The University of Sheffield
Department of Computer Science

Dissertation Project: Project Presentation

The purpose of the project presentation session is to allow you to demonstrate your ability, both in writing and orally, to describe your project and explain its main findings to others who have no previous knowledge of it.

You will be allocated a station with two computers in the Diamond.  You can use one for the project presentation, and one for a demo of your project (if appropriate).  To present your project, choose one of the following methods:

  1.  A one-page information sheet, like a poster, to be displayed on a computer screen.
  2. A short set of PowerPoint (or Keynote) slides (maximum of 5).
  3. A video

You must display your name and the title of your project on a second screen during the poster presentation.

The presentation should include a brief description of the project, and a summary of its main findings. It is expected that the presentation should provide a fairly graphic presentation of the main features of your project, getting in the key ideas across clearly, without getting lost in the detail. A diagram can be illuminating and attention grabbing. The text should be made large enough so that people can read it with ease.  Sensible use of colour can be a great eye-catcher. Do not present a dense wall of text – it is better to summarise and explain in greater detail when attendees ask questions. The presentation should be interesting enough to make people want to know more.
Note: Remember to include the project title and your name.

The aspects of the project that are covered by the presentation should include the following:

  • The background to the problem that the project was trying to solve;
  • The methods used to solve the problem (which, if the project was mainly concerned with developing a piece of software, should include the methods used for analysing the requirements, and the methods or tools used for
    designing and implementing the system);
  • The results obtained (which, if the project was mainly concerned with developing a piece of software, should include the results of testing the system, and the extent to which all of the requirements were met); and
  • Any conclusions that can be drawn from the project.

If you have developed some software you would normally demonstrate it at the project presentation. The software demonstration should be organised. Interactivity is always valued, but make sure you have some pre-canned aspects that you can initially use to explain your project or to fall back on if the interactive demo does not work. Make sure it is easy to launch with little or no waiting time.  If your project requires the use of specialist hardware loaned from the department, e.g. NAO robots, you will need to make sure you have arranged access to this equipment for the presentation session well in advance. If too many people request the same piece of hardware, you will be allocated a time slot in which you will be able to use the equipment. The Admin Team will send out a call for requirements in advance, please keep a look out for this in your emails and reply promptly.

The project presentation session will take place in the Diamond Computer Rooms. You will be allocated a space nearer the time. 


Attendance at the project presentation session is compulsory. It is a formal assessment for your dissertation project. Students may fail their project module if they do not attend the poster session. Academic staff will be marking your presentation session, asking you questions and assessing your performance. There may also be some people from outside the Department, e.g. project clients from other departments and visitors from local companies.


You will be assessed on your ability to summarise your work and present it professionally in an interesting manner. The grade from the poster session will be factored into the overall grade for your project, according to the mark sheets.

Three areas will be focused on in the assessment process:

  • The presentation itself: is it a good summary, bold, colourful, attractive?
  • The software demonstration: it should work (to whatever extent) and be usable by visitors;
  • Your oral explanations and question-answering skills.

In cases where the supervisor and second marker are not able to attend the poster session, a separate meeting with the supervisor and second marker will be arranged. During this meeting the presentation and any software demonstration will be discussed and assessed.


  • Are your name, the project title and your supervisor's name clearly displayed in the presentation, and perhaps also your degree programme?
  • Does the presentation summarise the aims/objectives of the project, the methods that were used, the results obtained and the conclusions that you drew from them?
  • Does the software demonstration (if appropriate) have a logical flow? Is it easy to launch (little or no waiting time), and do you have preset demonstrations to show if the software crashes on the day?


As well as the academic staff, all sorts of people attend the project presentation session including some people from outside the Department, e.g. staff from other departments and visitors from local companies. We expect you to be well-organised, clear and impressive.  It is a good idea to prepare and practice a 5 minute oral presentation, although some visitors/assessors may prefer to question you instead.

Example Videos