COMPSCI 389 : Research Methods in Computer Science


2021 Semester Two (1215) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An overview of research methods and techniques used across the discipline of Computer Science, including formal proof techniques and empirical methods that involve quantitative and/or qualitative data. Students will be expected to apply the research methods in a collaborative research project.

Course Overview

The course will focus on research methods and techniques used across the discipline of Computer Science: some are based on the mathematical approach with axioms, postulates and proofs, and the others are rooted in the engineering approach with quantification, measurements and comparisons. Students will apply the research methods in collaborative research projects which will be presented and evaluated by their colleagues. 

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: Minimum GPA of 5.0 and 45 points at Stage II in Computer Science

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the most common and well-established research methods employed in computer science research (Capability 1)
  2. Write effective and feasible research proposal (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  3. Formulate an original and sound argument with scientific claims that are effectively supported by empirical evidence and/or formal constructions (proofs) (Capability 1, 2 and 5)
  4. Use electronic systems of bibliographic citation (Capability 1 and 6)
  5. Engage effectively in a peer-review review process of a piece of computer science research, both as a reviewer and reviewee (Capability 1 and 2)
  6. Engage productively in collaborative research that engages with a set of collaborators that is diverse culturally and/or in their areas of expertise on a topic relevant to social or environmental responsibility (Capability 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  7. Effectively communicate the results of a research project, by way of a poster and or presentation (Capability 4 and 5)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Research Proposal 15% Individual Coursework
Peer Review of Research Proposals 15% Individual Coursework
Test 20% Individual Test
Research Final Report 20% Individual Coursework
Report on collaborative process 10% Individual Coursework
Research Presentation 10% Group & Individual Coursework
Research Poster 10% Group & Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Research Proposal
Peer Review of Research Proposals
Research Final Report
Report on collaborative process
Research Presentation
Research Poster

Special Requirements

All proposals and reports should be typed.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

You can expect 10 lectures on common research methods in CS ,  10 supervision meetings, 30 hours self-directed learning  and 100 hours assessment .

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including presentations to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. 
The course will not include live online events including.
Attendance on campus is required for the quiz.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Slides for lectures will be released progressively throughout the course.
Study material will be available and will be released progressively throughout the course.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 27/05/2021 02:50 p.m.