Course Title: Computer Science Honours Thesis

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Computer Science Honours Thesis

Credit Points: 36.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 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

Course Coordinator: Hai Dong

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3736

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: B014 F10 R10B

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

COSC2148 Research Methods, and COSC2462 Preliminary Computer Science Honours thesis.

This course is the second component in the computer science honours research project. Each honours student must complete the preliminary Computer Science honours thesis (12 credit points) and Computer Science honours thesis (36 credit points), worth 48 credit points in total. For part-time mode, part 1 and part 2 (24 credit points each) should be taken.

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

The honours thesis is designed to introduce students to the skills and character of computer science research. An honours thesis is a substantial work of supervised research or development, requiring the equivalent of about four months full-time work from start to finish. To this end, the thesis part involves:

  • a proposed, implemented, and critically analysed solution or partial solution to the task or problem
  • a written report describing the problem, the relevant literature, the solution, and its relation to other work in the area.

For more information on the honours research project, see the Program Information Book, available from:

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 effectively in one or more computer science and information technology disciplines. In doing so, you will:

-- demonstrate coherent and advanced knowledge of the underlying principles and concepts in computer science and information technology, including advanced understanding in some areas

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

  • Critical Analysis:

You will learn to accurately and objectively examine, consolidate and synthesise computer science and information technology (IT) concepts, evidence, theories or situations, and exercise critical thinking and judgement in developing new understanding, in particular to:

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

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

-- design and use research in a project.

  • Problem Solving:

Your capability to analyse problems and identify and provide solutions to complex problems with intellectual independence 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: present a clear, coherent and independent exposition of systems, alternative IT solutions, and decision recommendations to both IT and non-IT personnel via technical reports of professional standard and technical presentations.

  • Responsibility:

You will be required to accept responsibility and accountability for your own learning and make informed decisions about judging and adopting appropriate behaviour in professional and social situations. This includes accepting the initiative and responsibility for independent life-long learning.

  • 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 coherent and advanced theoretical knowledge and adapt knowledge and skills in diverse contexts

-- to plan and execute project work and/or a piece of research and scholarship with some independence.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  • develop a software and/or algorithmic solution to the task or problem
  • implement solution to meet high quality requirements as guided 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

Work on the honours thesis actually takes place during the whole of the honours program, not just in one semester. The initial work on the research project you will have completed as part of the course Research Methods and Preliminary Computer Science Honours Thesis. This included selecting a supervisor, performing a literature review, writing a project proposal that was reviewed, and making progress on the project.

In this course, you are expected to carry out research activities including implementing a complete solution to the problems identified in your proposal, critical analysis of results, and completing a written thesis. The major deadline for this course is the delivery of the final honours thesis by the end of the semester. You can schedule the thesis work to suit your project. Typically, at least six weeks are required to write the honours 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

You must satisfactorily complete each of the following assessment tasks for this course:

  • research project comprising an implemented and critically analysed solution to the task or problem
  • written report (final thesis) describing the problem, the relevant literature, the solution, and its relation to other work in the area
  • seminar on your research (of 20 minutes) soon after your thesis is submitted.

The honours thesis is assessed on its merits as a research publication. Each thesis is examined by two academics, usually from within the School; neither examiner is a supervisor of the student.