The BSc Honours and MSci Honours programmes take place over 4 and 5 years respectively. Years 1 and 2 are commonly referred to as sub-Honours years. Years 3, 4 (and 5 for the MSci) are the Honours years. Year 3 is also known as Junior Honours, year 4 as Senior Honours and is the final year for the BSc. Year 5, often referred to as the fifth or MSci year, is final year for MSci students.
The first 3 years are shared by both BSc and MSci. Substantial projects are undertaken by students in years 3 & 4 for the BSc and in years 3 and 5 for the MSci. More information on the projects is given below.
There will be various induction sessions in orientation week; see the orientation calendar for details. Attendance at relevant sessions on the Thursday is compulsory for Single Honours students. Attendance at other sessions is very strongly encouraged. Joint Honours students are strongly advised to attend as many sessions as possible, and to familiarise themselves with the contents of any sessions they miss.
Tutorials may be arranged by lecturers, to discuss lecturer-set problems, the coursework, lecture material, sample or past examination questions and other general issues relating to their modules. Students should take advantage of tutorials by preparing solutions to problems and thinking about the other issues carefully in advance.
Students may use and are strongly encouraged to come into the School and use any of the School Computer Labs physically where it is easier to talk to and get to know your peers and receive support. It is also the case that you must ensure that code submissions compile and run on School lab PCs or teaching servers, unless otherwise instructed in the coursework specification.
The lab PCs provide all of the software required for practical work on CS modules.
If you are working on your own computer, you are required to backup your work regularly and at the very least every 24 hours. As a registered student, you have access to OneDrive via Microsoft 365 which may suffice for many smaller projects. CS network home directories are accessbile via SSH on the teaching servers, from the University network. Distributed version control is another option for backing-up work.
Each individual piece of coursework has its own deadline defined in MMS. After this deadline, lateness penalties apply, and work may not receive formative feedback.
As already described, failure to achieve an overall coursework average of at least 4, taking into account lateness penalties, will result in failing a module without right to reassessment. In coursework-only modules, since no reassessment is available, an overall grade of 7 must be achieved.
See also target feedback timescales.
For progression to Senior Honours (BSc only), a student must have passed all their Junior Honours modules, and fulfilled the Faculty regulations regarding sub-honours credits. For progression to the final year of the MSci programme, a student must have passed all their Senior Honours modules.
To switch from BSc Honours to MSci at the end of Junior Honours year in June 2024, students must have passed all their Junior Honours modules with a weighted average of at least 11 at the end of semester 2.
The School’s External Examiner for Honours is Dr Joseph Maguire of Glasgow University.
Distinguished Lecture Series
All final year Single Honours BSc and MSci students are required to attend all lectures in the Distinguished Lecture Series.
There is a project library showcasing selected Junior Honours and Senior Honours project reports from previous years.
Junior Honours Project
Both team and individual reports should be submitted by the deadlines specified on MMS. The same team report should be submitted by each team member.
Individual reports should describe the role performed by the student within the team, and provide any relevant information about how problems within the team were dealt with. They should be no longer than 1,000 words.
Team reports should be no longer than 15,000 words, and should contain the following:
|Containing the title of the project, the names of the team members, “University of St Andrews” and the date of submission.
|Outlining in about 100 words the work of the project overall and the team specifically.
|“We declare that the material submitted for assessment is our own work except where credit is explicitly given to others by citation or acknowledgement. This work was performed during the current academic year except where otherwise stated. The main text of this project report is NN,NNN words long, including project specification and plan.
In submitting this project report to the University of St Andrews, we give permission for it to be made available for use in accordance with the regulations of the University Library. We also give permission for the report to be made available on the Web, for this work to be used in research within the University of St Andrews, and for any software to be released on an open source basis.
We retain the copyright in this work, and ownership of any resulting intellectual property.”*
|Describing the problem the team set out to solve and the extent of its success in solving it. The section should outline key aspects of the project for the reader to look for in the rest of the report.
|Summarising the achievements of the project, and discussing those aspects of the project that are of particular interest: the main ideas of the design, unusual design features, special algorithms and data structures, odd implementation decisions, novel user interface features, etc.
|Evaluation and critical appraisal
|Evaluating the work with respect to the original objectives. The section should also critically evaluate the work with respect to related work done by others. It should compare and contrast the project with similar work in the public domain, for example as written about in published papers, or as distributed in software available to the team.
|Summarising the project, emphasising key achievements and significant drawbacks, and discussing possible future directions for the work.
|Project objectives, specification, plan, and interim report as submitted during the year, followed by a list of changes that should be made in the light of experience, e.g. additional references, new software modules, changed specifications.
|Describing the steps taken to debug, test, verify or otherwise confirm the correctness of the various modules and their combination.
*Any request for permission to omit parts of the declaration should be directed to the project coordinator.
The University applies a common algorithm for the calculation of the award of all Honours classifications. Degrees are classified using a credit-weighted calculation of grades achieved for Honours-level modules (3000 level and above) taken during an approved Honours programme. This ensures consistency, particularly if you are taking a joint degree. Full details are available in the University’s Honours Classification algorithm.