Group Software Project


Students will work in small groups to produce a working software system. The deliverables and working methods will be prescribed. The aim of the module are:

  1. ro provide experience of group working;
  2. to provide experience of all aspects of the development of a moderately sized software system;
  3. to prepare students for their individual projects in the third year;
  4. to consolidate material from the first semester of the second year, in particular COMP201 and COMP207.


12 lectures will be given: Introduction to the project framework; meeting skills; project planning; requirements specification; presentation skills; design specification; group dynamics and negotiation; quality management; configuration management; document testing; report writing

Recommended Texts

T. Connelly and C. Begg, Database Solutions. A Step by Step Guide. Addison Wesley, 2000. (essential)
C.W.Dawson, Computer Projects: A Student's Guide. Prentice Hall, 2000. (useful background)

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module students should be able to

  1. show an awareness of the issues involved in working as part of a team;
  2. demonstrate improved personal, interpersonal and communication skills;
  3. demonstrate a more in depth understanding of the software development process;
  4. specify the requirements of a software system;
  5. demonstrate some experience in the design of a software system;
  6. demonstrate practical experience in the implementation and testing of a moderately sized software system;
  7. show an awareness of the typical project management issues;
  8. understand the process and role of software documentation;
  9. demonstrate some experience in the writing of a sizeable report on a software project.

Learning Strategy

The overal strategy is to allow self and peer guided learning within a tightly defined framework.

At the beginning of the module an introductory lecture will outline details of the project scheme, and documentation detailing the framework and expectations will be provided. Thereafter lectures will be given, usually at the rate of one per week, reviewing the key skills needed to carry out the project. Students on the relevant programmes will initially be put into teams of roughly equal size, typically with a minimum of four members, and thereafter will be expected to work largely autonomously. Teams will be expected to hold regular project meetings, the minutes of which will be monitored by staff. The projects will produce

  • the design and implementation of an appropriate data model;
  • front end tools for maintaining the data;
  • tools for accessing, analysing and presenting the data.

The domain of the system must be selected by the team. Each project will have four milestones:

  • requirements specification review
  • design specification review
  • completed system demonstration
  • project portfolio assessment

Each of these will be reviewed and assessed by staff.

Staff will be available on an 'as needed' basis to offer support, guidance and to arbitrate any difficulties.