COMP0108 Research Methods in Software Engineering

This database contains the 2018-19 versions of syllabuses. These are still being finalised and changes may occur before the start of the session.

Syllabuses from the 2017-18 session are available here.

Academic session



Research Methods in Software Engineering



Module delivery

1819/A7P/T1/COMP0108 Postgraduate

Related deliveries




FHEQ Level


FHEQ credits



Term 1

Module leader

Petke, Justyna


Petke, Justyna

Krinke, Jens

Module administrator

Nolan, Martin


To introduce students to cutting-edge research methods in software engineering emphasising the close reading of research papers and the critical, yet balanced, evaluation of research ideas.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:

  1. identify research areas in software engineering, discuss their seminal problems and solution techniques.
  2. critically review and discuss research papers in software engineering, and evaluate the strength of evidence.
  3. understand how papers are reviewed and accepted at conferences and journals.
  4. explain the variety of research methods used in software engineering and identify what research method is appropriate in what context.

Students should also gain a good knowledge of a number of areas of research carried out in the Software Systems Engineering group.

Availability and prerequisites

This module delivery is available for selection on the below-listed programmes. The relevant programme structure will specify whether the module is core, optional, or elective.

In order to be eligible to select this module as optional or elective, where available, students must meet all prerequisite conditions to the satisfaction of the module leader. Places for students taking the module as optional or elective are limited and will be allocated according to the department’s module selection policy.

Programmes on which available:

  • MSc Software Systems Engineering


To be eligible to select this module, students must have a good standard of computer literacy and programming.


This module will teach students how to conduct research in software engineering. It will introduce them to seminal papers and the cutting-edge research that UCL faculty are pursuing.

The module will begin by discussing what research is from the point of view of software engineering. It will discuss finding, evaluating and formulating research ideas. This module focuses on helping students develop the skills and habits needed to closely read research papers.

An indicative reading list is available via


The module is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, and written exercises.


This module delivery is assessed as below:



Weight (%)






In order to pass this module delivery, students must achieve an overall weighted module mark of 50%.