This module is a Semester 2 module in our TCS MSc. It equips students to work at the cutting edge of research in a selected topic in theoretical computer science.


COMP555 is organized as a research seminar, where students read and present primary research literature in an area of their choice under the guidance of an expert in the field from the TCS @ Liverpool group.

Module coordinator: Sebastian Wild  
Please get in touch for any organizational questions.

COMP555 students each have an individual topic and instructors; instructors will suggest a list of suitable topics. A project could be a collection of papers that will allow the student to learn about a specific area of TCS and start to gain some expertise there. Students will read those papers, supported by their instructor, and prepare a presentation and a written report.

The presentation will be geared towards the other students on the module and will ideally be held face-to-face. If the number of presentations would become unmanageable for the entire cohort to attend, the cohort will be split into groups.


The main aim of this module is to lay a strong foundation for research in a field of theoretical computer science and to enable students to meaningfully engage with primary research literature. This is done through reading primary research articles under the guidance of an instructor and through disseminating the content of these articles both in the form of a written survey as well as a research talk to peers.

This module builds on the subject foundation from undergraduate and Semester 1 modules to allow students to access, understand, and communicate primary research literature in theoretical computer science.


There will be a short introductory tutorial session covering:

  1. Organisation of the module
  2. Review of key (online) tools for literature work
  3. Research venues and publication culture in TCS
  4. Primer to academic writing using LaTeX

The main part of the module consists of independent work on research articles, supported by an academic of the department. When suitable, there will be additional small group tutorials discussing progress and sharing intermediate findings. Towards the end of the term, there is a joint seminar with presentations.


There will be a research presentation (CA1, 40%) and a written report (CA2, 55%), as well as a participation mark (CA3, 5%) for good engagement with the presentations of other students of the cohort.

Further links: