COMPGZ07 - Professional practice

This database contains the 2016-17 versions of syllabuses. These are still being finalised and changes may occur before the start of the session.

Syllabuses from the 2015-16 session are available here.

Year MSc
Prerequisites N/A
Term 2
Taught By Graham Collins, Department of Management Science and Innovation (MS&I)
Nicolas Gold, Department of Computer Science (CS)
Aims The aim of this course is to provide an viewpoint on the commercial realities of work within the area covered by the MSc NCS, MSc FSE and MSc SSE and practical skills in project management. This is done in two parts: the first is a series of seminars given by those with practical experience of real problems at technical, managerial, financial and ethical levels. Most such speakers are drawn from industry and this part of the course is intended to stimulate a questioning and inquisitive approach to the field. We expect the material covered to be topical and either informative or presented in such a way as to encourage discussion. The aim of the project management part of the course is to prepare students for effective project work and, by extension and comparison, for effective teamwork in a commercial environment. The course will cover all aspects of project management lifecycle and will highlight which of the techniques are most appropriate for use for course GZ99/GS99.
Learning Outcomes The ability to: assess the effectiveness of solutions presented and to question them in an intelligent way; synthesise solutions to general open-ended problems drawing on various sources of knowledge and tempered by information on commercial realities from this module; adopt reasoned ethical standpoints; apply good project management techniques in practice; appraise the utility of individual project management techniques within a given environment and originate new techniques within a sound framework; project the difference between use of project management techniques in small-scale activities such as the group project and those in industrial scale activities


The topics for the seminars are determined by speakers and are dependent on their areas of expertise and current market conditions.

  1. What are projects and how do we measure their success?
  2. The role of the project manager in influencing the outcome of a project
  3. Basing the project on pure need
  4. The project plan
  5. Quantitative criteria
  6. Risk management
  7. Creating project teams
  8. Leading and motivating the team
  9. Budgets, schedules and resource allocation
  10. Systems engineering
  11. Monitoring and control
  12. Time management

Method of Instruction:

Lecture presentations, seminars and workshops


The course has the following assessment components:

  • Orally Assessed Coursework (50%);
  • Written Examination (2 hours, 50%).

To pass this module, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 50% for all components combined.

The oral coursework takes the form of a presentation on the students'  preparation for their