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Group Design Practical:  2023-2024



Part AComputer Science and Philosophy

Part A CoreComputer Science

Part AMathematics and Computer Science



All second year undergraduates reading Computer Science, Computer Science and Philosophy and Mathematics and Computer Science take part in a group design exercise in their second year. This is intended to give an opportunity to practice skills learned in all four core programming courses, and to develop a range of further skills including team-working, project and time management, and presentation skills.


The goal of the group design practical is to give you, the student, a chance to understand and learn the skills required to succeed in delivering a real-world project, not just writing a program.

In addition to using the skills learnt during the four core programming courses to actually code, to succeed in this project you’ll need to

  • engage with your customer to understand what their needs are
  • agree with the customer what your solution will and won’t do in order to solve their needs (and update/negotiate changes with them as necessary)
  • self-organise with your team to distribute work and make sure the whole solution works together
  • plan your time to deliver what the customer needs when they need it
  • provide the solution to the customer in a form
    • they can easily deploy (installation, configuration)
    • they can easily use (documentation, briefings, maintainability, good diagnostics)
    • they won’t break (careful testing)
    • and considers the ethical and societal impacts of the solution.

These are all solid basics that any tech company or research group expects of any good contributor – this is your chance to develop these skills as part of your degree.

If you want to see what students got up to in previous years, please have a look here:




Students are formally asked for feedback at the end of the course. Students can also submit feedback at any point here. Feedback received here will go to the Head of Academic Administration, and will be dealt with confidentially when being passed on further. All feedback is welcome.

Taking our courses

This form is not to be used by students studying for a degree in the Department of Computer Science, or for Visiting Students who are registered for Computer Science courses

Other matriculated University of Oxford students who are interested in taking this, or other, courses in the Department of Computer Science, must complete this online form by 17.00 on Friday of 0th week of term in which the course is taught. Late requests, and requests sent by email, will not be considered. All requests must be approved by the relevant Computer Science departmental committee and can only be submitted using this form.