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Unit information: Financial Technology Group Project in 2021/22

Unit name Financial Technology Group Project
Unit code COMSM0091
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Chehab
Open unit status Not open

Introduction to Financial Technology



School/department Department of Computer Science
Faculty Faculty of Engineering

Description including Unit Aims

Blockchain technology and distributed ledgers have potential to disrupt many areas of finance and underpin many fintech startups. In this unit, students will learn to create, test, and deploy smart contracts and decentralised applications on the Ethereum blockchain. Working in small groups (of 4 or 5), students will then design, develop, test, and demonstrate a decentralised fintech application with a real-world client or market segment in mind. The application must take account of customer or market needs and fulfil commercial, financial and technological constraints. Whenever possible, the application will be created to meet the needs of an external client, e.g., with an industrial partner, or problem-owners elsewhere in the University. Students will require efficient division and management of work within each team to achieve a workable solution.
Through practical lab sessions and online tutorials, students will:

• Explore smart contract fundamentals, including the Ethereum protocol, Solidity programming language, and the Ethereum Virtual Machine

• Learn to develop a smart contract using Solidity and gain experience with Truffle framework tools for deploying and testing contracts

• Use Web3 to connect smart contracts to an application so users can easily interact with the blockchain
During the group application development, students will have weekly meetings with a supervisor.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

1. Create, test, and deploy a fintech application using blockchain technology.

2. Succinctly and coherently document their design decisions, and demonstrate an awareness of commercial, financial and technological constraints.

3. Demonstrate their ability for teamwork in developing a problem-solution in collaboration with a client or end-user while following a recognised software-development project management method (e.g., Scrum).

4. Communicate effectively within the team and with external stakeholders.

Teaching Information

Unit delivery will be blended. Unit content will be provided as a series of short pre-recorded online video lectures, organised into topics, for students to watch asynchronously. Each topic will have associated links for additional reading, formative online exercises, and practical lab sessions (online or physical) for support. During group application development, students will be expected to meet regularly (once a week) with their supervisor.

Assessment Information

Formative: Students will undertake a series of formative lab assessments on smart contract development.

Summative: In small groups, students are required to develop a fintech application using blockchain technology. The outputs will be a group oral presentation/demonstration (20%; ILO 1, 2) and written report including code as an appendix and/or viewable in an online repository (65%; ILO 1, 2, 3, 4) as well as an individual reflective account of the project experience and teamwork (15%; ILO 3, 4). The assessment criteria will include technical and business merit, communication of the solution, team contribution, and individual achievement.

At the start of the project, students will agree roles within the team and allocate tasks. An “equity share” agreement is reached within the team to determine how to distribute assessment marks based on the agreed contribution of each member. Marks for the group presentation and group report (85%) are then allocated to individuals in proportion to the group’s agreed equity share (ILO 3, 4).


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. COMSM0091).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.