ProjectTo obtain either of the MSc awards available from the Programme, astudent must complete an extended project. This differs from themodule assignments—each of which contains an element of projectwork—in two important ways: it affords an opportunityfor the student to formulate their own problem or challenge;it may involve the application and integration of ideas taught inmore than one module, or drawn from the wider software engineeringcurriculumThis is a taught programme, and although the project needs to be anoriginal demonstration of ability and understanding, there is norequirement to advance the state of the art in the field.
Studentsneed only choose and apply an appropriate selection of existing ideasand techniques—provided that their choice, the process ofapplication, and any outcomes are properly explained.
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The project component involves compulsory attendance at a projectmodule in Oxford, at which students present and refine their proposal,and attend teaching sessions on: research skills; engineering incontext; and social, legal and ethical issues.
Six weeks later, theysubmit their proposal for formal approval 24 Oct 2016 - Instructions for Master's Thesis in Software Engineering They are presented in the order that may differ from the order you do them..
ProcessThe student develops an idea for a project, discusses thisidea with their supervisor, and books a place on aproject week. The project week affords an opportunity for the student to startwork in earnest, to attend teaching sessions and workshops, and tohave one-to-one meetings with their supervisor.
Six weeks later, the student submits their proposal for formal review. If not, then they will need to revise the proposal, and submit itfor assessment after the next project week. The student provides their supervisor with further reports onprogress as they complete the project and start to work on thedissertation.
The student prepares a final version of the dissertation, andsubmits it as soon as they are ready—which should be before thesubmission deadline pertaining to their current final term of study. ExtentThe project and dissertation should represent the same amount ofeffort, and achievement, as two taught modules, complete withassignments: that is, two weeks full-time—the equivalent of twoteaching weeks—plus 18 weeks part-time—the equivalent of twopre-study and two assignment periods.
This work is usually undertakenover a period of one year. The dissertation should be between 45 and 60 pages in length,excluding appendices and illustrations; there is a nominal wordlimit of 20,000.
There is no need to submit the complete source code,or detailed output, for programs; nor is it necessary to submitcomplete sets of design documentation. The dissertation shouldpresent the key aspects of the project work, a distillation of theresults, and a suitable analysis.
Normally, candidates for the MSc will start work on their project afterattending most, if not all, of their taught modules. SubjectThe Programme Office maintains a small library of pastdissertations for students to browse through, in order to get an ideaabout subject matter and extent.
An abstract of every pastdissertation is stored on the Programme's administrative database.
Instructions for master's thesis in software engineering
The best way of doing this is usually to choose a topicrelated to one or more of the subjects taught on the Programme The module requirements for final year projects or dissertations may have changed since these examples were School of Chemical and Process Engineering..
Manystudents choose topics that are related to their current employment,allowing them to see how the ideas taught in the Programme may beapplied alongside current practice.
There are three broad categories:Product-based—involving the application of software engineering techniquesto the specification, analysis, design, development, or testing of aparticular product. This product could be entirely fictitious, itcould exist only as a part of another system, it could be hardware orsoftware, but it must afford an opportunity to apply softwareengineering techniques.
Any technique or combination of techniques could be appliedto—or around—this product. There might be a study ofrequirements, a security analysis, one or more specifications, some design work, someanalysis, some programming, or some testing.
Examples include: an object-oriented design and implementation, withsome accompanying analysis; the formal specification of a softwarecomponent; a case study in requirements engineering. Theory-based—involving the extension of a particular technique, or acombination of techniques, for use with a particular class ofapplication.
Examples include: a technique for conducting hazardanalysis using a process algebra; a customised profile for UML; a setof parametrised process constructs for writing test cases withCSP. Process-based—involving an examination or assessment of particulartechniques, their development and application, in academia or inindustry.
If no application is involved, the resulting dissertationmust contain enough original insight, analysis, or critical reflectionto demonstrate the student's own understanding. Examples include: a description and critical analysis of thesoftware testing process for a particular product line; an analysisof a software standard, with proposals for change, based on ideasfrom the Programme.
Most projects fall into the first category, but there have beenmany successful projects that are either theory- or process-based. Each type of project has its own advantages: the development ordescription of a particular product might make it easier to definegoals, or to measure progress; a theory-based project is unlikely tosuffer from implementation problems; a study of process might resultin immediate improvements to the working environment.
Proposala description of the subject matter: product, theory,application area, or problem domain;a brief account of the original contribution that theproject work might be expected to make;a plan, or outline, of the dissertation, explaining howit will demonstrate the student's understanding;a list of resources that will be required. a suggested schedule of tasks and delivery dates; andan outline of any social, legal, or ethical issues relating to the work.
This should be prepared in consultation with the student'ssupervisor, and submitted to the Programme Office together with acompleted project start form.
Msc software engineering dissertations - uwe bristol: software
While working on their project and dissertation, the student shouldtake care to keep their supervisor informed of progress. As the work progresses, theremight be considerable variation from the original proposal: anydrastic change may require approval. DissertationThe results of the project work are presented in a shortdissertation, of 15,000-20,000 words, or 45-60 pages.
This formsthe basis for formal assessment of the project, just as the writtenassignments form the basis for assessment of the taught modules. Thedissertation can be submitted at any time during the allowed period ofstudy, although it is usually the last piece of work a student submitsbefore being examined.
The main matter of the dissertation will contain between three andeight sections, beginning with an introduction and ending with adiscussion. The front matter is what comes beforehand: the coverpage, the abstract, the table of contents.
The backmatter is what comes afterwards: the bibliography, and anyappendices. Front matterThe student's name, and the name of their college, should appear onthe cover of the dissertation, along with the title and the year ofsubmission; the name of any employing organisation may also beincluded.
There should be something to indicate that this is asubmission for the Master of Science in Software Engineering: thewords MSc in Software Engineering will suffice, although thefull form isA dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of therequirements for the degree of Master of Science in SoftwareEngineeringThe second page should include an abstract of between 100 and 200words: this should be written in the passive voice, even if theremainder of the dissertation is written in the first person (singularor plural). Furthermore, the abstract should avoid mention of anycompany-specific or confidential information, even if the dissertationis to be the subject of a confidentiality agreement (because the abstractwill be made available even if the dissertation as a whole is not).
At this point, the student may wish to include a dedication andacknowledgements. They must include a written declaration: The author confirms that:this dissertation does not contain material previouslysubmitted for another degree or academic award; andthe work presented here is the author's own, except whereotherwise stated.
This declaration should be on the exam entry formThe declaration need not be part of the dissertation itself: it couldbe submitted on a separate sheet of paper. It is quite acceptable to include sections of text written by anotherperson, but in every case the author should be clearly identified.
Plagiarism—presenting someone else's work as if it were yourown—is a very serious matter.
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If the dissertation contains material of a commercially-sensitivenature then this should be clearly stated on the first or secondpage.
The last part of the front matter is the table of contents, whichshould list the name of each top-level or second-level section,together with the number of the page where it starts Abstract— An empirical software engineering (ESE) PhD thesis has some about a Specific Topic. Examples of such theses are (in chronological order):..
There is noneed to include third- or fourth-level sections in the table ofcontents. Main matter The main matter of the dissertation should be divided into eitherchapters or sections, with lower levels of sectioning as necessary.
In a document of this length, more than two levels of numberedsectioning is likely to inhibit readability. The following is a generic structure describing how a dissertation might be organised:Introduction (2-5 pages)The first section should dothree things: introduce the subject matter: explaining themotivation for the project, and saying something about the backgroundarea; describe the contribution made by the dissertation: the resultsof the project, the impact or value of the work; provide an outline ofthe dissertation, explaining how this contribution is realised in thesubsequent sections.
This section may be only a page or two in length, but it is the mostimportant part of the dissertation. It will shape the expectationsof the reader, and provide them with a guide to the rest of thework.
Application area (4-10 pages)In most cases, there willbe a second section that describes the context of the work: theapplication area, the problem domain, or the theory that is to beextended or analysed. In other cases, if this description is only acouple of pages long, it could be made part of theIntroduction.
This description should be limited to the context, not the workitself. If the project involves the creation of a model for asoftware product, then this section should describe the product, butnot the model.
If the project is theory-based, this descriptionshould describe the existing theory, but not the proposedextensions. As with the Introduction, this section will shape thereader's expectations.
It should provide enough information aboutthe context to allow the reader to assess the contribution made. Itshould mention only those aspects or features that are relevant tothe subsequent sections, emphasising those that are particularlyrelevant.
Project work (25-50 pages)We have now reached the heart of the dissertation: one or moresections presenting the results of the project work:If the project is product-based, there might be sections onrequirements capture and analysis, specification, design,implementation, or testing Jump to Project Design - In modern, object-oriented software development, more time is the whole paper in order to understand an image or figure..
A dissertation might present three different specifications ofa simple product or component, and a subsequent implementation, infour successive sections: State-based Specification (10 pages);Behavioural Specification (10 pages); UML Model (10 pages); JavaImplementation (10 pages). Here, a commentary might be expected: something that compares andcontrasts the different specifications, and explains how they might beused to validate, or even generate, the implementation.
However, itwould not then be necessary to include an account of testingstrategies or requirements analysis, nor a detailed analysis of theconsequences of the design decisions associated with thespecifications and implementation. Alternatively, a dissertation might present a single specification,with a formal or rigorous account of properties and perhaps theirverification.
If the specification and the properties aresufficiently complex or novel, this might comprise the whole of theproject work. Alternatively, there might be another sectiondescribing a prototype or implementation.
Thus we might see: FormalSpecification (20 pages); Analysis (8 pages); Prototype (8 pages). Finally, there might be two models, each of which has its own analysisand implementation, repeating this structure one more time.
If the project is theory-based then this part of thedissertation could be broken in sections describing differentaspects of the overall achievement. For example, a dissertation that describes a simple extension (orapplication) of the theory of CSP to testing activity might, after asection that reviews the CSP language, present the project work as:Test Purposes and Test Cases (12 pages); Testing Processes (8 pages);Case Study (20 pages).
Two of these might describe the extensions,the third an example of their use. The same applies to projects that are process-based: this part ofthe dissertation could be broken into sections describing differentissues addressed.
For example, a dissertation that contains acritical analysis of a particular company's development process might,after a section that describes that process, present the work as:Requirements Engineering (12 pages); Development Management (10pages); Testing Strategy (10 pages); Proposals for Change (12 pages). Discussion (3-6 pages)The preceding sections shouldcontain a certain amount of reflection and analysis.
However,anything particularly insightful should be repeated here, anddiscussed in as much detail as seems appropriate. In most dissertations, the discussion section will be one or twopages.
However, it may be that the student has learnt or achieved agreat deal that is not immediately apparent from the precedingchapters Software Engineering Dissertation Ideas For University Students The following list of ideas will help you get started in creating a unique and interesting topic .
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If the specification now seems inadequate, or the implementation hasbeen unsuccessful, the student could use an extended discussion toexplain exactly what the problems are, and to suggest how thingsmight be remedied. This could be as informative, and rewarding, asa reworked project: it might also be the only way to produce asatisfactory dissertation in the time available.
The discussion might also complement the introduction by relatingthe results of the project work back to the original context,suggesting further work or comparing the student's work with that ofothers. The page counts shown above are simply for guidance.
Like thenumbering of sections, or the proportion of illustrations, or theamount of code displayed, they will vary quite widely fromdissertation to dissertation. Back matterThe back matter should begin with a bibliography, or a list ofreferences.
In a product-based project, this might take up half apage; in a theory- or process-based project, it might be longer. Either way, it is essential: it provides a way for the reader to learnmore about the context of the work.
Many dissertations have an appendix of some sort. This may containexcerpts from the code of an implementation, or screenshots of anapplication in use, or a mathematical proof supporting the conclusionsof a specification or analysis section.
Any appendix will beexcluded when the formal extent of the dissertation is measured;however, you should note that an over-long appendix might be ignoredby the Examiners. Getting startedThe best way of writing a good dissertation is to produce a successionof drafts, concentrating first upon the central sections, and thenupon the introduction and conclusion.
This should minimise the riskof producing large amounts of text, detailed accounts or polishedexplanations, that may not be required in the final version. The successive drafts will allow the project tutor to measure progressand provide advice.
Furthermore, if the work can not been completedas originally intended, a reasonable draft of a whole dissertation isbetter than a detailed draft of two sections: it is more likely toserve as the basis for a suitable submission. It is important to remember that the final content of one section maydepend upon that of subsequent sections.
For example, a section thatintroduces a software product need mention only those features thatare modelled or analysed later in the dissertation.
What makes a good empirical software engineering thesis?: some
Some tools that appear ideal for short letters and reportsmay prove cumbersome or otherwise unsatisfactory when dealing withlarge, technical documents.
The effort involved in learning a newsystem—such as LaTeX—may be repaid many times over MSc Software Engineering dissertations supervised and co-supervised by the Software 2012 -2013, An Investigation of Data Mining Purchase Patterns for a .
Thereis no need for doublespaced text: the default line spacing used bymost packages is perfectly adequate. The dissertation should be printed using one side of each sheet ofpaper.
There is no fixed format or document template, and either A4or letter paper is acceptable. As a rough guide, you should expect tofind no more than 10 or 12 words per line, and no more than 40-50lines per page.
Each page, apart from the cover, should be numbered. It may also be appropriate to add a header to each page, identifyingthe current top-level section.
The dissertation should be securelybound in such a manner as will facilitate reading and assessment:comb, spiral, wire, and thermal bindings are all acceptable;paperclips, ring-binding, and slide-binding are not. Proof-reading by a third party is acceptable provided it constitutes no more than advice on the following: spelling and punctuation, formatting, grammar and syntax.
A third party may not be used to change the text of the thesis so as to clarify, develop or change the ideas and arguments, reduce the length of the thesis, provide help with referencing, correct information within the thesis, or translate the thesis into English. Upcoming submission deadlines are published on the website:after you log in, at the bottom right of the home screen is a link "dissertation deadlines and some example dissertations".
ResourcesIf a student wishes to use software with an education license, theProgramme Manager will be happy to provide confirmation of studentstatus should this prove necessary. The wide variety of subjectmatter, and the fact that the project work may be closely related tothe student's (or their employer's) business, makes it impractical forthe Programme to provide resources to support the projectwork.
However, Oxford University Computing Services can providelicenses for some software products. Intellectual propertyConfidentialityMany students choose a product-based project in which they willconstruct a model of a product or component that they have alreadyencountered, or developed, as part of their employment.
Alternatively, they may choose a process-based project in which theyanalyse existing practices within their organisation.
A list of great software engineering dissertation topics
Tomake such projects possible—their educational value isconsiderable—programme staff undertake to respect the confidentialnature of each student's work The project and dissertation should represent the same amount of effort, and a small library of past dissertations for students to browse through, in order to get an idea —involving the application of software engineering techniques to the .
A written confidentiality, or non-disclosure, agreement can beestablished between the University and the student (or theiremployer).
The Programme Manager has a template for this agreement,and is the first point of contact for any student requiringreassurance. However, the University cannot accept financialliability for breaches of confidentiality.
Commercial exploitationThe University claims no rights to commercial exploitation of worksubmitted by students on the Programme. However, it does claim alicence to use whatever is submitted for assessment fornon-commercial, academic purposes.
This is to avoid any risk of anindividual constraining future research and teaching in the Universityby arguing—with or without merit—that it is based upontheir assignment submission.