COMPSCI 691A/B : Postgraduate Diploma Research Project


2021 Semester Two (1215) / 2022 Semester One (1223) (30 POINTS)

Course Prescription

No prescription

Course Overview

This is an optional choice for students enrolled in the PGDip programme, who are interested in working on individual research projects, diving deeper into theoretical and practical areas not covered by regular courses.

A successful project may change the impact of your CV, or prepare you better for further postgraduate studies, which tend to focus much more on individual work.
Briefly, each student taking this course will be expected to write a substantive mini thesis called dissertation, under the supervision of a member of staff, most likely based on the results of an individual research project. Only students with excellent academic records will be allowed to take this course, and only after a supervisor and topic have been agreed upon by the Head of Department.

To enroll in this course, students must have exceptional academic grades, normally at or above A-. However, this is not enough, as this course entails individual projects.

The student must find a supervisor and a topic of common interests, which should require an amount of quality work comparable to a regular graduate course. Some students make preliminary contacts during their regular courses, or get ideas by browsing the staff research pages.

Next, the enrollment application must be further approved by the HoS or one of their nominees (typically the PGDip coordinator). The approved and signed application is sent to enrollments, who make the final decision.

The projects end with written dissertations (i.e. mini theses) and usually these are the main or even sole items used for assigning a grade. Thus, students must have or develop very good writing skills, for research oriented (i.e. non commercial) technical reports.

To justify an individual project, the topic should be quite challenging, but there are no other restrictions on the topics, that can range over all areas of compsci, theory and/or practice.

Each supervisor may require additional assessments (such as interim reports, presentations, demonstrations) and may add or refine other specific details (such as learning outcomes, learning resources, special requirements, workload expectations).

Course Requirements

Restriction: COMPSCI 780 To complete this course students must enrol in COMPSCI 691 A and B

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

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Write and present a substantive dissertation (mini thesis) on an aspect of computer science (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  2. Critically engage in individual study (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Act with integrity (Capability 4, 5 and 6)
  4. Organise and evaluate their information to communicate clearly (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Reports 100% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4

Special Requirements

Will be provided by the supervisor.

Workload Expectations

This course should be roughly equivalents to a standard 15 point graduate course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

More details will be provided by the supervisor.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Details will be decided by the supervisors.

Learning Resources

Will be provided by the supervisor.

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 28/11/2020 04:47 p.m.