Course Title: Minor Thesis/Project Part A

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Minor Thesis/Project Part A

Credit Points: 24.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 1 2016


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 2 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 2 2021


City Campus


175H Computing Technologies


Sem 2 2022,
Sem 1 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Hai Dong

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3736

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 14.10.10

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

In order to be eligible to do the minor thesis/project option, you must have a Grade Point Average of 3.0 or above.

In addition to grade point average, you will need to have completed Research Methods COSC2149 (or equivalent).

Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course.

Course Description

This course is the first part of a minor thesis/project. You need to complete both this course and the next course (Minor Thesis/Project Part B) to meet the requirements of your minor thesis.

A minor thesis is a substantial work of supervised research or development, requiring the equivalent of about four months full-time work from start to finish. A thesis involves identifying a task or problem, searching and reviewing relevant literature, a proposed, implemented, and critically analysed solution to the task or problem, and a written report describing the problem, the relevant literature, the solution, and its relation to other work in the area.

Note: This course includes a work integrated learning experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/ or community is integral to your experience.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes

This course contributes to the following program learning outcomes:

  • Enabling Knowledge:

You will gain skills as you apply knowledge with creativity and initiative to new situations. In doing so, you will:

-- demonstrate mastery of a body of knowledge that includes recent developments in computer science and information technology

-- recognise and use research principles and methods applicable to computer science and information technology.

  • Critical Analysis:

You will learn to accurately and objectively examine, and critically investigate computer science and information technology (IT) concepts, evidence, theories or situations, in particular to:

-- analyse and model complex requirements and constraints for the purpose of designing and implementing software artefacts and IT systems

-- evaluate and compare designs of software artefacts and IT systems on the basis of organisational and user requirements.

  • Problem Solving:

Your capability to analyse complex problems and synthesise suitable solutions will be extended as you learn to: design and implement software solutions that accommodate specified requirements and constraints, based on analysis or modelling or requirements specification.

  • Communication:

You will learn to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences through a range of modes and media, in particular to: interpret abstract theoretical propositions, choose methodologies, justify conclusions and defend professional decisions to both IT and non-IT personnel via technical reports of professional standard and technical presentations.

  • Responsibility:

You will be required to accept responsibility for your own learning and make informed decisions about judging and adopting appropriate behaviour in professional and social situations. This includes accepting the responsibility for independent life-long learning and a high level of accountability. Specifically, you will learn to: effectively apply relevant standards, ethical considerations, and an understanding of legal and privacy issues to designing software applications and IT systems.

  • Research and Scholarship:

You will have technical and communication skills to design, evaluate, implement, analyse and theorise about developments that contribute to professional practice or scholarship, specifically you will have cognitive skills:

-- to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to reflect critically on theory and professional practice or scholarship

-- to plan and execute a substantial research-based project, capstone experience and/or piece of scholarship.

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Identify a task or problem relevant to computer science and/or IT
  2. Search and review the relevant literature
  3. Write a literature review
  4. Propose a solution to the task or problem
  5. Prepare a plan that includes details on how you will conduct your research, including:
    • implement software to meet high quality requirements developed by the supervisor
    • carry out research under supervision
    • present the research in a written form like that used for published papers
    • present the research in an oral seminar.

Overview of Learning Activities

A minor project is a substantial work of supervised research or software development. You will choose an academic staff member as your supervisor to work on a research project. To successfully complete the course, you must demonstrate research skills: ability to undertake research under supervision, ability to analyse, develop, and ultimately (in the subsequent course) present the research in a written form like that used for published papers, and ability to present the research in an oral seminar.

Progress in this course is as negotiated with your supervisor, but should at least include your research plan report, which describes research objectives, scope, methodologies, hypotheses, potential research contributions, including a literature review report and an outline of the thesis.

The major deadline for the subsequent course is the delivery of the final thesis by the due date. When scheduling, you will typically need to allow at least six weeks to write your thesis after all the research is complete.

Overview of Learning Resources

For extra support with study organisation, assignment planning or learning skills you may wish to contact any of the following:

Study and Learning Centre:
To make appointments or just drop-in for learning support, see location, times, and contact details, as well as self-help learning support resources, via:

Overview of Assessment

The final assessment for this course is administered in the linked (and subsequent) course, Minor Thesis/Project Part B (COSC2390). However, insufficient progress in this course will directly affect your ability to progress to and succeed in the subsequent course. You must achieve progress on the course learning outcomes to the satisfaction of your supervisor and the School of CSIT to be able to commence Part B.

This course is the first part of the Masters minor thesis, which is assessed on the final report and on the merits of the report as a research publication. Each report is initially examined by an external examiner.

Masters projects are assessed by an examiner, usually from within the school, who reads the documentation, and test-drives the software that has been developed.