COSC442-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Natural Language Processing

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


This course introduces central problems and methods in natural language processing. Through their experiences in this course, students will be able to apply and evaluate standard methods to new sets of language data. The course will enable students to design an application of natural language processing for a NZ-specific context and evaluate the performance of that application against reasonable baselines.

Covid-19 Update: Please refer to the course page on AKO | Learn for all information about your course, including lectures, labs, tutorials and assessments.

This course introduces the central problems and methods used in natural language processing for understanding and generating human language:

• Estimating features for representing language
• Linear and neural text classification
• Vector semantics and word embeddings
• Statistical to neural language models
• Transformer-based language models
• Pre-training and domain adaptation

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the central problems and methods in natural language processing

2. Apply standard methods and models to existing text datasets

3. Compare standard methods by their assumptions and applications, including the implications for under-represented populations.

4. Design an application of existing methods to the linguistic context of Aotearoa and the Pacific

5. Evaluate the performance of the above application against existing baselines


Timetable Note

Please note that the course activity times advertised here are currently in draft form, to be finalised on Monday 31 January 2022 for S1 and whole year courses, and Monday 27 June 2022 for S2 courses. Please do hold off enquiries about these times till those finalisation dates.

Course Coordinator

Jonathan Dunn


Jonathan Dunn


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
System Review 20% Compare and review approaches to a shared task
Supervised Model 25% Implement and describe a text classifier
Unsupervised Model 25% Implement and describe an unsupervised model
Final Project 30% Combine multiple core methods into a single task

Covid-19 Update: Please refer to the course page on AKO | Learn for all information about your course, including lectures, labs, tutorials and assessments.

Additional Course Outline Information

Grade moderation

The Computer Science department's grading policy states that in order to pass a course you must meet two requirements:
1. You must achieve an average grade of at least 50% over all assessment items.
2. You must achieve an average mark of at least 45% on invigilated assessment items.

If you satisfy both these criteria, your grade will be determined by the following University-wide scale for converting marks to grades: an average mark of 50% is sufficient for a C- grade, an average mark of 55% earns a C grade, 60% earns a C+ grade and so forth. However if you do not satisfy both the passing criteria you will be given either a D or E grade depending on marks. Marks are sometimes scaled to achieve consistency between courses from year to year.

Students may apply for special consideration if their performance in an assessment is affected by extenuating circumstances beyond their control.

Applications for special consideration should be submitted via the Examinations Office website within five days of the assessment.

Where an extension may be granted for an assessment, this will be decided by direct application to the Department and an application to the Examinations Office may not be required.

Special consideration is not available for items worth less than 10% of the course.

Students prevented by extenuating circumstances from completing the course after the final date for withdrawing, may apply for special consideration for late discontinuation of the course. Applications must be submitted to the Examinations Office within five days of the end of the main examination period for the semester.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,079.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Computer Science and Software Engineering .

All COSC442 Occurrences

  • COSC442-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023