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The final year project is an extemely important component of most degree programmes. As well as carrying a significant number of marks, it is used by external examiners to decide borderline cases, it is used by lecturers when writing job references for students, and it is used when deciding on admissions to postgraduate study and research. It is the component which, more than any other, provides an opportunity for independent and original work.
Below you can find the different steps involved in the final year project process.
7/9 - 18/9 2015: Discuss project topics with potential supervisors
September 2015: Student-supervisor pairings will be published.
9/10 2015: Submit a project plan.
29/2 2016: Submit final version of the project report.
You need to discuss project topics with potential supervisors. Some supervisors will have lists of topics that they are willing to supervise a student on (made available e.g. on their webpage or on their door). Most supervisors are usually also willing to discuss ideas of the students.
Contact supervisors by email, knock on their doors, chat to them after lectures, but make sure that you talk to several people.
After having talked to the potential supervisors, you need to secure provisional agreements with three different supervisors. This means that you both agree on a topic on which you are both willing to work together. You enter the provisional agreements on the schoolmaster website. After submission, the agreement is pending until the supervisor confirms it (or rejects it, in the case you submit a proposal that was not agreed with the supervisor).
The deadline for submitting your agreements is the 18th September 2015.
The algorithm that we use to do the pairings attempts to minimise the number of students with three approved agreements that do not get a supervisor among those three. There is no guarantee that you will get assigned one of your proposed supervisors, but your chances are best if you have confirmed agreements with three different supervisors.
The pairing will be published as soon as the number of projects that each supervisor will supervise is determined.
Every supervisor has a fixed number of projects that (s)he will supervise, and so popular supervisors will have their quota filled quickly.
The project plan is supposed to be a short document (not more than three pages).
As the name suggests, it should outline the plan for the project work; and it should give a description of
The area/problem to be studied. Give a description aimed for a non-expert.
The aim for the outcome project.
Techniques that will be used, (if applicable).
The project plan will be marked and contribute to the final grade.
Submit through the blackboard page (under Submissions tab).
You need to submit a draft of your project report to your supervisor. This draft will then be checked for plagiarism using software like Turnitin as well as manually. Even though most or all of the cases of plagiarism have been done in good faith, there will be penalties if plagiarised portions are present in the final report, see the university's plagiarism code of practice. Thus it is important that this is adressed before the final submission.
After the plagiarism check, the student and the supervisor meet to discuss if any rewriting needs to take place to ensure that the final report is free from plagiarised work.
It is very important to note that the student is solely responsible for the submitted report The check is a help for the student to submit work free from plagiarism issues, but not a guarantee that no issues remain.
Three bound (spiral binding suffices) printed copies of the final report should be handed in to the School office, and an electronic copy should be e-mailed to your supervisor and the project coordinator by this deadline. A penalty (typically 5%) will be applied to late submissions. It is fine for the final report to re-use material from the project plan. Details on the required format for the final report are given below.
All students will be required to give a 15 minute presentation on their project. This presentation should allow for questions from examiners and the audience. That means that you should only talk for 10min, so there is time for questions and transition between speakers.
The final report should be typed and normally of the following length (excluding the title page, bibliography and any computer printout). - Undergraduates: 20 to 30 pages (maximum 35)
The cover page of the final report should contain (in this order) (view an example)
The next page should contain these words, and the submitted copies must be signed:
I hereby certify that this material, which I now submit for assessment on the programme of study leading to the award of (degree or masters) is entirely my own work and had not been taken from the work of others save and to the extent that such work has been cited and acknowledged within the text of my work.
Signed: ______ ID no: __ Date: ___
It is important that the final report conveys clearly to any reader the extent to which the work was independent and or original. The report often includes three main sections (which are often subdivided):
The body of the work: an account of the main results, including maybe some proofs, examples/counter-examples, algorithms, ...
The conclusion: a summary of what has and has not been achieved, suggestions for further work.
At the bottom of this page you can find links to books on how to write mathematics and help with LaTeX, which is by far the best choice for typesetting your project.
Sometime between October and February there will be some workshops organised for the benefit of the project students. Some topics that will be covered are
Plagiarism and academic good practice.
The LaTeX typesetting system.