ACS6420 Advanced Project

Module Description (subject to change)

This module provides the opportunity for students to undertake an advanced piece of project  work on an individual basis. The project will enhance knowledge and skills, to an advanced level, in the following areas: critical evaluation of technical literature; project planning and management; deepening knowledge in one or more technical areas; initiative, creativity and stamina in solving problems; and developing the ability to convey technical information in both orally and in written forms.

Credits: 45 (Academic Year)

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

Module Leader

Dr. Jonathan Aitken

Dr Jonathan Aitken

Pam Liversidge Building

If you have any questions about the module please talk to me, or contact your project supervisor.

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. [ET1m, ET2m, ET3m, ET4m, ET5m, ET6m, ET7m, EP1m, EP5m, EP6m, EP7m, EP8m, EP9m, EP10m]
  2. Formulate and define an advanced problem with clarity and within the appropriate scientific and societal context. [D1m, D2m, ET2m, ET7m, EP1m]
  3. Demonstrate extensive knowledge of state of the art in engineering and evaluate, assess and criticize previous work relating to the problem. [SM1m, SM2m, SM3m, SM4m, SM5m, EP4m, EP9m]
  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. [SM1m, SM2m, SM3m, SM4m, SM5m, SM6m, EA1m, EA2m, EA3m, EA4m, EA5m, D3m, D4m, D5m, D7m, D8m, EP8m]
  5. Compare and evaluate solutions to the given problem involving comprehensive analysis or experimentation and a critical assessment of the results. [SM2m, SM3m, EA1m, EA2m, EA3m, EA6m, D3m, EP1m, EP2m, EP3m, EP4m]
  6. Practice good organisation, communication, planning, time management and ethical conduct throughout the project. [ET1m, ET3m, ET5m, ET6m, EP6m]
  7. Write documentation of the major achievements of work with good practice in report writing and putting your work into a larger context. [D6m, EP1m, EP2m, EP3m, EP4m, ET2m]
  8. Give a clear project presentation of the major achievements of the work using audio-visual aids. [D6m]

This module satisfies the AHEP3 (Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes, Third Edition) Learning Outcomes that are listed in brackets after each learning outcome above. For further details on AHEP3 Learning Outcomes, see the downloads section of our accreditation webpage.



The syllabus will depend on the individual advanced project. It will typically involve a level of new technical learning written up as a chapter of the dissertation, involving theoretical concepts, with a level of advanced practical activity. This practical activity may be software or experiment based.

Teaching Methods

Learning and Teaching Methods

NOTE: This summary of teaching methods is representative of a normal Semester. Owing to the ongoing disruption from Covid-19, the exact method of delivery will be different in 2020/21.

The project runs throughout both semesters. The student undertakes to carry out a significant item of work under the supervision of a teaching staff. The work is reported via an interim report, the final project report and oral presentation.

Typically, students spend 450 hours working on the project over both semesters, which includes 24 hours of timetabled tutorial sessions.

Regular meetings are held with the supervisor and it is recommended that these should be held at least every 2 weeks during the semester.

Teaching Materials

Learning and Teaching Materials

A project handbook including all guidelines of this module can be found on Blackboard (MOLE). Please make sure you study it and follow it when necessary. This includes a list of deadlines, the respective mark sheets and a list of penalties which can be applied.



  • The supervisor and a second reader will independently grade the project. In the event of a large divergence in the grade, a third reader will act as a moderator.
  • The assessment will be made on the basis of monitored project progress, written report and the oral presentation.
  • The interim report and the oral presentation influence the final grade which is awarded largely on the basis of the written report.

The assessment scheme aims to examine students on their attainment (i.e. learning outcome) with respect to key competencies (i.e. learning objectives), assessed in the following way:

Assessment of interim report (Second reader) 10%

Limited to 6 pages and composed of a short project description (1 page), an initial brief literature review (3 pages), work done to date (1 page) and a description of work remaining (1 page). Please also attach your Gantt chart as an Appendix. A minimum of a 12 point font, 1.5 line spacing and 2.5 cm page margins must be used for the interim report.

Assessed based on organisation and structure, critical review of literature, observance of scientific conventions (such as referencing), summary of progress to date, forward plan, and production standard. It is noted that this will only be an initial literature review and it is expected that the literature review contained within the final report will have evolved from the one submitted initially.

Assessment of performance and professional skills (Supervisor and Leader of Research and Professional Skills tutorials) 20%

Assessed based on, learning activities in Research and Professional Skills tutorials, record keeping, intellectual input, supervision required, communication skills, organisation and planning, understanding of project objectives, student effort, experimental competency, results, and analysis.

Assessment of dissertation (Supervisor and Second Reader) 60%

This final report should include, in an explicit section, the initial literature review which is expected to have been extended or have evolved according to the direction of the project in its later stages. The maximum length for dissertations is 50 pages for a BEng and 70 pages for a MEng project. This page limit does not include title, abstract, contents, references and appendix pages. The students must use the word template provided and conform to the formatting constraints which are described within. There are penalties for exceeding the page limit.

Two independent assessments based on organisation and structure of report, results, understanding of results and analysis, production standard, and observance of scientific conventions (such as referencing).

Assessment of oral presentation (session chairs- a single report) 10%

30 minutes per student; 15-18 minutes (students will not be allowed to overrun into the questioning period) of which is a presentation and the remainder is for in-depth questioning of the student.

Assessed by the two independent session chairs based on organisation and structure of the presentation; delivery; use of visual aids and answering questions.

Resits are at the discretion of the exam board.



  • Regular meetings with supervisors
  • Aims and objectives planning
  • Feedback on interim report by second reader and supervisor
  • Feedback in interview by second reader
  • 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

Students are encouraged to provide feedback during the module direct to the lecturer. Students will also have the opportunity to provide formal feedback via the Faculty of Engineering Student Evaluation Survey at the end of the module.

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.