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MSC8002 Research Project II

Semester 1, 2019 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Research Project II
Units : 2
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agric, Comp and Environ Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 029999 - Information Technology not els
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Xiaohui Tao


Pre-requisite: MSC8001

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


An in-depth project and dissertation on a specialised research topic are necessary to prepare graduates for further research, applications and responsible jobs in Applied Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics or Science. This course, in conjunction with MSC8001, enables students to develop and use research capability and an advanced level of Applied Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics or Science skills.


This course forms the final part of the research training component of the Honours and Masters programs in the Faculty. From the foundation established in MSC8001, students will complete a selected project in Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics or Science with the supervision of appropriate staff from the Faculty. The project will consist of reviewing, researching into and reporting of a specific area and exploring possible applications of knowledge and skills from that area.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. keep abreast of developments in Applied Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics or Science;
  2. execute and refine a selected research investigation;
  3. develop higher level Applied Computer Science, Mathematics, Statistics or Science skills which include the analysis, synthesis and evaluation of factors involved in the investigation of the research topic;
  4. complete an extensive research based investigation and to evaluate the results;
  5. effectively document and communicate the results of the investigation and the methods used in the form of a dissertation.


Description Weighting(%)
1. To be determined by the student in consultation with his/her supervisor 100.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

All materials will be available from the USQStudyDesk course web site at

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Cater M 2012, Designing Science Presentations: A Visual Guide to Figures, Papers, Slides, Posters, and More, Elsevier Science & Technology.
Davis M, Davis K & Dunagan 2012, Scientific Papers and Presentations: Navigating Scientific Communication in Today's World, 3rd edn, Elsevier Science & Technology.
Highham, NJ 1998, Handbook of writing for the mathematical sciences, 2nd edn, Siam, Philadelphia.
Jaeger RM 1990, Statistics: A spectator sport, 2nd edn, Sage, Newbury Park, Ca.
Ling CX & Yang Q 2012, Crafting your research future: a guide to successful master's and Ph. D. degrees in science & engineering, Morgan & Claypool Publishers.
Strunk, W (Jr) 2000, The elements of Style, 4th edn, Allyn and Bacon.
Tufte, ER 2001, the visual display of quantitative information, 2nd edn, Graphics Press, Cheshire, Conn.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 80.00
Consultation 15.00
Private Study 245.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
MSC8001 LITERATURE REVIEW 10 5 15 Mar 2019 (see note 1)
MSC8001 PRELIMINARY PROPOSAL 10 5 15 Mar 2019 (see note 2)
MSC8001 PRELIMINARY SEMINAR 10 5 15 Mar 2019 (see note 3)
MSC8002 SEMINAR 10 10 15 Mar 2019 (see note 4)
MSC8002 DISSERTATION 100 75 21 Jun 2019 (see note 5)

  1. Due date to be advised by the exmainer.
  2. Due date to be advised by the exmainer.
  3. Due date to be advised by the exmainer.
  4. Due date to be advised by the exmainer.
  5. Due date to be advised by the exmainer.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course related activities and administration. It is the students responsibility to maintain regular contact with their Supervisor according to a mutually agreed schedule.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment items, a student must obtain achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the courses MSC8001 and MSC8002.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks/grades obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. If electronic submission is specified for a course assessment, students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment irrespective of holidays. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  3. If hardcopy submission is specified for a course assessment students will be notified of this on the Course Study Desk. The due date for a hardcopy assignment is the date by which a student must submit at USQ or despatch the assignment to the USQ irrespective of holidays.

  4. Method used to assess the dissertation: two Markers, not including the supervisor will be assigned by the Examiner, after advice by each Supervisor, to assess each student's dissertation. The Markers will independently assess the dissertation in the following five aspects: (a) Incorporation of established knowledge; (b) Assimilation of research literature; (c) Implementation of scientific techniques; (d) Technical writing; (e) Innovation. Each of these aspects will be given a mark in the range 0-20; the final mark will be the sum of these five aspect marks. The Examiner will moderate the marks recommended by the Markers and determine a final grade normally as the equally weighted average of the Markers recommendations. Where the Markers cannot reach a consensus, the Examiner may seek advice of extra Markers.

  5. The grade calculated from the assessment items completed in both MSC8001 and MSC8002 will be awarded to both MSC8001 and MSC8002.

  6. Method used to assess the seminar: normally two Markers will be assigned by the Examiner to assess each student's seminar on the following criteria: clarity of verbal communication; clarity of supporting material; organisation of information; answers to questions; impact. The Examiner will moderate the marks recommended by the Markers and determine a final grade normally as the equally weighted average of the Markers recommendations.

  7. USQ will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile unless expressly requested by the course examiner.

  8. The referencing system to be used in this course is supported by the School. Information on this referencing system and advice on how to use it can be found in the course materials.

Other requirements

  1. The student will normally lodge two bound copies of their dissertation with the School: one for the School and one for their Supervisor. The School normally pays the cost of these two copies.

  2. Normally a student's work in a project, their seminar and dissertation is expected to be open to public scrutiny. However, a project may generate intellectual property which a student wishes to remain confidential. If this is the case, the student, Supervisor and Examiner will meet or confer to negotiate appropriate work practices consistent with University policies.

  3. Normally, a student and the Supervisor will meet or confer for one hour each week. The Supervisor will: guide direction; provide formative feedback; suggest possibilities; teach methods; advise on balance and emphasis; remind the timelines; recommend marks to the Examiner for the Preliminary proposal, Proposal, Preliminary seminar, and Literature review; suggest dissertation Markers to the Examiner; coordinate with the Examiner, especially for the seminars; and meet as required with other supervisors.

  4. Safety Induction: All Masters students must complete the USQ Safety Induction before commencing work or within the first week of commencing work in the Faculty.

  5. Inductions for Restricted Access Areas: All Masters students expected to work in restricted access areas must complete the relevant safety induction for that location before commencing duties. The student's supervisor is to ensure all inductions for restricted access areas are completed. Induction paperwork is to be kept in the office of the relative Laboratory Manager. Academic Supervisors are encouraged to keep copies of this paperwork for their own records.

  6. Commencing work before All Inductions are Completed: Any Academic Supervisor who wishes their Honours/Masters student(s) to begin work before all inductions have been completed, may do so only if they provide direct supervision of the student in question until the induction(s) is completed.