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INFO490 Dissertation

A supervised research project on an approved topic leading to the production of a dissertation.

In this paper each student undertakes a supervised research project on an information science topic of particular interest to them. The project includes selecting a research topic and supervisor; a review of relevant publications; choosing an appropriate research method; data acquisition by experiment, survey or case study; analysing and interpreting results; oral presentations; and a written dissertation.

To introduce students to the skills and knowledge required to successfully complete their project, the paper begins with classroom-based sessions on scientific research and its methods. This introduction is designed to reorient students from being, typically, passive consumers and reproducers of established knowledge, towards becoming active evaluators and creators of original scientific knowledge. Each student, thereafter, works on their own project under appropriate supervision.

Paper title Dissertation
Paper code INFO490
Subject Information Science
EFTS 0.3333
Points 40 points
Teaching period Full Year (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,817.72
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Limited to
BA(Hons), BCom(Hons), BSc(Hons), PGDipArts, PGDipCom, PGDipSci, MSc, MCom, MA
(i) Admission normally requires at least a B average in the 300-level papers taken previously. (ii) Doing INFO490 in a single semester is exceptional and requires approval from the Head of Department.
Suitable for graduates anticipating:
  • Postgraduate study requiring scientific research in the discipline of telecommunications
  • A need to investigate and solve telecommunications-related problems in a business environment
Teaching staff

Students undertake a full-year project under the supervision of staff with relevant research experience. The specific staff involved will depend on topics selected by students.

The paper co-ordinator is Professor Holger Regenbrecht.

Paper Structure

The Research Methods sessions include topics on:

  • Research methodologies in computing
  • The research process, design, and data analysis
  • Descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Causation v Correlation
  • Tools for Research
  • Māori perspectives on research
  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • Thesis Writing

Each student chooses their own research topic and supervisor(s) in consultation with, and with the approval of, the Course Co-ordinator.

Teaching Arrangements

Seven 2-hour classroom sessions in the first semester.

Additional meetings and mentoring time with supervisors takes place throughout both semesters (this is one-on-one and arranged with supervisors, so will vary from student to student).

  • Leedy, P.D. and Ormrod, J.E., 2013. Practical Research: Planning and Design, 10th Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
  • Saunders, M., Lewis P., and Thornhill, A., 2007. Research Methods for Business Students. 4th Edition. Pearson Prentice Hall, Harlow, England
  • Hunt, Andy, 2005. Your research project: How to Manage it., Routledge Study Guides (an e-book that can be borrowed online from the University Library)
Course outline
View the most recent Course Outline
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this paper, students will be able to:

  • Carry out a self-contained piece of research under supervision using appropriate methods and practices in information science
  • Critically evaluate their own and others' research

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Friday 14:00-16:50 30, 39