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21 May 2009

The Virtual MPhil: a part-time online research degree for Computing

Location: Meeting Room 10, 2nd Flr, JLB
Time: 12:30pm - 13:45pm
Speaker(s): Dr Lucia Rapanotti, Dr Leonor Barroca

The Virtual MPhil is a Computing Department project aimed at a new Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme designed to provide a supportive, professional-oriented structure within which advanced IT knowledge and related research skills and methods can be acquired. The new degree will be available from October 2009 and is offered for part- time study at a distance, supported by a range of technologies for online study, supervision and assessment. The programme is particularly relevant to students who intend to go on to study for a PhD, as well as to IT professionals seeking to enhance knowledge and skills, particularly when research and scholarship are a significant part of their work. In being part-time and at a distance, the programme is especially suited to the needs of the working professional. From an academic perspective, the ultimate aim of the project is the creation of a vibrant online research community for Computing, supported by a rich and flexible Virtual Learning Environment (VLE): rich to encompass the many processes of research; flexible to meet different user needs, preferences and attitudes to technology. In this presentation we will provide an overview of the project, its vision and objectives, and explain which opportunities there are for academics and research students alike to get involved and benefit from the infrastructure we have developed. Bios Lucia Rapanotti is a Senior Lecturer in the Computing Department at The Open University. Previously, she has held research positions at Milan University, Oxford University, and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She holds a Laurea Cum Laude in Computing Science from the University of Milan (1990), and a PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (1996). Lucia was Editor of Expert Systems, The Journal of Knowledge Engineering, from 2005 to 2008, and is now member of its editorial board. During the same period, she was on the executive board of the BCS Special Interest Group on Requirements Engineering. Lucia has a long-standing research interest in (software) development method, and in the past 8 years, her research has focused on Requirements Engineering and Engineering Design of software intensive systems, where her publications are internationally leading. Lucia is Chair of the Virtual MPhil project. She is also Chair of M885 ‘Analysis and Design of Enterprise Systems’, a postgraduate Computing course, which introduces the object-oriented approach to software, its principles, benefits, techniques and practical application. Leonor Barroca is a Senior Lecturer in the Computing Department at The Open University. Previously, she has been a research assistant at York University and a lecturer at Universidade do Minho, Portugal. She holds a PhD from the University of Southampton (1989). Leonor has research interests in software engineering, in particular in component-based development. Leonor is also a chair of the Virtual MPhil project. She is the Postgraduate Admissions Tutor in Computing, and she is a member of the Research School's Task Group which is looking at access rights and training opportunities for part-time students.


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Contact: mailto:r.power@open.ac.uk