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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Undergraduate Course: System Design Project (INFR09032)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe System Design Project is intended to give students practical experience of (a) building a large scale system (b) working as members of a team. The project involves applying and combining material from several courses to complete a complex design and implementation task. At the end of course each group demonstrates its implemented system and gives a formal presentation to an audience of the students, supervisors, and visitors from industry.
Course description During this project students work in groups of about ten on the design and implementation of a complete system to solve some practical and useful problem. All groups perform the same task. This primarily involves software implementation but may potentially also involve hardware design and construction where this is relevant. Recent examples of projects include: an automated on-line supermarket; building webcam-based home and commercial security systems; constructing Mars and Lunar rovers controlled from an Earth-based web browser interface, etc.

Each group is provided with the same facilities. These include one or more PCs dedicated to them and other equipment depending on the particular project, for instance a webcam, a Lego robot construction kit, hardware prototyping kit, diagnostic equipment etc. They also have a small amount of money to spend in any way they choose on any extra items they feel might enhance their particular design. Project management software is also available to them.

A staff member is assigned to each group as a supervisor. The supervisor's task is to advise and provide feedback on the progress of the group during the project but not to provide technical support. Consultants from amongst the academic and support staff are made available to advise on aspects of the task such as management, specific pieces of software and hardware etc. Groups meet with their supervisors at least once a week. They also meet amongst themselves more frequently to plan and coordinate their activities.

Towards the end of the semester, a day is set aside for groups to demonstrate their implemented system and to give a formal presentation of it to an audience of the students, supervisors, and visitors from industry.

Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Computer Based Systems, Systems Analysis and Design
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Informatics Research Proposal (INFR11071)
Other requirements This course is open to all undergraduate Informatics students including those on joint degrees. For external students where this course is not listed in your DPT, please seek special permission from the course organiser.
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 5, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 40, Formative Assessment Hours 6, Summative Assessment Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 127 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The assessment is based on the achievements of the project work described above and its documentation, typically a design specification, a feasibility report, a management report and an implementation report. Each group member also submits an individual document describing his/her contribution to the project. For each student, 50% of the marks will be based on the achievements of the group and %50 on his or her individual report. Students who make no contribution to the work of the group will receive a mark of 0%.

You should expect to spend approximately 178 hours on the coursework for this course.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
1 - Working as members of a team.
2 - Planning and monitoring the effort of a project to meet milestones and deadlines.
3 - Designing and implementing a complex and multi-faceted system.
4 - Attempting to achieve a difficult objective within a limited time-scale.
5 - Drawing together knowledge and understanding of wide areas of software and hardware systems.
6 - Demonstrating and presenting the outcome from a practical project.
7 - Documenting the feasibility, design and development of a potential product.
Reading List
The Elements of Style, W.Strunk Jr & E.B.White
Lend me Your Ears, Max Atkinson
The Visual Display of Quentitative Information, Edward Tufte
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Henry Thompson
Tel: (0131 6)50 4440
Course secretaryMrs Victoria Swann
Tel: (0131 6)51 7607
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