ACS6300 Robotics Project and Dissertation

Module Description (subject to change)

The aim of the project is to give you the opportunity to develop further your advanced knowledge and skills and apply these to a specific problem or set of problems. It builds on the taught modules and develops a greater level of independence. You will be allocated a project supervisor with whom you will develop the project specification and who will provide overall guidance on the project. However, you are expected to demonstrate a high level of initiative and independence. You will also develop skills in creative and critical thinking, analysis, reflection, effective project management and communication.
The project is very different from many of your taught modules where the lecturer takes the lead in your learning. In the project you are expected to take the lead and the supervisor is expected to provide overall guidance and help.

Credits: 60 (Spring semester)

Module Leader

JA Profile Pic
Dr Jonathan Aitken
Amy Johnson Building

If you have any questions about the module please talk to me during the lectures or the labs in the first instance. It is likely that other students will learn from any questions you ask as well, so don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Outside of lectures please contact me via email, or drop in to see me.

Please note that this module is exempt from the University’s General Regulations relating to Intellectual Property

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

1. Adopt a methodical approach to solving a major advanced task relating to appropriate theory taught in the course, emerging technologies and the appropriate scientific, industrial and societal context. [ET1fl, ET2fl, ET3fl, ET4fl, ET5fl, ET6fl, EP1fl, EP2fl]
2. Formulate and define an advanced problem with clarity and within the appropriate scientific and societal context. [D1fl, D2fl, ET2fl, EP1fl]
3. Demonstrate extensive knowledge of state of the art in engineering and evaluate, assess and criticize previous work relating to the problem. [SM1fl, SM2fl, SM3fl, EP4fl]
4. Show initiative in the search for a variety of emerging technologies; propose, plan and develop advanced solutions to a given unfamiliar and advanced problem. [SM1fl, SM2fl, SM3fl, EA1fl, EA2fl, EA3fl, D3fl]
5. Compare and evaluate solutions to the given problem involving comprehensive analysis or experimentation and a critical assessment of the results. [SM2fl, SM3fl, EA1fl, EA2fl, EA3fl, D3fl, EP1fl, EP2fl, EP3fl, EP4fl]
6. Practice good organisation, communication, planning, time management and ethical conduct throughout the project. [ET1fl, ET5fl, ET6fl]
7. Write documentation of the major achievements of work with good practice in report writing and putting your work into a larger context. [EP1fl, EP2fl, EP3fl, EP4fl, ET2fl]
8. Give a clear project presentation of the major achievements of the work using audio-visual aids. [ET1fl]



The syllabus will depend on the individual project. It will typically have a level of technical difficulty involving theoretical concepts, and have some level of practical activity. This practical activity may be software based or in some cases, based on equipment.

Teaching Methods

Learning and Teaching Methods

Students use facilities that are located in the University. Students are expected to take responsibility for progressing their project according to their agreed plan.

Whilst learning is largely independent, progress is reviewed at regular meetings with their supervisors. These supervisors provide the guidance and 'in-place' teaching necessary to progress the project task to completion. In addition, support tutorial classes are provided to assist the students with the development of relevant professional skills.

Teaching Materials

Learning and Teaching Materials

All teaching materials will be available via Blackboard (MOLE).



Students are required to submit a comprehensive dissertation, accounting the work they have done in the project. This forms 70% of the formal assessment, which is marked by two academics including the main academic supervisor. This provides the basis against which all learning outcomes can be evaluated.

An oral presentation (10%) supports the assessment of Learning Outcome 8 through an evaluation of how well the student can orally relate the relevance, depth and findings of the work in a limited period of time.

The dissertation also embodies the continuous assessment (20%) that has been taking place via supervision, where the student’s planning and management skills, communication skills, motivation and general approach to the project have been monitored (contributing to Learning Outcomes 3, 4, 5 and 6).



  • Regular meetings with supervisors
  • Aims and objectives planning
  • Feedback on oral presentation by assessors
  • Feedback on professional skills and performance by supervisor
  • Feedback on dissertation by supervisor and second reader
Student Evaluation

Student Evaluation

Feedback will be obtained using the student questionnaire, which is now a well-established faculty-wide feedback acquisition mechanism. After collation, questionnaire responses are carefully scrutinised by the member of staff responsible for questionnaires, the Head of Teaching and the Head of Department. The Student-Staff Committee is also invited to make observations on the collated questionnaire returns (although they do not see the comments made about individual staff members). Appropriate remedial action is taken wherever necessary and reported to the Student-Staff Committee who disseminate that feedback to their constituents.

You can view the latest Department response to the survey feedback here.

Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

As recommended by supervisor and supplemented by reading material identified by the student.