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Final Project: Safety Critical Systems - COM00033M

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  • Department: Computer Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Steven Wright
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20 to Summer Vacation 2019-20

Module aims

This project is for part-time MSc SCSE students.

This project builds on the work undertaken in the Critical Evaluation (PRCE) ISM. A design activity shall be undertaken to address a gap identified in the critical evaluation. This design shall be evaluated. The work will be based on material identified during the critical Evaluation project. As the development work progresses appropriate extra literature should be reviewed. For example, if evaluation by questionnaire is undertaken relevant literature on the development of a questionnaire should be undertaken. This extra review should be incorporated into the final MSc project report.

Module learning outcomes

  • Create detailed design of a method / process to address a substantial issue in system safety engineering
  • Update (PRCE), the literature survey, to address emergent information requirements
  • Select between alternative evaluation techniques
  • Undertake critical evaluation of the design proposal

On completion of the project, the student will have gained the practical skills that can only be gleaned from the experience of undertaking independent (supervised) research. The student will also have the experience of having written a substantial academic report.

Specifically, the student should be able to do the following.

  • Demonstrate that they have acquired specialisation in a particular part of the subject area, including enhanced or new skills that build on taught theory. Examined in the overall project report.
  • Demonstrate that they have acquired suitable skills to undertake a substantial project in the area of safety critical engineering. This should include design and/or implementation where appropriate, and must include evaluation. Examined in the overall project report.
  • Demonstrate that they have engaged in research and critical understanding of advanced scholarship in their chosen area. Examined in the project report literature review and evaluation.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of legal, ethical, social, professional and commercial issues involved in the project.
  • Contribute in an original way to an established area of research or development, demonstrating understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge. Examined in the overall project report. The project report must present some original (and relevant) contribution. It may present a new approach to a known problem, or an existing approach applied to a new class of problems. It may present a new analysis or critique of well-known work. It may devise a new method, or extend an existing method into new areas. The student should be able to clearly identify what is new and to evaluate the contribution made.
  • Formulate a moderate sized problem, to select and justify an appropriate approach, and to follow the approach systematically. Examined in the design/implementation chapters of the project, as appropriate.
  • Recognise alternatives, selecting and justifying the approach taken at each point in the report, identifying parts of the project area that are feasible within the time (etc) constraints of the project. Examined in the design/implementation chapters of the project.
  • Appreciate the latent issues of the subject area (for example, in software engineering they might meet and tackle such as emergent requirements, design flaws, equipment/application problems). Examined in the project design/implementation and evaluation chapters.
  • Prepare a written report on the work done, according to the defined criteria, aiming for a standard that would be acceptable for wider publication. In particular, the student should be able to prepare a report the structure and presentation of which is uncontentious, and in which the referencing is of publishable academic standard. The report must demonstrate critical abilities and evaluation of work done and methods applied. Examined in the presentation aspect of the report mark.


Task Length % of module mark
Project Report
N/A 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

Individual written feedback is provided via the online feedback system. There will also be formative comments on the research proposal on which the final project for the programme will based.

Indicative reading

The key texts are specific to the subject matter chosen. However, three generic texts are recommended as background reading

1. Creswell, John W. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications, 2013.

2. Yin, Robert K. Case study research: Design and methods. Sage publications, 2013.

3.Zobel, Justin. Writing for computer science Ed 3. New York NY: Springer, 2014.


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

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