Computer Science

BSc (Hons) Dissertation: COMPSCI 789 A and B Semester 1/2

Structure: This is a compulsory 30-point dissertation course for BSc (Hons) students towards a major in Computer Science. You will be enrolled in COMPSCI 789A and COMPSCI 789B in consecutive semesters.

This research opportunity will introduce you to self-directed study in a specialised field of Computer Science. You will work closely with an academic member of staff, and develop your skills and knowledge in the agreed topic area. The form of study undertaken will vary widely, depending upon your chosen topic, which may require careful theoretical investigation or a large implementation.

Prerequisites: An excellent academic record and departmental approval required. You cannot take COMPSCI 780 if you enrol in COMPSCI 789.

Assessment: 100% on course assessment - dissertation.

Description: The project consists of supervised independent research or development work on a topic related to Computer Science.

Enrolment: You will need to find a staff member to supervise your project before you are permitted to enrol in this course, and you will also need the permission of the BSc(Hon) Coordinator. The signatures of the supervisor and the BSc(Hon) Coordinator are required on the Honours Enrolment Approval Form. The Student Administrator will enrol you in this course once the completed Enrolment Approval Form has been received.

Coordinator Prof Jim Warren

  • Email:
  • Phone extension: 86422
  • Office: CS Building (303S), floor 4, room 303S-483 (note: I work part-time for the University - best to make contact by email)

How to find a supervisor: You're required to find a supervisor for your dissertation. This is a terrific opportunity for getting to work closely with an academic staff member in a way far different from the relationship when you see them as lecturers. We're really passionate about our research and love to talk about it! That said, it can be daunting to figure out who to work with and on what topic. Here's some ways to approach it.

  • Check out the staff research interests
  • Have a look at the Computer Science research pages
  • If you studied undergraduate Computer Science here at University of Auckland, think back on the courses you found interesting and the lecturers you enjoyed listening to, especially at Stage 3 - ask them about their research
  • Email your prospective supervisor with the following information:
    • Why you are contacting them
    • A copy of your academic transcript
    • A proposed area of interest (even if it's very general in your mind at this stage)

Orientation Slides (download) Please read carefully the instructions in the orientation slides. (Note, the slides show the 2019 dates and the coordinator and admin person from then, but all the substantive bits about the programme are still accurate.)

Submission: You need to submit the following items (See detailed instructions in the orientation slides above):

  • Project Proposal Due 5pm March 29, 2021 (The Monday of Week 5 of the semester of your enrolment in COMPSCI789A). Submit the printed copy to Jim's mailbox on 303 Level 4.
  • Research Diary Due 5pm October 25, 2021 (The Monday after the last day of lectures in the semester of your enrolment in COMPSCI789B). Submit the paper copy to Jim's mailbox on 303 Level 4.
  • Dissertation Due 5pm October 25, 2021 (The Monday after the last day of lectures in the semester of your enrolment in COMPSCI789B). Submit PDF file to Crystal at

Note: It can take some time to examine your dissertation. You may not receive your grade in time to attend the upcoming graduation ceremony.

Relevant links:
COMPSCI Postgraduate Projects and Dissertations Guidelines
Academic integrity
Postgraduate Orientation
Guide to Theses and Dissertations
Bachelor of Science (Honours) calendar regulations

Apply now!


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