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Computer Science Programme Year 5 (MCS)

Dissertation Information

The aim of the dissertation project is to integrate the theoretical and practical knowledge of the student across all of the years of their study and provide a practical demonstration of their capability in executing a challenging project. There is an additional expectation that the project should be an in-depth research project and it is expected to yield publishable results. Students must select the project, carry out required investigations and submit their dissertation within the academic year.

Projects on offer and the timeline/deadlines are available on the Student Projects page.

This page contains some extra information about the MCS dissertation.


You will be given a 45 minute time slot to give a demonstration of your dissertation to your supervisor, a second reader, who will be another academic in the school, and any other academics who might be interested in seeing your work. Students may also attend with your permission.
The normal format of a demonstration is that you would give a brief presentation followed by a demonstration of the work, if appropriate. You should leave good time for questions and answers.
Please note that the demonstration is not marked, but is a really good opportunity to describe, discuss and explain your dissertation.

Presentation and Poster Session

There will be a presentation and poster session in the Large Conference Room (LCR) and the Foyer of the O'Reilly Institute for the dissertations of students of the MCS course.
We will ask you to make a five-minute presentation on the subject of your dissertation. You should use PowerPoint, Keynote, or similar, to prepare slides for presentation on the overhead display in the LCR.
We will send you an electronic poster template, and you should design your poster to convey the significant features of your dissertation in an engaging and visually appealing way. You email your designed poster to us by the deadline advised above for printing.
During the poster session, you will be in attendance at your poster and members of the school and a judging panel will view your poster and ask questions.
The judging panel will give each presentation and poster a mark, and they will have a combined weight of 10% of the overall dissertation mark. There will be a small prize for the best presentation and for the best poster.

By way of background, poster presentations and sessions at academic conferences are for the presentation of research information to an interested audience. During poster presentations, presenters make very short presentations to highlight the important points of their work. In a typical poster session, posters are displayed on portable exhibition stands in an exhibition space or conference thoroughfare. Presenters are in attendance during the poster session itself—usually a period of a few hours—so that colleagues can view the posters and ask questions. The posters are usually left on view so that passers-by can view them later.

Dissertation Submission

You must submit two hardbound copies of your project and one copy in electronic form. You will have to arrange to have your dissertation bound by one of the thesis-binding companies around town, for example The Thesis Centre (Flash required) in Camden Street, or Duffy Bookbinders in Seville Place. You will have to allow sufficient time for the hardbound binding to be done, at least two clear working days.

An electronic copy of (a) your dissertation (in PDF format) and (b) a standalone page containing the abstract of the project (in PD format) must be submitted using this form. Be sure to print out the web page that contains your receipt and keep a copy for your records.

Title Page

The title page of the dissertation should contain the following information:

  1. The full title of the dissertation and the subtitle if any
  2. The full name of the author
  3. The award for which the dissertation is submitted to the University
  4. The name of the University
  5. The name of the supervisor of the research
  6. As a last line, the statement "Submitted to the University of Dublin, Trinity College, Month, Year"


A declaration must be included on a single sheet following the title page. The form is:
"I, <author's name>, declare that the following dissertation, except where otherwise stated, is entirely my own work; that it has not previously been submitted as an exercise for a degree, either in Trinity College Dublin, or in any other University; and that the library may lend or copy it or any part thereof on request.


A summary of the methods used and the major findings of the dissertation must follow the declaration. It must not exceed two pages of typescript. The summary provides a synopsis of the dissertation and should state clearly the nature and scope of the research undertaken and the contribution made to knowledge of the subject treated. A brief statement of the methods of investigation where appropriate, an outline of the major divisions or principal arguments of the work and a summary of any conclusions reached should be included.


One copy of an abstract, printed on a single sheet of A4 paper, must be submitted loose with each copy of the dissertation. The abstract must contain the title of the dissertation and the author's full name as a heading and should be single-spaced. The abstract should not exceed 300 words in length.


A formal statement of acknowledgements must be included in the dissertation, following the summary. This is a page of thanks to those who have helped in the course of the research.

Further Information

There is an excellent guide called "Dissertation Writing, A Practical Guide" by Keith Johnston, intended for Masters in Education (M. Ed.) students, but well worth a read.

You can get more information about the layout of a thesis from the College's Thesis Submission Guidelines. Note that not all the sections apply to the MCS; for instance, the section on the Dean's Grace and Submission Deadlines does not apply.