping, planning (setting goals, task assignment and monitoring), resourcing (financial and budgeting issues), design, implementation, testing, documentation (both technical and non technical – user guides etc.) delivery, progress reporting, and contingency planning.

Recommended Text/Reading*

* This list is indicative only – the class lecturer may recommend alternative reading material. Please do not purchase any of the reading material listed below until you have confirmed with the class lecturer that it will be used for this class.

Software Project Survival Guide Steve McConnell, MICROSOFT PRESS, ISBN-10: 1572316217, ISBN-13: 978-1572316218, 1997

Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to … or Ill-Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity Joel Spolsky, APRESS, ISBN-10: 1590593898, ISBN-13: 978-1590593899, 2004

Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, Dorset House Publishing Co Inc.,U.S.; 2nd Revised edition, ISBN-10: 0932633439, ISBN-13: 978-0932633439, 1999