School of Computing



About Coursework

Practical coursework is an important part of the learning process for your modules. Coursework gives you the chance to grasp theoretical concepts through practical exercises.

In the School of Computing, practical coursework can take several forms:

  • exercises for private study or in practical/tutorial classes
  • exercises in laboratories
  • programming exercises and projects
  • team and individual projects

The purpose of coursework

Coursework has a fundamental role to play in your learning process.

Even if a piece of coursework doesn't form part of the assessment, it is valuable. 

It allows you to:

  • put theory into practice
  • discover parts of the lecture material that you need to work harder on
  • investigate topics that are not covered in depth in lectures
  • demonstrate and improve necessary practical skills eg programming
  • practice and improve

Coursework details

Find out about deadlines, extensions, how to submit your coursework, and plagiarism on our Assessment and Feedback pages.

Writing a Program

Writing a program is a colloquial way of saying 'engineering a software solution to a problem'. Find out how to approach it, and what you need to be careful about.

You'll work in several stages:

  1. Study and clarify the problem to be solved.
  2. Identify how the problem is to be solved. 
  3. A design stage where the solution begins to take shape.
  4. Translating your design into program-language statements (eg in Java). 

Collaboration and assistance can be useful at the start. 

When you're designing and writing a program you need to work on your own

Grammatical rules

You need to follow the grammatical rules of the programming language. 

In trying to get your program to an executable state, the computer may give you a set of error messages. 

You are free to ask for help with understanding and fixing these error messages. You can ask your lecturer, or other students.

References and citations

An important aspect of software engineering in the real world is to avoid re-inventing the wheel. We re-use software if and when possible. 

This has implications for assignments. To avoid plagiarism, you need to give a reference or source

When you have to give a reference

You must acknowledge the source if you use a substantial piece of software.

When you don't have to

You don't have to acknowledge the source if it is just a minor detail (common knowledge). 

You also don't have to if your lecturer gives you pieces of code to re-use, or the skeleton of a solution. 

If in doubt, please ask for guidance.