COSC469-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021

Research Methods in Computer Science and Software Engineering

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 22 February 2021
End Date: Sunday, 27 June 2021
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 7 March 2021
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 14 May 2021


This course introduces students to research methods in Computer Science and Software Engineering. Critical research skills for postgraduate students are covered.

Topics covered in the lectures include:
• Introduction to research in Computer Science and Software Engineering
• Effective use of information sources
• High level reading and writing skills: proposal, report, paper, and thesis; reviewing and rebutting
• Low level writing skills: tips and tools, bibliography management
• Postgraduate life skills – time and stress management, managing your supervisor, working with others
• Review of research methods in Computer Science and Software Engineering
• Statistical principles
• Oral presentation

Learning Outcomes

  • After attending this course students can:
  • identify a research problem.
  • understand and explain the range of research methods used in Computer Science and Software Engineering.
  • explain the relative merits of alternative research methods.
  • read, summarize and present related recent research papers.
  • write and orally communicate clearly and succinctly on research topics.
  • develop research agenda and write a scientific paper describing it.


Subject to approval by Head of Department.



Course Coordinator

Tim Bell


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Literature Survey Proposal 5%
Survey 35%
Oral Presentation 10%
Review Process 20%
Final Exam 30%


There are several important documents available online about departmental regulations, policies and guidelines on the CSSE Web site.
We expect all students to be familiar with these.
Notices about this class will be posted to the class forum in the Learn system.

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 B- 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 $1,033.00

* 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 COSC469 Occurrences

  • COSC469-21S1 (C) Semester One 2021