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Unit outline_

CIVL4023: Thesis B

Semester 1, 2022 [Supervision] - Remote

The ability to plan, systematically conduct and report on a major project, involving both research and design, is an important skill for professional engineers. The final year thesis units (Thesis A and Thesis B) aim to provide students with the opportunity to carry out a defined piece of independent research and design that fosters the development of engineering skills. These skills include: the capacity to define a problem; carry out systematic research in exploring how it relates to existing knowledge; identifying the tools needed to address the problem; designing a solution, product or prototype; analysing the results obtained; and presenting the outcomes in a report that is clear, coherent and logically structured. The thesis is undertaken across two semesters of enrolment. Taken together, Thesis A covers initial research into the background of the problem being considered (formulated as a literature review), development of a detailed proposal incorporating project objectives, planning, and risk assessment, preliminary design, modelling and/or experimental work, followed by the detailed work in designing a solution, performing experiments, evaluating outcomes, analysing results, and writing up and presenting the outcomes. The final grade is based on the work done in both Thesis A and B, and will be awarded upon successful completion of Thesis B. While recognising that some projects can be interdisciplinary in nature, it is the normal expectation that the students would do the project in their chosen area of specialisation. For student who are completing a Major within their BE degree, the thesis topic must be within the area of the Major. The theses to be undertaken by students will very often be related to some aspect of a staff member's research interests. Some projects will be experimental in nature, others may involve computer-based simulation and analysis, feasibility studies or the design, construction and testing of equipment. All however will require students to undertake research and design relevant to the topic of their thesis. The direction of thesis work may be determined by the supervisor or be of an original nature, but in either case the student is responsible for the execution of the practical work and the general layout and content of the thesis itself. The thesis must be the student's individual work although it may be conducted as a component of a wider group project. Students undertaking research on this basis will need to take care in ensuring the quality of their own research and design work and their individual final thesis submission. The thesis will be judged on the extent and quality of the student's original work and particularly how critical, perceptive and constructive they have been in assessing their work and that of others. Students will also be required to present the results of their thesis to their peers and supervisors as part of a seminar program. Whilst thesis topics will be constrained by the available time and resources, the aim is to contribute to the creation of new engineering knowledge, techniques and/or solutions. Students should explore topics that arouse intellectual curiosity and represent an appropriate range and diversity of technical and conceptual research and design challenges.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Civil Engineering
Credit points 6
Prerequisites
? 
30 credit points of any 3000- or higher level units of study
Corequisites
? 
None
Prohibitions
? 
CIVL4203
Assumed knowledge
? 

None

Available to study abroad and exchange students

Yes

Teaching staff

Coordinator Pierre Rognon, pierre.rognon@sydney.edu.au
Type Description Weight Due Length
Presentation group assignment Presentation/Seminar
Oral presentation
10% Multiple weeks See Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Participation Management
Assessment of the level of involvement in the project.
10% Ongoing N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1
Assignment Literature Review & Project Proposal
Thesis A submission
10% Progressive N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO6 LO7
Assignment Project description
Thesis A submission
2% Progressive N/A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6
Presentation group assignment Mini-Presentation
Video recording presenting the project status and future plans
8% Week 01 See Canvas
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5
Honours thesis Thesis
Final thesis report
60% Week 13 Maximum of 50 pages in length
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Project Description (A): A one-page description of the project is required from each student.
  • Literature Review & Project Proposal (A): A preliminary review of the literature is required from each student. The literature review and proposal should consist of (at least) problem/task specification, literature survey, proposed methodology, expected outcomes and a timeline.
  • Mini-Presentation (B): Each student will be required to contribute to a group video presentation outlining the progress of the project. The presentation should summarise the group`s research work thus far and include any steps required to complete the objectives of the project in a timely manner.
  • Thesis (B): Final submission of written thesis report. The report must contain a page stating the specific contributions of the student and that of others involved. While the project work is conducted in groups, the Final Report itself must be written and submitted individually. Students should closely consult the UoS guidelines and marking rubrics for content and formatting requirements. 
  • Presentation/Seminar (B): Each student will be required to report on the progress in their thesis/project investigations by participating in the presentation of a short group seminar to their fellow thesis students and their supervisors. The seminars will be run in parallel sessions, depending on the field of specialisation. 
  • Management (B): Management of project. Projects are undertaken in groups but the marking of project management component is based on individual contributions. 

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range

Description

High distinction

85 - 100

 

Distinction

75 - 84

 

Credit

65 - 74

 

Pass

50 - 64

 

Fail

0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The late penalty for all assessments will be 5% per day for 10 calendar days, after which a mark of zero will be applied.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Meeting with supervisor Tutorial (0.5 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Weekly Research towards thesis Independent study (10 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Attendance and class requirements

  • All assessments must be completed to pass Thesis A/B. Failure to submit any assessment will result in a mark of 48% irrespective of any marks obtained in other components of assessment.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. formulate and plan a personal research project
  • LO2. evaluate critical research issues with originality, ingenuity and initiative
  • LO3. formulate an appropriate method for investigating a specific research question
  • LO4. document and report research work undertaken in a format appropriate for academic literature with correct referencing
  • LO5. communicate research outcomes to a broad audience (peers, academics, laypeople) in a clear, confident and engaging manner
  • LO6. reflect on the contribution of research to the discipline of engineering and to engineering practice
  • LO7. demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a specialised area within the discipline
  • LO8. analyse data, draw appropriate conclusions and present those conclusions in context, with due consideration of methods and assumptions involved

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
GQ1 GQ2 GQ3 GQ4 GQ5 GQ6 GQ7 GQ8 GQ9

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.
  • Students are not guaranteed a second/third marker whose expertise aligns with their project. Students should ensure that your submissions can be read and understood by an assessor from any area of engineering.

Disclaimer

The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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