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Department of Computer Science and Technology


The group design project course is an opportunity for you to gain experience of a real software development project, emulating as closely as possible the experience of a professional project. The main goals of the course are learning how to work in a team, learning how to work with a professional client, and learning how to plan and follow a systematic management process through all the phases of a software development project. Group projects are expected to take 30—60 hours of work, spread over seven weeks, and to enable you to demonstrate your skills and understanding across a broad range of subjects.

For most students, this will also be the most significant technical challenge you have ever faced. The design briefs are deliberately intended to push the bounds of what you can achieve, often involving new technologies, substantial engineering effort, or addressing research problems that have never been solved before.

Credit for this course will be awarded to recognize that you have achieved these goals:

  1. Worked effectively with the members of your team
  2. Maintained a professional relationship with your client
  3. Personally made a substantial technical contribution

Every project is different. The technical challenges and clients are very different. Within each team, every member must make many different contributions, planned and agreed between you to suit each person’s experience and aptitude. There will be many managerial challenges – some within your control, and some not.

Because the projects, groups, clients and individual roles are so diverse, we do not try to assess one person’s performance relative to another. We award four standard ticks, to recognize that you have achieved the three goals above. One tick is awarded to all of the group members to recognize that the project has succeeded. The three remaining ticks are awarded to each member of the group, to recognize that this person has achieved each of the goals above including a substantial technical contribution.

The expectation is that all students receive all four ticks. If you are struggling with any of these goals, and believe there is any risk that you might not receive ticks as a result, please discuss the situation with your Director of Studies at the earliest opportunity. If you have severe concerns, please also discuss the situation with your College Tutor, and send email to the group project email address. All personal correspondence to this address is treated confidentially, being read only by the group project organisers and the student administration team.