Note: This course is no longer running.
It has been replaced by the MInf Project (Part 1) course.

This page describes the planning component of the MInf project (MPP). This is a course that is typically taken in Autumn of Year 4 by students in the MInf degree. The goal of the course is for you to define your project, and write a proposal that will explain what your project is about, why it is important, and how you intend to accomplish it.

Some general information is given below, for more exact details see the DRPS page for the course.

Note: As of the 2013-14 session the MPP and MPP1 course will be replaced by a single 40 point course called MInf Project (Part 1). More details will be provided nearer the time with a new web page. A single report will be submitted of a similar nature and at the same time as the UG4 project report (but allowing for the fact that this is the first part of a two part project).

As of the 2014-15 session the MPP2 course will be replaced by a 40 point course called MInf Project (Part 2). This will continue from the MInf Project (Part 1) course. More details will be provided nearer the time with a new web page. A single report will be submitted of a similar nature and at the same time as the UG4 project report (but allowing for the fact that this is the second part of a two part project). Students will be required to take an extra 20 points worth of taught courses in 5th year (i.e., a total of 80 points, just as in 4th year) owing to the change from 60 points for MPP2 to 40 points for the new course. Thus the total number of points taken remains the same.

Course Resources

Course Structure

There are three components to this course:

  1. Project group meetings. There will be 2-3 of these over the semester (described below).
  2. Individual meetings with your supervisor. Most of the guidance in this course will come from your project supervisor, and you should meet with them regularly (e.g., once every week) throughout the term.
  3. The project proposal itself.


This course is assessed entirely on the basis of your proposal, which will be read and assigned a numerical mark by two independent readers. The mark will be awarded on the basis of the MInf Proposal Marking Guidelines.

Project Group Meetings

To further broaden involvement in projects, students are divided into small groups of between four and six people which meet regularly, with supervisors in attendance, to discuss progress. The groups will typically include a mix of Honours Project students and MInf students. Project groups meet at three times in the year during the following weeks:

Group meetings are also attended by all the respective supervisors and various members of the Project Committee, with one of the supervisors acting as group convener. At each meeting, each student gives a 15-minute talk describing progress on project work and future plans.

More detailed guidelines on the formats of the various talks will be circulated in advance of each meeting. Supervisors should assist their students in preparing for the meetings, and transmit further feedback to them afterwards. The purpose of this system is fourfold:

Any student whose progress, as perceived in the group meetings, gives cause for concern may be asked to give a further presentation to the Project Committee, with the supervisor in attendance. This permits a more thorough discussion of any problems which have arisen.

Guidelines for Writing a Research Proposal

You are expected to write a project proposal of about 6 pages. A good proposal will provide a convincing case for the high quality of the proposed research. It will show an awareness of relevant prior work and include a clear statement of the problems and hypotheses to be addressed and why they are important. It must also make clear exactly how the methods used to research those hypotheses will yield interesting results.

There are many ways in which one might structure the material. As a guide, a good proposal might be organised as follows:

The proposal may also include material that would count as the Introduction to the MInf thesis itself, and/or the literature review.

Submission of the Project Planning Report

Submit two paper copies of your report to the ITO by 4.00pm, ensuring the front page has the title, the fact that it is the MInf4 Project Planning Report, your name and Matric number.

Acknowledgement: Some of this material has been adapted from the IRP pages and the UG4 project pages.

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