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MRes Advanced Computer Science MRes / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Scientific Methods III - Academic Writing and Impact Studies

Unit code COMP80142
Credit rating 5
Unit level FHEQ level 8 – doctoral degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Computer Science
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course gives an introduction on effective academic writing as well as understanding and communicating the impact of research. A student attending this course will gain experience in producing and assessing academic writing in a variety of forms. In particular, each student will produce a new piece of academic writing for this course and a revision thereof. Students will also produce reviews for peer produced writing. In addition to the mechanics of writing, we will discuss the purposes of different forms of writing, choice of venue, how to produce useful criticism, and how to respond to criticism. We will also discuss evaluation of work in light of both broad and narrow academic considerations, as well as effects on society as a whole.


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Scientific Methods I - Scientific Evaluation, Experimental Design and Statistical Methods COMP80131 Co-Requisite Compulsory
Scientific Methods II - Fundamental Aspects of Research Methodology COMP80122 Co-Requisite Compulsory


The unit aims to teach students how to produce and assess academic writing.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are detailed on the COMP80142 course unit syllabus page on the School of Computer Science's website for current students.


This course unit is run both face-to-face and online, with a large hands on component. Students are divided into groups and each week 2 members of each group produce a piece of academic writing for peer evaluation. Additionally, we will have topic oriented discussion

Seminar topics include:

1. Paper mechanics: Structure, prose style, organisation
2. Genres, venues, sorts of audience
3. Situating work
4. Understanding and presenting impact
5. Collaboration and co-authorship
6. Making and breaking arguments
7. Conclusion and discussion writing

This course unit will be run as a seminar, and active attendance is mandatory. You must produce all writing and reviews on time.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 91

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jonathan Shapiro Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Course unit materials

Links to course unit teaching materials can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

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