MEng Computer Systems Engineering

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Summer Industrial Project

Unit code COMP40901
Credit rating 25
Unit level Level 4
Offered by Department of Computer Science
Available as a free choice unit? No


The fourth year of the MEng course commences immediately after the end of the third year with students undertaking a placement in a company over the summer vacation. Students work on a single task for the firm for a period for between 8 and 12 weeks. The work is intended to give students an appreciation of how companies operate, to enable practical skills to be applied to a new application, to enhance existing practical skills, to further time management skills, to improve transferable skills such as communication and team working.

The project is assessed and counts 25 credits towards the fourth year mark. Students are responsible for finding a project although the School makes every effort through its contacts with companies to notify students of firms looking to employ students over the summer vacation. Project proposals are vetted for suitability and approved by the MEng Course Tutor. In general, it is expected that appropriate placements will involve some elements of design, implementation, testing and evaluation.


This unit is only for Computer Science students who are on an MEng programme.


The aims for the group project work done in the fourth year are:

  1. To manage and execute a substantial project in a limited time.
  2. To identify and learn whatever new skills are needed to complete the project.
  3. To apply design and engineering skills in the accomplishment of a task. In this context the skills mentioned may be in the general area of design and engineering in its broadest sense, or may be very specifically related to particular tools.
  4. To experience team working in an industrial environment.
  5. To solve a problem containing a range of commercial and industrial constraints.
  6. To communicate effectively with computer science professional as well as non-specialists at a range of levels.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate initiative-taking, innovation and self-management in an industrially related group project.

  • Gain a knowledge and understanding of the broad context within which Computer Science resides including issues such as quality, reliability, enterprise, employment law, accounting, and health and safety.

  • Integrate previously acquired skills and applying them to new (demanding) situations.

  • Execute and complete a significant piece of IT work.

  • Give a seminar which justifies the project.

  • Document the project in a final report.


There is no formal syllabus but placements are expected to have elements of design, implementation, testing and evaluation. Students who secure a placement should fill in the Placements Approval form, accessible from the Industrial Placements section of the undergraduate intranet, for formal approval by the MEng Course Tutor.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Report 67%
Oral assessment/presentation 33%

Recommended reading

COMP40901 reading list can be found on the School of Computer Science website for current students.

Study hours

Placement hours
Placement 350
Independent study hours
Independent study 49

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Morris 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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