I'm in the final year of my undergraduate degree in Artificial Intelligence. Thus, I have to choose between individual project or teamwork. In both cases, I believe that I can do well.

However, I'm going to apply to MPhil in Advanced Computer Science at the University of Cambridge later. So, my questions are:

  • Which choice gives a complete thought of my abilities?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of each choice in this case?

  • 2
    The issue with working in a team is that the results can be greater than the sum of its parts , or much worse... Personally I would, and for my final year project did, go individual...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Oct 13, 2018 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


This answer will be just one sided. If you don't have experience working with a team, do that, and do it well. Modern software systems are built by teams and experience in working cooperatively is extremely important as well as valuable.

But make sure that the team works as a team, not just dividing up requirements into individual tasks. Take a leadership role if you have to in order to assure this. If you haven't investigated Agile Software Development in the past, nor applied it appropriately, then I suggest you take a look at it. It supports a tightly integrated team in which all members have knowledge of all parts of the system. In an industrial environment this means that the firm isn't at risk of knowledge disappearing if a team member leaves. But in an educational environment it can also mean that the team members (students) become educational resources for one another.

If you have a lot of such experience with effective teams already, then it is a bit of a tossup. Otherwise, it is an experience that can serve you well.

If the project is primarily building software, then I'll make a further recommendation. I generally suggest that new teams use XP Extreme Programming for their first agile project, not because it is necessarily better, but because it gives you a lot of advice on what to do day-to-day while you get used to the philosophy. It requires certain practices that need to be done faithfully. Otherwise it will fail like any other methodology.

  • Thank you for your valuable answer, but I will be so grateful if you add your full point of view (i.e. about the individual project too).
    – Abdulkader
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 20:51
  • I don't have a lot to say, actually. I assume you've done individual projects in the past and are familiar with them. I would suggest, however, that you build any software incrementally, rather than all at once. Then you have something to show if you run out of time.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 21:45

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